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Louisville Urban League Receives $8M Grant To Target Racial Inequities

Louisville Urban League president and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds speaks to protesters during a direct action training on Sept. 23, 2020, before a grand jury releases its decision in the Breonna Taylor investigation.
Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of Louisville Urban League, speaks to protesters during a direct action training at Jefferson Square Park on Sept. 23, 2020 shortly before a grand jury released its decision on the Breonna Taylor investigation.

The Louisville Urban League has received an $8 million grant, which will go towards a plan aimed at eliminating racial inequities in the city called “A Path Forward.”

President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds announced the funds Friday. She said the grant came from Blue Meridian Partners, a philanthropic organization out of New York. 

“I'm very appreciative of this but I'm also very excited to talk about our ability to be able to strategically focus on creating wealth building pathways and resources for Black families in the West End and across our city,” Reynolds said during a press conference. 

Reynolds said addressing these issues is urgent, and therefore, there’s “no time for fragility.”

“We cannot cower behind any kind of guilt or discomfort. We just got to get to work,” she said. “Black people do not want to be studied, or examined any further, we really do need action, and we need the right investments.”

The Urban League will redistribute funds from the grant to groups, many of them Black-led or -owned, focused on the issues of affordable housing, education and business development. 

That includes a $2 million investment to the local housing-focused group Rebound, Inc., $500,000 to Evolve502, $500,000 to Simmons College of Kentucky, $25,000 to Feed the West, $25,000 to the Decode Project, $20,000 to Bridge Kids International and $10,000 toward The Hope Buss.

“The point is for us to just really show this Black excellence,” Reynolds said. “I think that sometimes people might forget just how brilliant we are, how resilient we are, how talented we are, how capable we are. We just need the support and we need to acknowledge our history, and how our community has gotten to the place that it is in, and how intentionally it was.”

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