Funding awarded to promoting anti-racism within the Pioneer Valley

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts has granted $150,000 for promoting anti-racism within the Pioneer Valley over the next three years.

Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley (HRIPV) is an organization that assists individuals and institutions with diversity, equity, and inclusion in workplaces and promote equitable growth in the region. The funding will support online and in-person training to community members.

“How do we learn? Can we do in a conversation? What can we do as an employer, as a community member as a family member to mostly not make mistakes,” said Vanessa Otero, Director of Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley.

According to the Community Foundation, the multi-year funding approach will guarantee revenue stability while HRIPV meets demands for its services and continues its capital campaign efforts.

Katie Allan Zobel, President and CEO of the Foundation, said, “As an alumna of HRIPV’s two-day anti-racism training, I know what a powerful experience it is. I have seen firsthand the transformation in the community that HRIPV has catalyzed. That is why the Foundation is investing in them to help expand their capacity for the future.”

“We recognize the critical role HRIPV can play in creating shared understanding, connecting diverse members of our community, and dismantling systems that perpetuate inequalities. I’m optimistic about our partnership with HRIPV and encourage others to join us to work together toward a more equitable region,” she added.

Paul Murphy, Chair of the CFWM Board of Trustees, said, “The Healing Racism Institute is a recognized leader in promoting anti-racism within the Pioneer Valley.  We welcome the opportunity to partner with HRIPV in the expansion of its transformative program. We’re delighted to grant this funding as part of our commitment to invest and foster racial equity in our communities.” 

Dr. Frank Robinson, Board Chair of the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley, said, “We welcome and celebrate this crucial grant for the important work we are doing to create more equitable communities and see the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts as a critical partner in that work.”

Since 2012 HRIPV has had over 1,000 community members participate in its programming.

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