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2021 Racial Equity Collaborative Grant – Request for Proposals


Howard County is not immune to systemic racism. Data prove many of our communities of color also face barriers to living long, healthy lives.

Today, improving health and wellness for all people in Howard County means advancing racial equity.  Simply acknowledging health gaps and the role race and ethnicity play, or just making statements, won’t cut it. We must rebuild community structures and systems so they are rooted in equity and fairness.

We first must accept inequities exist for people of color, and that they can be deadly. Then we must get to work righting them. This starts with a widespread and collective movement to change policies and practices, while continuing to educate and advocate with a broad coalition committed to doing what’s right and just. We are seeking partners to join the Foundation and others already involved in racial equity work to do the hard but necessary work to making Howard County a better and healthier place to live for all of our residents.

Consider applying for this grant if your organization (i.e., staff, leadership and members) is ready to:

  • Learn how to boldly and passionately advocate for policies and practices that dismantle longstanding health barriers and promise more equitable health outcomes for people of color.
  • Elevate the voices of leaders from communities of color;
  • Organize and advocate for policies that will remove barriers to good health and expand opportunities for everyone to live a long, healthy life;
  • Make data-driven decisions (data includes lived experience of people of color);
  • Commit to learning and applying racial equity principles to your organization’s work; and are
  • Passionate about eliminating health disparities and/or improving social determinants of health.

The purpose of this strategic opportunity is to both:

  • enhance your organization’s understanding of and commitment to racial equity; and
  • build power to advance racial equity issues that matter most to your organization and our community.

The grantees selected will work collaboratively on a joint equity-related policy. Their staff, leadership, and members will focus on applying a racial equity lens to their work and learn essential organizing and advocacy skills by practicing them in a real-time policy campaign in conjunction with the Foundation and its other partners.

4 grantees will be awarded $75,000 per year for 3 years. Selected grantees will be expected to:

  • Have a documented history of working with and/or serving communities of color.
  • Build a team of at least 5 people from among their membership, clients, board and staff who are willing to fully participate in the Racial Equity Collaborative.
  • Commit up to 20 hours per person per month on average to the activities of the Collaborative that will begin in January 2022. Activities will include but not be limited to participating via virtual/in-person monthly meetings; power-building coaching and technical assistance; equity coaching and technical assistance; team meetings; workshops and trainings; and organizing campaign development (relational meetings, campaign research, etc.)**
  • Learn, practice and apply a racial equity lens to their work and build power to reform policies and systems that stand in the way of achieving equitable health outcomes for all members of our community.
  • Develop capacity to wage and win equity-related policy and system changes from key institutions (e.g., county, school system, even those that may fund their organization).
  • Identify, develop and implement a joint equity-related policy campaign with fellow collaborative members.
  • Help the Foundation accomplish its policy & system change goals by participating in campaign activities as needed.

**Virtual and in-person gatherings will be considered for 2022 activities. CDC Recommendations (masks, temperature checks, physically distancing) will be followed for all in-person events.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must: a) be an organization that is tax- exempt under IRS Section 501(c) 3; (b) be directly affiliated with the Howard County Public School System or other public entity that can receive funds on its behalf; or (c) have a fiscal sponsor that meets either option a or b.
    • Qualified applicants include but are not limited to PTAs, community groups, faith-based groups, student groups with adult oversight, etc.
  • Organizations that have been awarded more than $75,000 from the Foundation in the past year are not eligible to apply for this opportunity. Organizations operating as a fiscal sponsor for another group are excluded from this requirement.
  • The grant period is from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2024. This is a multi-year grant. Selected grantees will be awarded an operating grant of $75,000 per year for 3 years.

Prerequisite of ALL organizations wanting to apply for this RFP

  • Interested applicants must send 2 organizational representatives to participate in a 4 hour virtual community listening session on October 23, 2021. Organizations will not be eligible for funding if they do not register and attend this community session.
    • The community listening session will help the Foundation better understand what policies and community issues are most pressing and ripe for change as we all seek a more equitable community. It will also help inform future equity funding initiatives.
    • The virtual session will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. The session is deigned to be highly engaging and will include large and small group learnings.
      • Register online here.

How to Submit Proposals

All proposals must be submitted using our online grants system. Preview the grant application questions in this PDFThe deadline to submit the application is November 7th, 2021 Proposals will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be notified no later than December 10.


Interested in learning more? Attend an info session.

We will be hosting information sessions in October to explain the Request for Proposals and answer any questions you may have. Please participate in one of the upcoming virtual Zoom sessions on:

For additional information please contact at Kenitra Fokwa at kfokwa@thehorizonfoundation.org.