After gun violence claimed the life of a Cedar Rapids teen in 2015, community members came together to form the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities (SET) Task Force. For two years, the task force engaged community partners, including the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Cedar Rapids Community School District, local nonprofit organizations and neighborhood groups. The goal of the task force was to address systemic causes of youth violence in Linn County to move toward safer, more equitable and thriving communities.
In a February 2017 report, the task force made recommendations that target improved economic opportunity, educational success, safe and affordable housing, supportive law enforcement practices and improved access to youth programming and other health and human services. In 2018 the task force asked the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to help facilitate a competitive grantmaking process focused on working toward those recommendations.
Contributions from the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County and the Cedar Rapids Community School District were used to establish the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund. This fund is open for contributions from the community and will grant at least $160,000 each year, for a minimum of three years, to nonprofits and other eligible applicants who are working to make our community safe, equitable and thriving.
In February 2019, Rachel Rockwell joined the Community Foundation team and the fund’s first grant cycle was announced for summer 2019 programming. To learn more, click here.
The second grant cycle is currently underway for the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund. To learn more and to access the application materials, click here.
To donate to the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities fund, click here.
Policy Committee Minutes:
On October 29, 2019, the Community Foundation was awarded a Gazette Business Excellence Award for its work on this effort. Watch the video below that was shared at the event.