Newport group shares $110k to help Black Community

A Newport organization is among the nonprofits that will share nearly $110,000 in grants to serve Black residents through the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. 

“We’re grateful for the donors, community advisors and nonprofit partners that join us in addressing the underlying causes of inequity. As COVID-19 has underscored, it is clearer than ever that we must work together to eliminate disparities and close achievement gaps in order to promote a better future for all Rhode Islanders,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO. 

The fund supports nonprofits that offer youth development and mentoring, promote the history and achievements of Blacks in Rhode Island, preserve the culture of the Black community and strive to uplift low-income Black Rhode Islanders. 

Sankofa Community Connection will use its grant to improve the health of children in the Newport’s North End by connecting them with adult mentors through the “Sankofa Village: Coming together for Our Youth” initiative. 

“By creating nurturing and supporting relationships with trusted adults we can decrease the damaging impact of challenging environmental conditions on children. Encouraging their learning of essential emotional wellness skills will help them be better prepared for life in general, including navigating the systemic biases and social devaluation that they as Black or Brown children experience almost daily,” said Niko Merritt, executive director. 

“The things that they experience compound the toxic stress. If we take the time to pour into our children and show them how valuable they are, it would make so much difference. It’s time to show up for them,” she said. 

The other recipients are: 

  • African Alliance of Rhode Island
  • AS220 
  • Everett: Company, Stage & School 
  • Inspiring Minds 
  • MAP Behavioral Health Services 
  • New Bridges for Haitian Success 
  • New Urban Arts 
  • Oasis International
  • Power Up RI, Inc. 
  • Rhode Island Black Storytellers 
  • Rhode Island for Community & Justice 
  • Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education  
  • Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts  
  • Urban League of Rhode Island, Inc. 
  • Stages of Freedom  
  • WattsNatural Tutoring 
  • Youth Moving Forward
  • Youth In Action 

The Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund also offers scholarships for Black students who are pursuing or advancing a career in health care in college or a technical school. Last year, the fund awarded $54,500 to 25 recipients. The deadline to apply for 2023 scholarship assistance is April 10.   

The fund is just one of the grant programs the Foundation uses to support nonprofits that serve Rhode Island’s community of color. Recent initiatives include creating a capacity-building program to support nonprofits led by Asian, Black, Latino or Hispanic, Indigenous or multi-racial executive directors or other decision-makers within an organization; and launching a grant program to help nonprofits create anti-racist organizational cultures. 

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information about applying for a Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund grant or scholarship, visit the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund.



Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!