In response to the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville during August 2017, three funds — generously supported by thousands of individuals and organizations — were created at the Community Foundation: Heal Charlottesville, Concert for Charlottesville and Unity Cville.
The Foundation’s multifaceted and ongoing approach was the result of a thoughtful process of listening and understanding what the community needed to recover. The Heal Charlottesville Fund deployed initial resources in the following ways: assistance for survivors of the car attack and violence that claimed the life of Heather Heyer, counseling and post-trauma services for community members and first responders, and funding for Jewish community initiatives in Charlottesville and at UVA.
In March 2018, the Community Foundation solicited proposals to address structural and systemic racism that has historically excluded Charlottesville’s minority communities. The Foundation received 100 grant proposals requesting a total of $3 million in funding. A review committee of community leaders and educators from diverse backgrounds made funding recommendations to the Foundation governing board, and a total of $1 million was awarded to 42 recipients.
These grants were primarily funded by gifts to the Concert for Charlottesville, the Heal Charlottesville Fund and a gift from an anonymous donor. Examples of successful grant proposals include projects that highlight the history and culture of the black community, bolster economic opportunity for minority-owned businesses, and increase minority teachers in local public schools.