A $100 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will help create the new Indianapolis African American Equality of Life Renewal Initiative. The National and Indianapolis Urban Leagues will work with the local African American Coalition to help a wide variety of organizations.
President and CEO of the Indianapolis Urban League Tony Mason says the initiative will first establish priorities.
"To come up with solutions, if you will, for some of the problems and challenges that have long created barriers to prosperity for the African American community here in Indianapolis," Mason said.
Some of those areas include education, employment, health and housing. Mason says these are challenges that have deepened during the pandemic.
The hope is that Indianapolis will serve as a model for how best to address systemic inequalities.
Mason says the funds will be strategically invested.
"All $100 million will come back into this community to support initiatives and work that is being done to align with the priorities," he said.
Funds could be used for programs and services meant to address challenges. In an emailed statement Indianapois City-County Council President Vop Osili said that is critical.
"Addressing the complex racial inequities that exist across our community requires diligent, sustained work, and we enthusiastically look forward to working in concert with the Indianapolis Urban League as we build the equitable city all our residents deserve," Osili said.