The OKC Black Justice Fund sought to advance racial equity and justice in Oklahoma City.
It provided financial support to Black-led organizations, along with others who can support the mission. The fund, located at the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma, provided grants to organizations for the following focus areas:
Performing research, data analysis and reporting to determine the current state of human rights and racial equity in Oklahoma City and identify recommendations for improvement. Additional funding, outside of the Black Justice Fund, may be available for proposals in this area.
Advancing economic and leadership development, civic engagement and advocacy efforts in Northeast Oklahoma City and other historically under-resourced communities.
Supporting community-led partnerships between law enforcement and the Black community.
Implementing community-led policing reforms in areas including, but not limited to, diversity in recruiting and hiring practices, de-escalation and racial sensitivity training, and citizen engagement and oversight.
A committee composed of local donors and Black community leaders direct the Fund.
Andre’ B. Caldwell
Ron C. Bacy
Tania L. Smith
Caroline Ikard | American Fidelity
Kelly Gray | McLaughlin Family Foundation
Natalie Carns | Sarkeys Foundation
Sarah Roberts | Inasmuch Foundation
Scotia Moore | Flourish OKC
Sue Ann Arnall | Arnall Family Foundation
Total Funds Raised
The following organizations were awarded grants from the OKC Black Justice Fund. The organizations were selected by the 12 members of the evaluation committee that was equally made up of community and funding representatives.
Beta Eta Lambda Scholarship Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha
Alpha Boys Institute: Founded in 2013 by the Beta Eta Lambda Scholarship Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Boys Institute is designed to change the plight of at-risk middle school boys by teaching them life skills and introducing them to a variety of career and trade opportunities. Male students at F.D. Moon Middle School and Millwood Middle School participate in the program, which aims to reduce the dropout rate, reduce juvenile crime involvement, and improve the education mindset for participants.
NE OKC Community Impact Plan: BlackSpace Oklahoma (BSOK) exists as a bridge between Black communities and the design and city planning resources necessary to promote social and spatial change. BlackSpace seeks to engage community members and local stakeholders in the Northeast Oklahoma City community to develop a community framework, rooted in the knowledge and desires of its residents, which can be used to guide future development efforts. A community plan, created through a series of workshops and trainings, will empower local leadership and provide them with a tool to help clearly communicate shared goals and advocate for community needs.
Frederick A. Douglass Academy of Law and Public Safety
Frederick A. Douglass Academy of Law and Public Safety: The Frederick A. Douglass Academy of Law & Public Safety serves as an academic and career-placement program that exposes high school students to the diverse aspects of law, public safety, criminal justice/corrections, and government education and professions. Funding will support the continuation of the mock trial program, internship opportunities, participation in law leadership programs and conferences, and partnerships with local leaders in law and public safety fields. The program aims to improve relationships between its students and law enforcement, increase the number of students transitioning to criminal justice professions, and increase scholarships and enrollment at colleges and universities with criminal justice programs.
External Award*: $18,000
Freedom City, Inc.
Freedom Girls: Freedom City, Inc. works to close the civic engagement gap between white and Black youth through its Freedom Girls program at F.D. Moon Middle School. The program educates female students on the importance of civic engagement and provides them with tools to effectively advocate for themselves and others. Participants are exposed to different forms of artistic expression and then they identify a social issue in their community that they want to change. Using their favorite art form, they create a community impact project that they believe could bring about the change they want to see.
Hope for Generations
Hope for Generations: Hope for Generations has been serving the Lyrewood Community, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Northwest Oklahoma City, since April of 2014. Hope for Generations runs two mentorship programs – one for elementary students and one for teenagers – and they support single mothers in their community through a support network. The programs seek to build community leaders, break negative family cycles, and increase high school graduation rates and post-secondary education and trade participation. Funding supports a program coordinator to expand the mentorship program for elementary students.
Northeast OKC Renaissance Inc.
PlaceKeepers – Inclusive, Ethical, Place-based Developer Training: The mission of Northeast OKC Renaissance is to be a catalyst for ethical, place-based community development in Northeast Oklahoma City (NEOKC). This grant will support NEOKCR’s efforts to provide sustainable real estate and small business development programming designed to empower and equip Black residents and stakeholders of NEOKC. NEOKCR programming will help overcome generations of intentional suppression by engaging residents as real estate developers, business owners, and job creators. By using proven models of training, connecting participating developers to a network of aspiring Black homeowners, and increasing accessibility to capital, this program is expected to increase Black homeownership at levels that offset the displacement caused by gentrification.
Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce
Small Minority-Owned Business Viability Project: The OKC Black Chamber of Commerce (OKCBCC) will provide a six-week training series to help prepare new and existing businesses to strengthen their financial operations so that they may not only prosper, but also become eligible for small business loans and grants. COVID-19 exposed, through the availability of PPP loans from the federal government, that a pocket of minority-owned businesses were not eligible for much needed help and relief due to their lack of financial requirements. OKCBCC will help prepare these businesses for future financing opportunities through training on budgeting, tax responsibility and tax structure, payroll and savings, insurance requirements and needs, and liabilities and assets.
Oklahoma Black Physicians Alliance
Oklahoma Black Physicians Alliance: OBPA is a newly formed collective of Black physicians partnering to address health disparities and promote health education within the Black community. OBPA seeks to form partnerships with existing organizations and agencies who share their mission to promote health equity reform and to address the social and environmental constraints that serve as barriers to optimizing health outcomes; to develop working relationships with state legislators; to identify healthcare service gaps in the community; and to use their expertise to strengthen the capacity of existing agencies to meet community needs through education and sharing of resources.
Oklahoma City Police Department FACT Unit
Oklahoma City Police Department FACT Unit: The Family Awareness and Community Teamwork (FACT) Unit is a youth outreach program of the Oklahoma City Police Department that targets youth ages 10-17. The program works to help them fight the pressure of gangs, decrease involvement in juvenile delinquency, and improve the general relations between minority youth and police, while inspiring good character and citizenship. This grant will be used to expand current programming through the recruitment of new volunteers, for various computers and software needed to produce and manage a new social media campaign, and to improve retreats for youth in the program.
External Award*: $37,500
Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Oklahoma County
The OIC Business Academy: OIC’s mission is to inspire and motivate adult learners through academic and career education. The OIC Business Academy aims to make a difference in the ability of African Americans to start and sustain businesses that lead to generational wealth creation for their households. The12-week academy will cover four key modules of training: building the dream, building the foundation, building the infrastructure, and building the business. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive assistance with identifying venture capital to start their business.
Progress OKC, a Community Development Corporation
Inclusive Small Business Growth and Recovery for Underrepresented Businesses: Progress OKC supports and revitalizes Oklahoma City communities that have experienced significant disinvestment. This grant will support the fees associated with Progress OKC becoming a Kiva Hub. Kiva is a national program that provides 0% interest loans between $1 and $10,000 that are designed to create access to opportunity for the most excluded entrepreneurs. As a Kiva Hub, Progress OKC will help facilitate affordable, risk-tolerant microloans to entrepreneurs in Oklahoma City that are currently underserved by traditional banks and even mission-driven nonprofit lenders.
Prospect Community Development Corporation
Community-led Partnerships Between Law Enforcement and the Black Community: The Prospect Community Development Corporation sponsors projects that enhance the community, particularly in the Northeast quadrant of Oklahoma City. This project aims to promote police sensitivity toward Black and Brown citizens, to promote mutual respect between the community and the police force, and to attract a more diverse candidates for local law enforcement. This funding will support police distribution of backpacks, teacher appreciation lunches, and holiday turkeys for the staff and students of Thelma Parks Elementary and F.D. Moon Middle School. It will also support events, including a community basketball tournament, police recruitment seminars, and a youth poetry night, that all seek to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the community in Northeast Oklahoma City.
External Award*: $18,000
She’s a BOSSE
Daily Affirmations for Young Girls of Color: The purpose of She’s a BOSSE: Leadership and Etiquette Cliniques is to help young ladies recognize proper traits and behaviors that reflect a budding woman of intelligence, grace, and self-love. This grant will support a program for girls ages 8-12 at elementary schools in Northeast Oklahoma City, during which each girl will receive a coloring book that promotes literacy, self-efficacy, and self-confidence.
Shiloh Summer Camp: Shiloh Camp exists to transform Oklahoma City’s inner city through sports, arts, and meaningful relationships. The camp has 40 acres of wooded hills, open fields, streams, and ponds in the heart of Oklahoma City. Shiloh Camp offers 4 weeks of summer camp designed for urban youth ages 8-17, in addition to family retreats and the ASCEND young leaders program. Through culturally relevant programming, committed mentors, dynamic activities, and outdoor educational experiences, Shiloh Camp aims to turn its campers into change makers who will return to their communities to make a positive impact.
Speaks 4 You, Incorporated
The Virtual Scholarship Program – Making Money Moves IN & BEFORE College: Speaks 4 You, Inc. was created in 2017 as an organization that specializes in tailoring speaking, presentations, seminars, and workshops alike to the audience for which is being targeted. The Making Money Moves IN & BEFORE College program was founded to teach all students about scholarship opportunities, and specifically focuses on those that identify as minorities, live in low-income households, and attend poorly funded schools. Program attendees learn how to search, identify, apply, obtain, and maintain scholarships for their college education. This grant will be used to acquire software and hardware for students in Oklahoma City to use to learn about scholarships.
Stronger Together Movement
United Voice Podcast: Since 2014, the Stronger Together Movement has pursued a vision to transform cities into bridges of hope through unity, compassion, and celebration. A key initiative of Stronger Together is United Voice Oklahoma, a project that brings local media outlets together to give Oklahoma a united voice in promoting a healthy dialogue on race. The United Voice podcast launched in 2019 and has produced 35 episodes focusing on healthy dialogues about race in our community. With this grant, the United Voice team will improve the production value, reach, and visibility of the podcast. By reaching more people, they hope to increase awareness and opportunities to engage with and advocate for the many issues in our community where race is a key factor.
Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, Inc.
Highlighting Expungement and Rehabilitative Excellence (HERE): The Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, Inc. (ULOKC) has promoted and championed equity and equality for African Americans, other minorities, and the poor in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area for over 73 years. This grant supports ULOKC’s efforts to bring greater access to Black and Brown communities through tools to seal their records and connect them to the greater workforce and housing solutions. This effort will include an annual expungement fair that is open to the public and aims to help individuals who want to explore having their records sealed if their arrest did not end in a conviction or if they have completed their sentence and are eligible.
Who Was Eligible?
Any organizations or groups that were working to advance racial equity and justice in Oklahoma City could have applied for a grant. Organizations did not need to be a 501(c)(3) to be eligible for funding, and there were no limitations on the size or type of the organization.
Some of the applicants were granted external funding outside of the Black Justice Fund. The following are the external awards given by the Arnall Family Foundation.
In the News
KOCO News 5 | Black-led organizations fighting for racial justice, equity receive grants worth almost $300K
The Oklahoman | OKC Black Justice Fund awards nearly $300K in grants
Fox 25 | Deadline approaches for OKC Black Justice Fund
KOCO News 5 | Nearly $300,000 available for Black-led organizations in metro to fight for racial justice
New 9 | OKC BLACK JUSTICE FUND SEEKING GRANT APPLICANTS
The Oklahoman | Nearly $300K available to Black-led organizations in the metro to advance racial equity
The Oklahoman | OKC Black Justice Fund to award local grants, address racial equity