Aspiring to fulfill its mission to improve lives by helping and educating people, the Trust focused its major grantmaking in 2020 on whole community health, concentrating on the crucial areas of rural health and economic prosperity in underserved and displaced communities, primarily in the states of Florida, Kentucky, New York, and North Carolina.
Grants awarded in the area of Education, both Birth-12 and higher education, also took precedence. Programs for B-12 (children from birth through grade 12) encompassed a large area of support. Higher education funding support included student scholarships, program enhancement for infrastructures and technology, and funding for teachers and professors. Finally, arts and culture; and historic preservation, rounded out the Trust’s portfolio, with several grants serving a dual purpose of art positioned to educate children in underserved communities.
The year 2020 presented new challenges faced by grant partners due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trust strived to provide a ray of light in the face of despair, awarding a number of grants on an emergency basis to support general operating costs and address the evolving needs of their communities during the crisis.
Whole Community Health
$12,649,104 | 45%
Birth – K12
$6,425,000 | 23%
$4,875,000 | 17%
Arts and Culture
$3,870,000 | 13%
$525,000 | 2%
The darkness that descended upon our country over the past year, from the tragic loss of lives and livelihoods because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the painful and overdue reckoning of our country’s legacy of racism, to the political and social divisiveness that threatened to undermine our democracy, left many to wonder, where is the light? Yet even in our darkest days, the light of compassion has always been there, even when buried behind the calamitous news that always leads.
One need look no farther than the extraordinary women profiled here to see how brightly the light of hope and empathy can shine. These women lead organizations that are doing critical work for the underserved and disenfranchised, and serve as beacons of what is possible when individuals make a steadfast commitment to service beyond self.
The past year brought into stark relief the fact that we are all connected through our shared humanity, and that to survive and thrive, our common welfare and wellbeing must come first. We are all one step away from adversity and tragedy, and cultivating a deep, authentic understanding of how our fellow human beings arrived at their current state is essential for building a more just and equitable world. The women featured here are “candles of hope” for the communities they serve, and they are also inspiring and empowering others to shine their own light.
The Kenan Trust is privileged to have these women, and the organizations they lead, as our partners. We hope you will be inspired by them and the work they nurture daily.
The statistics tell a grim story: Women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population, increasing at nearly double the rate of men.
Before she became involved with
The Beautiful Project, Avery Patterson was already a talented photographer.
What happens when professional dancers collaborate with specialists in movement disorders, physical therapy, neuroscience, somatics and people living with Parkinson’s Disease?
Through whose lens do we view the stories that shape our world view? How do we expand that point of view?
The Miami-based Community Justice Project (CJP) is not your typical legal organization.
Ali Mandsaurwala was initially hesitant about sending his sight-impaired daughter Naaya to pre-kindergarten at Miami Lighthouse Academy.
Dating back to 1896, Overtown was established by laborers hired to build the East Coast railroad and Miami’s hotels and tourist spots.
When Deborah Hicks-Rogoff reflects on the girls who have come through the Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education (PAGE) program since its inception in 2010, she can’t help but see herself.
El Centro Hispano is a vital lifeline for the growing Hispanic/Latino population in the Triangle Area of North Carolina.
From its new home on Fulton Street in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, The Laundromat Project (LP) is commemorating its fifteenth year with the same dexterity, creativity and collaborative spirit that has informed the non-profit’s work from the start.
As President and CEO of the United Way of NYC, and the first woman to hold the position in the organization’s history, Sheena Wright wields an impressive amount of authority and influence.
Roszalyn Akins has been sending out an SOS for decades. But the SOS she proclaims is not a distress call but rather, a call to action: Save Our Sons.
Professionals working in the field of social justice and racial equity rarely have the luxury of sustained time to hone their leadership skills and share their own expertise alongside their peers.
Gerry Roll had been working tirelessly with a nonprofit organization in Perry County, Kentucky, to help members of the Appalachian community access child care, housing and health care.
Claire Blumenson and Sarah Comeau began to notice a disturbing pattern while working with young adults in the District of Columbia’s juvenile and criminal justice systems.
While working with low-income tenants in Harlem, lawyer Gina Clayton-Johnson was struck by how many mothers, wives, partners and grandmothers faced eviction because a family member living with them had been charged with criminal activity.