By Leigh Bohannon

Black Parent Initiative Logo

The grant will support Black Parent Initiative and Joy DeGruy Publications work to advance Racial Justice Field Support, with a Focus on Combatting Anti-Blackness.

Black Parent Initiative with Joy DeGruy Publications was awarded a $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for its work to increase cultural competence through cultural education, research and EBPM development. As well as build community capacity and partnerships.

The grant is part of roughly $80 million in awards MacArthur announced today in support of the foundation’s Equitable Recovery initiative, centered on advancing racial and ethnic justice. The initiative is funded by MacArthur’s social bonds, issued in response to the crises of the pandemic and racial inequity.

“We are passionately compassionate about our community. Our strength and resilience will help us persevere through any hardship. We have always used faith and joy to sustain us, and we will continue to use joy, creativity, and innovation because we have had to make a way out of no way, forever.” Black Parent Initiative’s Executive Director, Bahia Overton continues, “BPI is here to help shoulder the weight of these challenges and to be a source of strength and healing.”

“As we emerge from this moment of crisis, we have an opportunity to improve the critical systems that people and places need to thrive. Our systems and structures must be rebuilt,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “We are committed to ensuring that our response to the pandemic is focused on supporting the reimagining of systems that create a more just, equitable, and resilient world.”

BPI is a culture-specific, community-centered organization that co-designs and collaborates with our families to ensure that we create innovative, culturally relevant and sustainable interventions and opportunities to help them thrive.

Black Parent Initiative in partnership with Joy DeGruy Publications is one of 37 organizations receiving grants advancing the Racial Justice Field Support, with a Focus on Combatting Anti-Blackness focus area of the Foundation’s initiative. Racial Justice Field Support, with a focus on combatting anti-Blackness, supports building Black power by supporting Black-led and focused philanthropic organizations. MacArthur also will take a leadership role in positioning reparations and racial healing as issues that philanthropy helps to meaningfully address.

To advance racial and ethnic justice, MacArthur is supporting work in that focus, as well as three other areas:
• Self-determination of Indigenous Peoples supports uplifting Indigenous communities to enable autonomous pursuit of a recovery guided by their priorities, cultures, and practices.
• Public Health Equity and COVID-19 Mitigation and Recovery supports improving access to resources for immediate health challenges while advancing new policies, models, and structures to support a more equitable and resilient public health sector in the future.
• An Equitable Housing Demonstration Project supports restoring communities and reducing incarceration and housing instability by generating an array of housing solutions that can help to permanently end the use of jails and prisons as housing of last resort.

MacArthur identified the areas through a participatory process with a diverse group of external advisors, who informed its strategic approach. The participatory process aimed to center the voices of communities that are affected by the Foundation’s decisions and have a stake in the grant-making outcomes.

This is the first time Black Parent Initiative and Joy DeGruy Publications have received a grant from MacArthur. Almost two-thirds of the awards represent new grantee relationships, and most of the organizations are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led or -serving. The grants also reflect MacArthur’s global reach: 45 percent of the new funding supports work outside of the U.S., including 12 percent in India, and 14 percent in Nigeria, where MacArthur has offices.

Equitable Recovery Initiative

In the fall of 2020, MacArthur established a $125 million Equitable Recovery Initiative. The Foundation deployed $40 million of bond proceeds through 24 grants. Initial grants focused on strengthening voter mobilization and election protection, addressing anti-Black racism, and supporting Native Americans impacted by COVID-19. Grants also supported Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts organizations in Chicago, technology and justice, and a fund for social entrepreneurs advancing racial equity.

View all Equitable Recovery grantees.

MacArthur media contact: Kristen Mack,

Black Parent Initiative Media contact: Leigh Bohannon;

About Black Parent Initiative

The Black Parent Initiative (BPI) was established in 2006 to help families achieve financial, educational and spiritual success. BPI was founded and organized on a large body of educational research that demonstrates the importance of parental and family engagement in attaining educational success for children.