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Newman University - Ignite Program

Evergy Community Response Fund at WCF invests $100,000 in local COVID-19 recovery and racial equity work

How do we navigate through global events that uncovered a whirlwind of uncertainty? A big part is investing in organizations who provide vital programs in local COVID-19 recovery and racial equity work. Stepping up to meet this need is the Evergy Community Response Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation (WCF), which awarded $100,000 in grants.

“At a time in our lives when there is much uncertainty, it’s refreshing to have WCF fundholders like Evergy modify their philanthropic plans to meet immediate needs,” said Shelly Prichard, WCF president and CEO.

The Evergy Community Response Fund awarded $10,000 grants to 10 Wichita nonprofits who serve zip codes 67208, 67214 and/or 67219. Grantees utilized the dollars to support efforts that close gaps in services created by COVID-19 or promote solutions to racial injustice. 

The funding is in addition to the nearly $247,000 awarded in June through the Evergy Community Investment Fund at WCF.

"We are so incredibly grateful for this generous grant from Evergy,” said Angela Perez, executive director of Urban League of Kansas. “This is the first year that Urban League of Kansas serves as a voter registration and polling site for the Wichita community. This grant will allow us to reach many of our neighbors and help them make their voices heard in the election this year."

The 10 grants of $10,000 each supported the following projects:

  • Art That Touches Your Heart | Assist with community and family-building efforts to address racial injustice, inequality and marginalization.
  • Black Alliance (fiscally sponsored by CORE) | Create COVID-19 walkable testing opportunities and education about access to health care within the community.
  • Create Campaign | Continue exterior home and property improvements through the Prosper Community Contractor Collective.
  • HealthCore Clinic | Purchase medical devices to support positive health outcomes within the patient population.
  • McAdams Academy | Support for current programming working to disrupt the “school to prison pipeline” and reduce recidivism.
  • Newman University | Expand Newman’s Ignite program to address disproportionate racial achievement gaps in 67208, 67214 and 67219.
  • Power CDC | Install a modern, state-of-the-art smart building lighting system in the Historic Dunbar Theatre.
  • The Kansas African American Museum | Fund programming designed to promote solutions and address racial injustice.
  • Urban League of Kansas | Inform citizens that the organization will serve as a polling site during this year’s election.
  • WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion (fiscally sponsored by CORE) | Produce local civil rights history programming to students that reside in 67208, 67214, 67219.

“These 10 organizations are providing vital programs to northeast Wichita as the community and nation work to address the pandemic and racial injustice,” said Jeff Beasley, Evergy vice president, customer operations. “Evergy is grateful to be able to support their work.”

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