Grants Totaling More Than $300,000 Have Been Awarded Throughout Lancaster County
We are honored to share that $301,700 in grants have been awarded to help fund a wide variety of projects.
With help from volunteer grant reviewers and through the power of our community’s endowment, these awards are working to foster positive community development and equity in Lancaster County. They support initiatives that celebrate diversity, promote cultural understanding, and address racial and gender disparities through various avenues, including arts, education, and civic engagement.
These grants represent a collective commitment to building a more inclusive, informed, and sustainable community in Lancaster, where individuals of all backgrounds can thrive and contribute to positive change.
Community Bridge Builders Program
The Community Bridge Builders Program seeks to foster a profound appreciation for our differences, drive deeper understanding, and facilitate meaningful civic discourse. Lancaster County is a wellspring of creativity, compassion, and empathy. However, we recognize that not every resident experiences a true sense of belonging, often due to factors such as race, sexual orientation, identity, disability, religious beliefs, and more. We call upon the leaders of our county’s Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) to envision and implement innovative programs aimed at nurturing a culture of acceptance and appreciation for diverse perspectives.
Lancaster Recreation Commission
Lancaster Unity Cup
Lancaster Rec and CWS Lancaster are teaming up to create the Lancaster Unity Cup. The 8-week soccer tournament will celebrate diverse Lancaster residents from around the world building community, developing leaders, building bridges and healing trauma – all through the sport of soccer. This new opportunity, complete with a cultural festival, will kick off Lancaster’s Welcome Week in September 2023. The tournament is a bold, collaborative way to bring diverse people together between all walks of life to promote cultural understanding and celebrate our thriving community.
CRGE Black Artist Waystation and the Equity Profile Action Group
The Black Artist Waystation (BAW) aims to support and showcase the work of local Black Artivists (artist-activist), honoring the city’s historical significance as a Waystation on the Underground Railroad. Additionally, YWCA Lancaster formed an Equity Profile Action Group (EPAG) to increase awareness of the first Lancaster County Equity Profile and develop strategies to address disparities. The group will organize a community-wide meeting in August 2024 to gather input for a strategic plan for the subsequent year. Both programs are from The Center for Racial and Gender Equity of YWCA Lancaster.
Millersville University Office of Visual & Performing Arts
Traveling While Black
Running a full month, this Virtual Reality experience transports participants to the historic Green Book site – Ben’s Chili Bowl. Seated in an installation recreating the diner, participants share, via VR, intimate moments with Ben’s patrons reflecting on their own experiences. Confronting the way we understand race in America, TRAVELING WHILE BLACK highlights the urgent need not only to remember the past but to learn from it, and facilitates dialogue about the challenges minorities still face today through a series of community conversations conducted in partnership with relevant local partners.
Protecting Democracy in Lancaster County
Last fall, CASA expanded access to democracy in Pennsylvania by successfully demanding that Spanish-language text be made available on the ballot for legal voters who require it. This year, CASA wants to carry on this civic engagement momentum by ensuring that their members in Lancaster and their communities (working-class immigrants and people of color) make their voices heard in this fall’s municipal and local elections in the county. CASA will bring their time-tested voter engagement operation into full execution, including voter registration and Get Out the Vote operations.
Discerning Eye Community Agriculture
From Roots to Leaves
This project will allow DECA to develop a mobile farm market to meet the ever-shifting demographics of Food Insecurity in Lancaster and reach as wide of a swath of our city residents as possible. These mobile markets will be anchored in neighborhoods we serve with community engagements and education, the first of which will feature artist Shauna Yorty, who will lead a mural project in the historically underserved neighborhood, Sunnyside. The intergenerational project will educate our community on urban agriculture and our first mobile produce stand will reside beneath it during harvest season.
Bethany Christian Services of Central PA
The O.Z. Scholarship for Equine-Assisted Therapy
Addressing the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on addiction and honoring the life of a client who vehemently fought to overcome addiction and succumbed to an overdose, The O.Z. Scholarship for Equine-Assisted Therapy will enable Bethany in partnership with Little Springs Farm to expand its equine-assisted therapy services to the marginalized population of pregnant/postpartum women struggling with addiction. Funding will provide curriculum development and service provision for 15 women (10 sessions each) focusing on remediation of root causes to process and heal from past trauma.
Girls on the Run of Lancaster and Lebanon
Building A Stronger Community Through Collaboration
GOTR’s new community outreach campaign will deepen their commitment to provide programming for individuals of all races, ethnic groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, and athletic abilities by increasing access to girls in underserved communities. To increase their program’s reach and impact, they focus on areas where awareness is limited. GOTR’s goal is to create a reflection of the diverse populations in Lancaster County, fostering inclusivity and accessibility for all girls. By fostering both existing and new equitable partnerships, they aim to dispel misperceptions and reach a wider audience.
Cultivating Beloved Community
This ten-month journey, focused on both personal and organizational awareness, will be firmly grounded in the principles of self-compassion translated into tangible actions and the pursuit of collective liberation. Alongside the grant award, participating CBOs will involve their boards and staff in mandatory monthly workshops. Dr. Amber Sessoms, the Founder of Natural Inclination LLC, will facilitate and lead the strategic steps required to establish a framework for fostering a beloved community. The timeline encompasses a guided internal equity assessment to pinpoint areas requiring attention or development, dedicated office hours, and much more!
Advoz Mediation and Restorative Practices
Moving Diversity Beyond The Theoretical To In Practice At Advoz
Having undertaken the first steps in building an equity survey and participating in the work of this cohort, Advoz will begin the important work of implementing the changes needed to make their organization more diverse in the way they think, hire, promote, and operate. They received the results of their organizational DEI survey, highlighting areas for internal and external growth. Working with Dr. Sessoms and their new Board Chair, Advoz will develop implementation plans to improve the above areas in relation to DEI and how they should be integrated into their strategic plan.
Millersville University Office of Visual & Performing Arts
This organization will work with artist Evita Colon to use the arts to foster real change—braiding beauty and cultural celebration with the truth and tension needed to challenge injustice and uplift our community. They will address economic disparity and representation by paying two BIPOC artists to conduct residencies: one at a school, focusing on art, culture, and learning; the second at A Concrete Rose, where the artist will develop community workshops and events. They will focus on intergenerational exchange, cultural pride and understanding, and the power of creative expression to be a true change agent.
Advocating for Equity
ASSETS provides a safe, welcoming space for women and BIPOC entrepreneurs of all ages to speak, share, and grow together. As a convener, ASSETS learns about different challenges faced by those they serve. For their project, they will engage their team, clients, and community stakeholders in the process of creating an advocacy agenda. They will facilitate community conversations to gain more insight into barriers faced by underserved entrepreneurs. By creating a relevant agenda they give a voice to marginalized communities, raise awareness of issues, and advocate effectively for social and economic justice.
The Common Wheel
The Common Wheel in Columbia
The Common Wheel is excited to open their third location in the borough of Columbia! However, they want to do so with great intention and with the residents of Columbia as their partners and stakeholders. This grant will assist with opening their new location on Locust Street in the former Lazy K Lounge, bringing their classic programming, apprenticeships, and whatever else the people in Columbia are seeking from their bicycle co-op. They intend to be a place that is safe for folks from all backgrounds to gather and celebrate and see how cool, revolutionary, and life-changing the bicycle really is!
Lancaster Education Foundation
The Youth in Public Service Program at J.P. McCaskey High School (YIPSP)
YIPSP empowers students to make a positive impact in their community. Through networking with experts, collaborating on projects & fostering critical thinking, students gain valuable skills & civic responsibility. The program expands students’ networks, transforms social capital into action & nurtures interdisciplinary thinking. Students design & implement projects that benefit their school/local community, promoting problem solving skills. The program prepares students for college, career & active citizenship. The program empowers students to become leaders & change makers in the community.
Stakeholders of the Mix
Honoring their legacy of providing services that reflect the needs of the children, families, and members of Lancaster county, The Mix continues to reflect and grow as an organization by creating intentional spaces for our learning in how they can be more equitable in their approach to this mission-driven work as people and as a community partner. The Stakeholders of the Mix Group will be an intentional monthly gathering of our diverse Mix stakeholders that will hold space for courageous conversations, resource sharing, and healthy grounds for building and strengthening equitable relationships.
Paris Meyers Grant
Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster
Columbia Strings Program
In partnership with the Columbia School of Music, Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster would like to pilot an orchestra program where teachers and students challenge and inspire one another, students share their music with the community in performances, and a community of musicians thrives. Through this program, Columbia youth gain access to quality stringed instrument education teaching the reward of achieving long-term goals, teamwork, and personal expression. This program ensures their Columbia youth are involved in the renaissance of the borough, giving them opportunities as musical performers.