Central New Yorkers are resilient individuals who believe in the values of hard work and determination. Everyone deserves a fighting chance at success here. Today, though, not everyone in our region has an equal opportunity to succeed. Black, Latino, Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander people face undeserved and unfair obstacles due to racism that has been woven into the structures of our schools and workplaces, economic situations, and health and living conditions. By addressing structural inequities in Central New York, we‘ll move a step closer to ensuring opportunity for all.

Here is a sample of what we accomplish when we combine the generosity of our donors with the hard work of our community partners. With your help, we can do more.

Our Impact

$798,000

in BE&E grants awarded since 2020 to Black-led organizations

70

Black-led organizations recently applied to CNYCF for the first time

What We're Doing

NTL teaches participants how to become effective board members with the goal of increasing diversity across nonprofit boards.

People of color still face obstacles to advancement that White people do not. They are less likely than their White peers to be hired, professionally developed, and promoted. And their lived experience is demonstrably worse due to implicit bias and inequitable treatment in the workplace. We’ve helped:

  • Educate and inspire a diverse pool of community leaders to become effective nonprofit board members
  • Publicize leadership training tips and advice for young women of color
  • Develop the personal and professional competencies of emerging nonprofit leaders of color
Woman holding instructional props
Sequoia Kemp, co-founder of Sankofa Reproductive Health & Healing Center, is using a grant to provide community doula care for Black women.

Due to a history of neighborhood segregation and discriminatory practices in healthcare systems, people of color are more likely to not have insurance, experience language-barriers with medical personnel, be exposed to environmental pollution and suffer from compounding factors that shorten their lives. We’ve helped:

  • Make homes lead-safe in neighborhoods historically underinvested due to redlining and segregatory lending practices
  • Provide mental health support to youth living in neighborhoods experiencing high levels of gun violence
  • Diversify child therapists to be representative of the client population that they serve
  • Hire Black doulas and purchase materials for Black maternal health community outreach and education
NaDonte Jones in front of a worksite of a plumbing system.
NaDonte Jones, owner of NJ Jones Plumbing, credits UMEA with helping him launch his business and establish his apprenticeship program.

Data from the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances show that long-standing and substantial wealth disparities between families in different racial and ethnic groups have remained unchanged over the past few years. The typical White family has eight times the wealth of the typical Black family and five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family. We’ve helped:

  • Provide wardrobe, styling and career enhancement services to potential job candidates
  • Connect low-income residents with job opportunities in high-need industries
  • Start up a chamber of commerce for minority-owned businesses and minority professionals
  • Offer workforce training and certification assistance for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE)
  • Create an online directory of Black-owned businesses
Jaleel Campbell stands with one of his handcrafted dolls
Artwork by Jaleel Campbell is using a grant to conduct doll-making workshops.

The arts & culture sector generates, amplifies, and reproduces stories and narratives about who belongs and who is valued. Narratives that uplift the art, culture, voices, and experiences of marginalized communities can have a significant impact on social justice movements. We’ve helped:

  • Conduct workshops to bring local Black artists and entrepreneurs together
  • Elevate Black voices by providing a media platform for individuals to share their stories
  • Host Black-art exhibitions and virtual art classes
The facilitation of a community discussion about the benefits and challenges surrounding I-81.
NYCLU used a grant to conduct outreach both in city and suburban neighborhoods to encourage an open dialogue on various I-81 replacement options.

Building healthy, sustainable and equitable communities requires civic and social engagement of community members. We’ve helped:

  • Convene public dialogue on important social justice issues such as the benefits and challenges of I-81 replacement options
  • Make it easy for historically hard-to-count populations such as refugees to complete the census
  • Launch a phone application that encourages civic engagement by local residents
Child watches as machine works at the MOST Museum
The MOST launched an after school mentoring program for Black youth exploring careers in science and technology. 

Education disparities differ from community to community and can range from inequitable funding and budget cuts to children of color being subject to more extreme disciplinary measures. This can deny students the adequate knowledge and skills needed for a 21st century job market. We’ve helped:

  • Offer students of color with tutoring and emotional, physical and life skills training
  • Mentor Syracuse-area students to pursue careers in video production
  • Launch an after-school mentorship program for Black youth that will guide them through career exploration in the areas of science, technology, skilled trades and manufacturing
  • Provide career, college access and college success services to students living in high poverty neighborhoods
  • Make higher education attainable for Syracuse City School District students

To learn more about what we are doing to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into the work of the Community Foundation, visit our equity commitment page.

Learn More

Make a Difference with Us

Your assistance can aid us in making an even greater impact. Here are some ways you can help us do more.

Create a Fund

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Support our Work

Support our work by donating toward our grantmaking & initiatives

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Volunteer

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News & Stories

Oswego County Community Foundation Logo
News Releases September 8, 2021

Oswego County Community Foundation Announces Grantees

$32,400 has been distributed to organizations in Oswego County!

News Releases August 31, 2021

Community Foundation Announces Promotions

Congratulations to Geri and Dana on their recent promotions!

Stories August 30, 2021

Robert Sarason and Jane Burkhead

We see the Community Foundation as an engine for transformative and societal change, ensuring our ...

Stories August 26, 2021

8/28 Day Spotlight | UrbanTSyr

The Black Equity & Excellence Fund allowed for optimization of UrbanTsyr online content with professionally ...

Stories August 26, 2021

8/28 Day Spotlight | Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company

Through the generous support of the Community Foundation’s Black Equity & Excellence Fund we produced, ...

Stories August 25, 2021

8/28 Day Spotlight | Dunbar Association

Knowing that initiatives such as the BE&E Fund believes in your vision helps wounds become ...

Several students stand onstage in red graduation robes
Blogs August 24, 2021

Believe in Syracuse to launch mentorship program to connect students and local professionals

The mentorship program will connect Say Yes Syracuse college students with local professionals in an ...

Stories August 13, 2021

Black Philanthropy Month | Tamika Otis

I want Central New York to look like a place that exemplifies an overwhelming love ...

News Releases August 12, 2021

Women's Fund Distributes $48,100 in Grants

Since its inception in 1998, the Women’s Fund has awarded $450,000 in grants, and has ...

Oswego County Community Foundation Logo
News Releases September 8, 2021

Oswego County Community Foundation Announces Grantees

$32,400 has been distributed to organizations in Oswego County!

News Releases August 31, 2021

Community Foundation Announces Promotions

Congratulations to Geri and Dana on their recent promotions!

Stories August 30, 2021

Robert Sarason and Jane Burkhead

We see the Community Foundation as an engine for transformative and societal change, ensuring our ...

Stories August 26, 2021

8/28 Day Spotlight | UrbanTSyr

The Black Equity & Excellence Fund allowed for optimization of UrbanTsyr online content with professionally ...

Stories August 26, 2021

8/28 Day Spotlight | Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company

Through the generous support of the Community Foundation’s Black Equity & Excellence Fund we produced, ...

Stories August 25, 2021

8/28 Day Spotlight | Dunbar Association

Knowing that initiatives such as the BE&E Fund believes in your vision helps wounds become ...

Several students stand onstage in red graduation robes
Blogs August 24, 2021

Believe in Syracuse to launch mentorship program to connect students and local professionals

The mentorship program will connect Say Yes Syracuse college students with local professionals in an ...

Stories August 13, 2021

Black Philanthropy Month | Tamika Otis

I want Central New York to look like a place that exemplifies an overwhelming love ...

News Releases August 12, 2021

Women's Fund Distributes $48,100 in Grants

Since its inception in 1998, the Women’s Fund has awarded $450,000 in grants, and has ...

View More