NEW YORK, May 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Foot Locker, Inc. and its U.S. grant-making partner, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), are building upon their collaboration to empower youth in underserved communities with $4.5 million in new funding. The funding will support three annual grant application rounds for U.S.-based nonprofits delivering youth programming in the areas of community mentoring, career development, and health and wellness activities.
The Foot Locker Foundation Community Empowerment Program was launched in 2021 as part of Leading in Education and Economic Development (LEED), the company’s $200 million commitment focused on education and economic development within the Black community. It also connects to LISC’s broad-based work on economic opportunity, including its decade-long Project 10X strategy to promote racial justice. Through its first two years, the competitive grant program has awarded $2.7 million in grants to 36 organizations.
The application for the next round of funding in the U.S. (for one-year grants expected to be awarded in 2024) is open now through Wednesday, August 30, 2023. Community-based nonprofits in select cities can apply for grants of $25,000 to $100,000. The program prioritizes grassroots organizations that are in a pivotal developmental stage where the funding and available technical assistance support through LISC can help them reach the next level of sustainability and program delivery excellence. Organizations based in and serving the following cities are eligible to apply for these competitive grants: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Applicants should have a track record of impact in one or more of the program’s key objectives: community outreach, particularly focused on youth health and wellness; mentoring around life skills, academics, and conflict resolution; and career development to build skills and pathways to employment.
“As part of our LEED initiative, the partnership with LISC has created tangible results for communities where Foot Locker, Inc. operates,” said Tai Neal, vice president for LEED Strategy at Foot Locker, Inc. “In the first two years of the program, we’ve witnessed the number of young people served increase by nearly 50 percent, with 3,800 impacted in the first round of funding and more than 7,000 in round two,” she continued. “This program disrupts the status quo – unlocking the potential that exists in young people and giving them, their families, and their communities a bridge to a brighter future.”
The Community Empowerment Program responds to clear and persistent racial disparities, including a gap in philanthropic funding for Black-led organizations. For example, research from Bridgespan and Echoing Green found that the unrestricted net assets of Black-led organizations are 76 percent smaller than those of similarly situated white-led groups. Disparities are even more pronounced among organizations that specifically focus on improving life outcomes for Black men and boys: revenues are 45 percent less than they are for white-led organizations and unrestricted net assets are 91 percent smaller—even when white-led organizations have a similar mission.
“These disparities are, in part, the result of decades of overt racism,” said Lisa Glover, LISC CEO. “But there is also an unconscious bias at work, and it has a stranglehold on opportunity for tens of thousands of BIPOC families, organizations, businesses and communities. That’s why this program is so important,” she continued. “It is specifically designed to address these systemic gaps in ways that not only benefit young people, but strengthen the organizations that serve them as well.”
For information on grant guidelines and how to apply, visit the LISC website.
About Foot Locker, Inc.
Foot Locker, Inc. is a leading footwear and apparel retailer that unlocks the “inner sneakerhead” in all of us. With approximately 2,700 retail stores in 29 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, and a franchised store presence in the Middle East and Asia, Foot Locker, Inc. has a strong history of sneaker authority that sparks discovery and ignites the power of sneaker culture through its portfolio of brands, including Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, WSS, and atmos. For more information, visit footlocker-inc.com.
LISC is one of the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $29.7 billion to create more than 489,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 81.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances. For more, visit www.lisc.org.
SOURCE Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/foot-locker-foundation-announces-4-5-million-for-community-grants-through-lisc-301833415.html
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