Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Open Society Foundations Announces Open Places Initiative Planning Grant Awards

The Open Society Foundations has awarded approximately $100,000 to nonprofits in eight places to design place-based community change plans as part of its new Open Places Initiative. The Open Places Initiative’s goal is to build capacity in local governments and communities to bring about sustainable change in government, civic engagement, criminal justice, immigration and education.

Collaborative networks of community organizations in Albuquerque, Buffalo, Denver, Jackson, Louisville, Milwaukee, San Diego and Puerto Rico were recipients of the first grants. Each site will set priorities and draft a community change plan. Later this year, the Foundations will award implementation grants to three to five sites for up to $1 million a year for three to ten years.

Preliminary goals for the sites include advancing local economic development and fiscal policy, integrating immigrants into the community, decreasing incarceration rates, improving graduation rates, decreasing racial segregation and improving economic mobility for low-wage workers.

In Louisville, racial segregation is the current primary focus. Planning grant money will be used to develop a social and political network to address issues such as racial income disparity and unequal education. Organizations involved so far include the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, the Fairness Campaign, the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and Network Center for Community Change.

For more on the planning grant awards, click here.

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on the Open Place Initiative in the coming months.

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