New $1.5 Million Community Investment Fund Available for Northwest Dayton Advocacy Groups

Community groups in West Dayton can now apply for grants from a $1.5 million fund. The investment fund was created by the Northwest Dayton Partnership and Learn to Earn Dayton.

The funds are intended to help organizations advance economic mobility, racial and educational equity in the northwest part of the city. Groups must submit their applications before February 25.

The investment fund is part of a larger $8 million project to create family and education advocacy groups. The project already funds nonprofits like Omega CDC and Preschool Promise.

Kristina Scott is the CEO of Learn 2 Earn Dayton. She says one of the greatest needs in the community is access to affordable early childhood education.

“It’s really critical that child care centers and other early childhood education facilities are able to recruit and retain the best and brightest talent for the early childhood education of our children,” Scott said. “The first three years are so critical for the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of our children.”

The fund and grant application was created with input from the Northwest Dayton Partnership Steering Committee. According to Scott, this committee is made up of community members who live and work in northwest Dayton and who have a “genuine interest in the results of this work.”

And one of the outcomes the committee is working toward is achieving racial equity, Scott says.

“We have to wrap our arms around families and not just individuals in order to get where we want to go,” Scott said. “We have to be really honest with ourselves about the structural and systemic causes that explain why these families may not have been able to reach their full potential and unfortunately all too often it’s because of the color of their skin. .”

Learn to Earn Dayton will host a grant information session on Friday, January 21, from 10 a.m. to noon, on Zoom.

Jill E. Washington