United Way of Greater Portland Announces Equity Fund Recipients


Eight new programs are the recipients of a total of $239,173 from the United Way of Greater Portland’s (UWGP) newly established Racial Equity Fund according to a press release issued this morning.

The 8 programs are:

Presente! Maine, $54,003.; Cross Cultural Community Services, $46,500.; In Her Presence, $37,000,; Gateway Community Services Maine, $36,670.; Maine Association for New Americans, $30,000.; Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, $15,000.; Intercultural Community Center, $15,000.; Al Badoo Community Association of Maine, $5,000.

Funding priorities focus on capacity-building, technical assistance and strengthening organizations and programs overall to help address inequities demonstrated by established organizations having stronger infrastructure, funding networks, data and metrics.  The selected programs serve at least 50% people of color (POC).

Regina Phillips, Co-Founder of Cross Cultural Community Services and a professional consultant, said:  “As a new organization co-founded by three (3) black women from different countries, we are o excited to receive an investment from United Way of Greater Portland’s Racial Equity Fund for our Parent Ambassador Training Program.  Parents who have traditionally been left out of conversations about policy and curriculum, will now feel more comfortable connecting with school staff and participating in school activities so their children will see a successful connection and relationship between home and school, which will, in turn, increase their changes to graduate.”

To further reduce inequities in the nonprofit sector related to funding and network access, UWGP made outreach and raising awareness of The Fund a top priority.  Additionally, UWGP provided preparation and technical assistance support and retained five independent grant writers who provided up to four hours of assistance to each potential applicant.

“United Way of Greater Portland made a concerted effort to ensure local nonprofits led by and serving Black, Indigenous and People of Color who may operate outside of the traditional, white-centered networks had opportunity, access and additional resources to apply.  That was a central theme of The Fund from conception through the award process,” said Liz Cotter- Schlax, President and CEO. UWGP.  “In order for our community to achieve the Thrive 2027 goals, we need all members of our community to have a place at the table, so we can provide and implement solutions together that take into account the unique experiences of diverse populations, especially our Black and African American neighbors.”