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December 16, 2021

BPI Announces First Building an Inclusive Economy Grant Recipients in a Record Grantmaking Year

The Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI) announces $140,000 in grants awarded through its new Building an Inclusive Economy grants program.  

The fall 2021 grant cycle focused on building economic empowerment for Black households in Forsyth County by addressing one or more of the following areas BPI sees as critical to building economic security and prosperity: creating accessible pathways to family-sustaining and high-paying careers, offering tools for wealth-building and financial stability, and supporting a thriving community of Black-owned businesses.  

BPI’s incoming board chair Corlis Sellers notes, "This year marks BPI’s expansion into building an inclusive economy. By expanding our focus to fund organizations that promote greater access to higher paying jobs, offer tools to promote financial stability, and strengthen and expand Black-owned businesses, we hope to make significant impact in Forsyth County.”

Grants were awarded to:  

  • Dress for Success Winston-Salem: $5,000 for a pilot financial and entrepreneurial education program for Black women ages 18 to 30
  • HUSTLE Winston-Salem: $15,000 for mentoring, coaching, and resource support for entrepreneurs and business owners of color  
  • LEAD Girls of North Carolina: $15,000 to provide leadership development, career and vocational exploration, and industry -matched mentors for up to 20 Carver High School freshman
  • Memorial Industrial CDC: $15,000 to engage community in planning a comprehensive and sustainable local food and farm program that will provide access to land and training for prospective farmers
  • Neighborhood's Hands: $15,000 to support a workforce development program    
  • The Do School: $15,000 to support a 20-weekconstruction skills training program          
  • S. G. Atkins CDC, The Enterprise Center: $15,000 to offer an evidence-based program to help women of color gain confidence and develop an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Sherman Academy Inc: $15,000 to offer a financial management and wealth-building program for young children            
  • Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce: $15,000 to support a 15-weekbusiness boot camp            
  • The Dream Team Foundation, Inc: $15,000 to offer financial education workshops for youth, adults, families, and business owners  

BPI’s grants are possible thanks to the collective pooling of resources from generous individuals, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and other local partners. In 2021 BPI has provided $220,000 in grants to local programs and initiatives, investing over 93% of those funds into Black-led organizations supporting the local Black community.  

Sellers adds, “We are so grateful for the support of the Winston-Salem community that has made it possible for us to award the greatest amount of funding in a single year in BPI’s history!  We look forward to continuing our work together to build a stronger and more prosperous community."

BPI currently offers three grant programs: Impact Grants, Advancing Equity in Education Grants, and Inclusive Economy Grants. BPI will accept video applications for its Impact Grants program starting on Friday, January 7. To learn more about these grant programs and to find ways to contribute to this work, visit

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