Kent-based Mother Africa’s 2021 I am an artist camp. COURTESY PHOTO, Mother Africa

Kent-based Mother Africa’s 2021 I am an artist camp. COURTESY PHOTO, Mother Africa

BECU awards $145,000 grant to Kent-based Mother Africa

Part of BECU’s Black Community Development Project for nonprofits

Kent-based Mother Africa will receive a $145,000 grant from BECU’s Black Community Development Project.

As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, BECU announced Nov. 18 the 2021 nonprofit recipients of its Black Community Development Project, a $5 million commitment over the next five years ($1 million per year) to support racial equity in its communities in Washington and South Carolina, according to a BECU press release.

Mother Africa, based in Kent since 2013, works with immigrant and refugee women and their families that face unique challenges in their adopted home, according to the nonprofit’s website. It works directly with the African community to improve access to health, education, safety and independence while celebrating diversity and engaging leaders.

“In our second year of this project, BECU is even more resolved in our commitment to invest in programs that help lessen economic disparities and promote equitable opportunities in our communities,” said Benson Porter, BECU’s president and CEO. “I am inspired by the work of these organizations and by our employees leading this project. Guided by our purpose and by working together, we can make an impact on the emotional, physical and financial well-being of BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) communities.”

Driven by the project’s focus, BECU is partnering with local nonprofits focused on improving the well-being of the Black community, are led by Black leaders and employ a predominately multicultural staff that is representative of the communities being served.

The program distributes funds to deserving organizations focused on promoting equitable opportunities in areas such as education, housing, civic advocacy and more.

Mother Africa was one of six groups that will receive an invitation-only community impact grant. The two years of funding ($72,500 per year) will be focused on reducing barriers and creating opportunities to improve the financial health of the Black community in one or more of the following categories:

Financial stability (education or workforce development), financial resilience (entrepreneurship or credit repair/wealth building) and financial education and literacy (homeownership or under banked communities).

In addition to Mother Africa, this year’s recipients of the invitation-only grant include Seattle based Brothers United in Leadership Development (B.U.I.L.D.); Charleston (South Carolina) Area Urban League; Foundation for Tacoma Schools; Seattle-based Technology Access Foundation; and Auburn-based Your Money Matters Mentoring.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the correct grant amount. An earlier version had a slightly higher amount due to a source error.

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