Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation announces launch of “Healthy Youth, Healthy Community” racial equity grants program

January 2021|Press releases

Providing $100,000 in Grants to BIPOC Organizations Serving BIPOC Youth in CT, MA, ME and NH

(Wellesley, MA) January 7, 2021 – The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation is now accepting applications for a new “Healthy Youth, Healthy Community” racial equity grants program. Five grants of $20,000 each are available to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)-led organizations supporting and working with BIPOC youth in Connecticut, Mass., Maine, and New Hampshire. This grants program will help BIPOC youth improve the overall health and racial equity of their community.

“In response to racial violence incidents across the country this year, our Foundation team created this grants initiative to listen, learn and engage BIPOC youth leaders as they envision their own community’s needs,” said Karen Voci, president of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “Through this grants program, our goal is to support development of our future leaders as they work to drive change and make their communities healthier – from helping to provide basic needs in the areas of food, shelter and health services to creating job opportunities to fostering community partnerships for advocacy or social justice.”

Grant eligibility and criteria are:

  • BIPOC-led and 501(c)(3) organizations serving predominantly BIPOC youth 21 and under in CT, MA, ME, and NH. BIPOC-led is defined as having a BIPOC Executive Director/President or Youth Program Director, the majority of Board of Directors being BIPOC, and/or have a demonstrated history of meaningful engagement with BIPOC youth.
  • Successful organizations will work directly with BIPOC youth in increasing youth-based thought leadership and action in local communities.
  • Experience in reducing the inequitable impacts of social determinants of health for all communities, particularly BIPOC communities.
  • Youth must be supported by the grant recipient organization to actualize their ideas. Such support could include staff/volunteer guidance, facilities, materials, stipends, etc.

Grant Application Deadline is February 1, 2021. Click here to access the “Healthy Youth, Healthy Community” grant application.

Proposal Due: February 1, 2021
Proposal Reviews: February 2 – February 26, 2021
Awards: Week of March 1, 2021

“The Foundation considers this grant program a partnership between us and the BIPOC projects,” said Voci. “Through ongoing connections and support, we hope to share and learn from one another. Where possible we will connect our funded youth programs with other leaders and mentors for development and leadership opportunities. This program is particularly important now as so many BIPOC communities here in New England have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Foundation is committed to addressing racial and social inequities and health disparities across the region.”

In 2020, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation provided more than $4.5 million to support racial equity initiatives including:

  • $3 million to support Community Health Centers focused on providing care to predominately Black and Brown communities, as well as centers that provide care for vulnerable populations, to support equity and equality in accessing health care, and address health disparities. A total of $1 million of that funding went to support Massachusetts’ Community Care Cooperative’s (C3) campaign to enhance telehealth capacity and meet telehealth demand in community health centers statewide in response to COVID-19.
  • $1 million to the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund to help address health disparities. The Fund was founded by a coalition of Massachusetts Black and Brown executives for the sole purpose of working together to transform and address systemic racism and racial inequity in Massachusetts.
  • $250,000 to support The Base in addressing health disparities, providing programming for its youth scholar-athletes and their families, including delivering fresh fruits and vegetables directly to the youth athletes to help them fuel up with nutritious food.
  • Provided funding for an emergency meals distribution program for numerous organizations across the region, including The Dimock Center’s 350+ Early Education families – all at-risk families with young children and others in need in Dimock’s Roxbury neighborhood. More than 55,000 meals were delivered to those in need in CT, MA, ME and NH.
  • Addressing food insecurity by providing fresh produce boxes to Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston’s members and families on a weekly basis, with an average of 280 produce boxes distributed each week to ensure they are eating well and staying healthy.
  • $100,000 grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation to the New England Food System Resilience Fund that will be designated to directly support local Black and Brown-led agriculture organizations.

About The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation (the “Foundation”) supports Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. The Foundation provides the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In 2019, the Foundation awarded nearly $2.9 million in grants to 990 nonprofit organizations in the region. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded $155 million in funds and resources throughout the four states. For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org/foundation.