United Way's Equity Innovation Fund creating impact in Racine County

Dec. 16, 2022 (Racine, WI) — Since opening for applications at the beginning of the year, United Way of Racine County’s Equity Innovation Fund has supported a dozen programs and projects that are creating impactful, equity-focused solutions for the Racine County community.

The Equity Innovation Fund was made possible thanks to the generosity of novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and in partnership with Racine County. The fund supports efforts that use innovative strategies to reduce disparities, improve outcomes and empower members of historically marginalized populations. Since January 2022, the fund has dispersed $481,994.75 through 12 grants.

Innovation is the driving force behind every funded project/program, allowing the grantees to use their unique skills to create measurable impact for our community. The Passions Project, for example, raises awareness and creates visibility for the Racine LGBTQ+ population through photography. The resulting photo installation will be available for the public to view at various locations. The project Bridging the Gap for Human Trafficking Victim Resources in Racine County, led by the organization Fight to End Exploitation, received funding to help increase awareness about human trafficking for at-risk, marginalized populations through trainings and an awareness campaign. The program SecureFutures Money Coach, run by the organization SecureFutures, helps prepare young adults from under-resourced communities for financial success and stability by pairing them with a volunteer mentor.

While these three examples show impressive work taking place in Racine County, Ali Haigh, president and CEO of United Way of Racine County, says this is still only the beginning.

“It has been an incredible experience to watch the grantees from the first few rounds of funding begin their work,” she said. “And it’s exciting to realize that the amount of equity-focused work in our community will only increase as our more recent grantees get their programs and projects underway and as we complete another funding deadline in December.”

Thanks to a generous contribution to the Equity Innovation Fund from Racine County earlier this year, the number of equity-focused projects and programs that will receive funding has greatly increased from the time the fund opened at the beginning of the year.

“We are proud to continue our collaboration with United Way of Racine County on the Equity Innovation Fund,” said Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave. “It’s rewarding to see our contribution in action, supporting innovative and equity-focused outcomes for our community.”

To learn more about the Equity Innovation Fund, including previous grantees and how to apply, visit: UnitedWayRacine.org/EIF. Applications are accepted on the last day of the quarter; the next deadline is Dec. 31, 2022.