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Provides funding and capacity building support to grassroots organizations working to advance racial equity and address Charlotte’s economic mobility issues.
Originally founded in 2016 following the civil unrest sparked by the killing of Charlotte resident Keith Lamont Scott, Unite Charlotte seeks to address the structural racism that exists within the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Since then, dozens of grassroots organizations—the majority of them founded and/or led by people of color—have received grant funding, capacity-building training, and leadership development opportunities. This is an intentional effort to support their mission and work, increase their impact, and grow a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of nonprofit leaders in Charlotte.
By the end of 2022, United Way will have awarded Unite Charlotte funding to over 75 grassroots agencies. In addition to grant funding, leaders from over 50 of these agencies have completed Duke University’s Nonprofit Management Certification program at no-cost to them as part of the program’s capacity-building component. This and other trainings help bolster their sustainability and community impact.
Once an agency successfully finishes as a “Unite Charlotte First Year” recipient, it is then invited to apply for a larger grant award for the next 1-2 years. Funding for executive leadership training is then provided to these Unite Charlotte “Second Year” and “Third Year” grantees. This investment in leadership allows the agencies to better execute on its mission and goals, driving stronger outcomes and impact.
Motivated by his young daughter’s concern about fellow students struggling to complete assignments because they lacked access to a computer and internet connectivity in their homes, Pat Millen sought a solution to bridge the digital divide in area schools.
Jason Terrell and Mario Shaw started Profound Gentlemen, a nonprofit focused on building a community of male educators of color – from pre-K through high school – who can provide a profound impact on boys and young men of color.
Dave Moore understands that young men getting out of jail most often won’t be able to secure a job quickly, because he’s an ex-felon himself; the idea for Southside Rides came to him while serving a sentence for dealing drugs.