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News & Updates

Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Grants support range of diversity and equity projects

June 24, 2021

New program supports 21 agencies across the region in its first year

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks has selected the final recipients in the first year of the Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Grants. The new program, funded through the CFO’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund, supports small grant requests to ensure the representation of diverse voices in community conversations, engagement and leadership.

During the CFO’s 2020–21 fiscal year, 21 agencies received Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Grants totaling $19,975. Recipients were selected throughout the year as funds remained available. Agencies receiving grants in June are:

  • Arc of the Ozarks: $1,000 to support a collaborative workshop to increase community understanding about disability inclusion and inclusive employment practices.
  • Foundation for SPS/Disney Elementary: $1,000 to purchase books by Mark Twain for a book club teaching tolerance and inclusion at Disney Elementary.
  • Leadership Springfield: $1,000 to supplement tuition for a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leader in the Springfield community to participate in Leadership Springfield training.
  • Springfield Contemporary Theatre: $1,000 to support the production and promotion of “Kill Move Paradise,” a play about the experiences of Black men in America.
  • United Way of Pettis County: $1,000 to support the LGBTQ+ Pride Picnic in Sedalia.

“Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for everyone in our region, and that’s accomplished by making this place we call home more welcoming for all people,” said Brian Fogle, President and CEO of the CFO. “We’re so glad for the new opportunities these grants provide for these organizations that share those values. We look forward to seeing the unique projects that this program will support in the coming months.”

The Ozarks Inclusive Opportunity Grant Program will reopen soon and be available to nonprofit agencies — including school districts, government entities and faith-based organizations with similar tax-exempt status — that serve communities across the CFO’s 58-county region in central and southern Missouri.

With the CFO’s increased focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion grantmaking, total funding for the program will increase to $30,000 for the coming year. More details about the CFO’s 2021–22 discretionary grantmaking programs will be announced in the coming weeks. Donors who wish to further the CFO’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion grantmaking can make a secure online gift at cfozarks.org/diversityfund.

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