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TOLEDO, OHIO, August 5, 2020 – The Board of Trustees of Greater Toledo Community Foundation (GTCF) recently approved plans for an Equity & Access Initiative to proactively address the concerns raised by communities that are disproportionately impacted by inequity and lack of access in the Greater Toledo area.

In response to recent events across the nation and within the Toledo region, the Foundation has created this new multi-year initiative.  An independent committee comprised of current GTCF board members and community-minded individuals is being formalized to work with GTCF staff and board to develop a long-term strategy that will proactively address social determinants of health and nonprofit capacity.  The GTCF board members on the committee are Kaye Aldridge, Retired Senior VP, The University of Toledo; Diana Block, EVP, Block Communications; Pariss Coleman, II, Esq., Senior Counsel, The Andersons; and Hussien Shousher, Retired President, GEM, Inc.  

The Foundation will seek proposals that address these areas from local nonprofit organizations which are located in and providing services for residents of northwest Ohio or southeast Michigan.  Priority will be given to proposals that support collaboration among organizations and capacity building to address these areas.  GTCF has committed at least $200,000 toward this effort.

“We understand the anger and frustration that yet another tragedy like the death of George Floyd creates for all of us, in particular for our community members who feel unsafe everyday” said Keith Burwell, president, GTCF.  “As a community foundation, we work to bring people together, to solve problems and to build trust.”

A timeline for the application process for nonprofit organizations will be announced once the committee is in place.  The GTCF Board will have the final determination of funding.

In addition, GTCF is working with the African American Legacy Project of Northwest Ohio to strengthen community connections between minority citizens and law enforcement. The program being developed will be financially supported by GTCF and feature conversations among community leaders and law enforcement professionals, as well as separate educational components developed for students in northwest Ohio schools and the general public.

GTCF recognizes the work of the Unification Coalition made up of local African American leaders working toward the development of the Toledo Black Agenda. The Foundation is excited to learn how its new Equity & Access Initiative complements those efforts.

“Our hope is that by coming together, we can offer solutions to our community challenges in creative and inclusive ways,” said Keith.  “We will continue to hold ourselves accountable to help heal and connect our community.  And we will continue to work with others to build a livable, equitable and just community – where everyone feels safe,” he concluded. 

About Greater Toledo Community Foundation

Greater Toledo Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 900 funds with assets of approximately $329 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information about Greater Toledo Community Foundation, visit or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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