Racial Justice in Health

Program Overview:

The Foundation is pleased to announce a new, two-year grant program under the Structural Racism and Racial Inequities in Health focus area. The program will provide up to $50,000 in the initial year of funding for people of color-led, grassroots organizations to strengthen their capacity and expertise in health and health care advocacy. In addition to grant funding, the program will provide technical assistance for organizations interested in dismantling institutional and structural racism in health and health care delivery through community engagement, building grassroots power, and developing campaigns, strategic partnerships, and policy advocacy to improve the health care experience in Massachusetts for communities of color.

Funding Guidelines and Criteria:

The BCBSMA Foundation, in partnership with the Rx Foundation, will select at least six grassroots, people of color-led organizations (defined below) to receive up to $50,000 in the initial year of grant support to defray the staff costs of participating in the program and/or to fund organizational transformation activity. Selected organizations will be asked to budget at least 15 percent of grant funds for modest capacity building activities and/or coaching activities that are specifically tailored to their unique organizational needs and interests.

In addition to grant funding, the Foundation will provide technical assistance for people of color-led organizations interested in dismantling institutional and structural racism in health and health care delivery through community engagement, building grassroots power, and developing campaigns.  The grant program will advance in two phases over two years to ensure that that selected organizations may play a strong leadership role in advancing policies and practices to promote racial justice and equity in health and health care delivery in Massachusetts.

By the end of the program, grant partners will demonstrate:

  • A commitment to internal infrastructure transformation through a focus on one or more of the following areas: governance, internal operations and management, sustainability and fundraising, communication and messaging, leadership development, data acquisition and analysis, evaluation
  • The capacity to effectively engage community members to identify health-related community challenges and influence positive change
  • Active participation in a coalition or partnership to address the challenges identified by community members
  • A commitment to launching or meaningfully participating in a policy advocacy initiative or community engagement effort focused on health and the health care experience for people of color in Massachusetts
     

Eligible Applicants:

In reviewing proposals for Racial Justice in Health grant program, the Foundation will only consider people of color-led, grassroots organizations. 

The BCBSMA Foundation defines people of color led organizations as organizations where:

  • 75 percent of the highest paid staff members identify as people of color (from one or more of the following racial and ethnic backgrounds: African American/Black, Asian or Pacific Islander, Latino/a/e/x, Indigenous, and/or any other identities of color not listed); and

  • At least 51 percent of the board are people of color; and

  • Primarily serve people of color (75 percent of the population served)

The BCBSMA Foundation defines grassroots organizations as organizations that:

  • Are run by the people directly concerned with and impacted by the issues they seek to address, and therefore, have a deep understanding of the needs and experiences of their constituents. 
  • Use community-based and resident-driven approaches in identifying and solving critical local or statewide issues.

 

Racial Justice in Health Proposal Timeline: Interested applicants are invited to submit a Letter of Inquiry, or brief pre-application, by July 20, 2021 12:00PM. The following is a detailed outline for the complete application process:

  • Q&A Webinar: June 28, 2021, 10:00AM
  • LOI Due: July 20, 2021, 12:00PM
  • Notification of Next Steps: August 17, 2021
  • Full Proposals Due: September 14, 2021, 12:00PM
  • Decision: December 2021