The Rhode Island Foundation is offering $94,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations to fund programs that serve the Black community.

“Our aim is to support work that strengthens and empowers this community. We’re targeting organizations that focus on the unique needs of Rhode Island’s Black community, including those nonprofits that have a tradition of serving the community,” said Adrian Bonéy, who administers the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund at the Foundation in a press release on Friday.

Grants will support community-based organizations that uplift low-income Black Rhode Islanders through programs that create pathways to financial stability and achievement, provide youth development and mentoring opportunities to urban Black youth and support and promote the history, culture and achievements of Blacks in Rhode Island. The deadline to apply is Sept. 13.

Recent recipients include the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County, which received $5,000 to send Black children to its after-school program; and the Choir School of Newport County, which was awarded $7,500 to recruit low-income children and their support network of parents, guardians, teachers and social service providers.

“For some low-income children, participating in the Choir School may be one of the few anchors of stability in their lives,” said founding executive director Peter Berton in the press release. “This new initiative will empower the adults in their lives to support these children’s choral education as we form lives of character and service.”

In addition to the grant program, the fund also offers scholarship assistance for Black students who are pursuing or advancing a career in health care at an accredited institution and are Rhode Island residents who demonstrate financial need.

This year’s scholarship recipients include Olanrewaju Sanni, who is pursuing his MBA in Health Management at Rhode Island College; and Wenricka Griffith, who attends the University of Rhode Island.

The fund has awarded $330,000 in grants and scholarships in the past seven years. Members of the public can support the fund’s work by donating online on the Foundation’s website.

“Since the beginning, our goal has been to support positive and systemic change for the Black community. By funding work that encourages equity and promotes access, we can create pathways to achievement and accomplishment,” said Linda Newton, co-chair of the fund’s advisory committee in the press release.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $38 million and awarded $43 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2017. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit

PHOTO: THE RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION is offering $94,000 in grants to nonprofits that serve the Black community. From left, Beverly Ledbetter, Linda Newton, Brendan Kane and Edward Clifton serve on the Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund advisory committee. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to