The recently-launched Momentum Fund is exemplifying a model of philanthropy that unapologetically centers racial equity and explicitly prioritizes the needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities as part of our national recovery from COVID-19

Waterbury, CT – Connecticut Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Waterbury have been awarded a $65,000 grant from the newly-formed Momentum Fund to continue their response work supporting local organizations working with communities of color, low-income populations, and other groups being disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant was one of 129 grants, totaling $8.5 million, awarded by the Momentum Fund to organizations around the country managing COVID-19 relief funds that provide grants and other forms of direct support to address critical needs caused by the pandemic, particularly within communities of color and historically marginalized populations. Connecticut Community Foundation and the United Way launched their joint COVID-19 Response Fund in March, and have distributed over $600,000 from the fund so far to organizations working to meet the basic needs of local residents in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills.

“We are extremely appreciative of the Momentum Fund’s donation to the COVID-19 Response Fund.  These dollars could not have come at a better time as we continue to respond to the shifting needs of our community including food insecurity, emergency childcare, telehealth, housing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline nonprofits and more,” said Kristen Jacoby, President and CPO of United Way of Greater Waterbury.

The COVID-19 Response Fund was designed to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic. The fund aims to address and minimize the social and economic consequences of the pandemic, and to stem the widening of inequities in education, employment, housing, and health. To that end, Connecticut Community Foundation and the United Way have directed resources to organizations – including grassroots efforts – that are meeting the needs of residents who are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic, including communities of color, immigrants, older adults, and people experiencing or in danger of homelessness, among others.

“For more than seven months, we have seen the disproportionate, negative impact of COVID-19 among our most vulnerable neighbors and in our most at-risk communities,” said Julie Loughran, President and CEO of Connecticut Community Foundation. “The Momentum Fund grant will enable us to expand support to organizations working to mitigate inequity and to improve local systems, with the aim of ensuring that people have the resources they need as the pandemic wears on.”

“We are witnessing a historic and unprecedented level of suffering and need that must be addressed before this nation falls even further into a state of absolute humanitarian crisis,” said Amanda Misiko Andere, CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness and Chair of the Momentum Fund Advisory Board. “It is essential that the philanthropic sector continues to dedicate itself to this work, which includes addressing the devastating and deadly human health, economic, and social impacts that are befalling millions of people of color and vulnerable families across the nation every day.”

Connecticut Community Foundation and the United Way continue to review requests for funding on a rolling basis. For more information, visit https://conncf.org/covid-19-response-fund/ or https://www.unitedwaygw.org/give/covid19responsefund.

To view a complete list of Momentum Fund grantees, visit www.momentumfund.org.