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Blank Foundation awards $470,000 in grants to combat systemic racism

Maria Saporta
Arthur Blank Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank at a press briefing in 2017 at the Arthur M. Blank Family Office (Photo by Maria Saporta)

By Maria Saporta

Six nonprofit organizations in Georgia and one nonprofit in Montana will receive immediate funding from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to address the racial equity crisis in America.

The grants are part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment for racial justice and democracy. The total of $470,000 in new grants will go to organizations focused on creating systemic change and ending the disenfranchisement of blacks, indigenous people and all people of color.

Arthur Blank

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank at a press briefing in 2017 at the Arthur M. Blank Family Office (Photo by Maria Saporta)

“Ending systemic racism in our communities, our country and our world is long overdue,” said Arthur Blank, chairman of the Blank Foundation and Blank Family of Businesses.

“The recent and tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and far too many other black men, women and children, make it clear that we all must thoughtfully listen and respond with meaningful and sustainable actions,” Blank continued in a statement.

“The grants we are announcing today are part of an ongoing commitment for racial justice by me, my family, our Foundation and our businesses. We will amplify the voices of these grantees and other enduring partners like the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Equal Justice Initiative and New Georgia Project. Together, we will work to find common ground for all citizens to enable lasting and positive change,” Blank added.

The seven grants will go to:

  • Southern Center for Human Rights. $150,000 will support a dual focus on stopping the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities and helping youth transform systems causing harm in the cities of Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Brunswick and Savannah.
  • NAACP Georgia. $100,000 will support policy work needed for police reform.
  • Color of Change. $50,000will support the #JusticeforAhmaud campaign.
  • Movement for Black Lives. $50,000 will provide financial, communications, organizing, and direct service support to Black organizations unifying for real change in response to George Floyd’s death.
  • Blue Institute. $25,000 will train young people of color to lead campaigns that reflect constituencies critical for winning new voting blocs.
  • Out of Hand Theater. $20,000 will support the July 2020 launch of the Equity Design & Innovation Institute created by Out of Hand Theater to pilot a program to train individuals to become Equity Ambassadors by providing them with the skills to disrupt and change inequitable systemic policies and cycles of discrimination, inequality, and inequity.

The Foundation is making the following grant in Montana:

  • Montana Racial Equity Project. $75,000 will increase racial equity through workshops and to expand police reform work throughout the state. This work builds on the Blank Family Foundation and the Blank Family of Businesses efforts to combat hatred and discrimination by partnering with the Equal Justice Initiative and engaging in educational programming that explores the legacy of slavery, racial terrorism, segregation and contemporary issues of mass incarceration, excessive punishment and police violence.
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Maria Saporta
Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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