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Comcast, NBC/Telemundo Stations Award $3.475M in Equity & Inclusion Grants

NBCUniversal Local
(Image credit: NBCUniversal Local)

NEW YORK—The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBCUniversal Local, an NBCU division that runs the NBC/Telemundo owned stations, has announced that 90 non-profit organizations located in 11 U.S. markets will receive a total of $3.475 million in “Project Innovation” grants this year to support programs that are designed to uplift diverse communities. 

“Supporting non-profits in the communities where we do businesses is core to our philanthropic strategy at NBCUniversal,” said Jessica Clancy, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, NBCUniversal. “We’re honored to partner with NBCUniversal Local to make these grants to organizations who are enhancing equality in their cities.” 

Project Innovation participating markets include New York (WNBC, WNJU), Southern California (KNBC, KVEA), Chicago (WMAQ, WSNS), Philadelphia (WCAU, WWSI), Dallas-Fort Worth (KXAS, KXTX), Boston (WBTS, WNEU, NECN), Hartford, CT (WVIT, WRDM), Washington, D.C. (WRC-TV, WZDC), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (WTVJ, WSCV), San Francisco Bay Area (KNTV, KSTS), and San Diego (KNSD, KUAN).

The full list of 2022 Project Innovation grant recipients is available here.  

Eligible non-profits were selected for funding in four grant categories including Community Engagement, Culture of Inclusion, Next Generation Storytellers and Youth Education & Empowerment. 

Since 2018, the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBC/Telemundo owned stations have presented a total of $14.3 million in Project Innovation grants to 389 non-profits.  

“Our grant program has helped hundreds of non-profit organizations expand and deepen their work in our communities,” added Valari Staab, chairman, NBCUniversal Local. “This year’s grantees are helping individuals reach their full potential and empowering youth and children to be our next generation of storytellers, technologists and community leaders.”

Here is a market by market snapshot of some of this year’s Project Innovation grant winners:

New York: The Arthur Project

The group’s “Therapeutic Mentoring” program provides in-school and out-of-school middle school students the tools they need to strengthen their academic performance and social emotional well-being. The program includes individualized therapeutic mentoring during the school day, after school and on weekends that addresses trauma and focuses on building trust and positive relationship skills.

Southern California: Westside Infant Family Network (WIN)

Westside Infant Family Network (WIN)’s “In-Home Mental Health Therapy” program provides culturally-sensitive mental health care and community resources to families and children from the prenatal stage through five-years of age, to help prevent complex trauma and mental health issues from permanently impacting the healthy mental, physical and social-emotional development of children.

Chicago: Chicago Baseball & Education Academy

The organization’s “Community Partner” program will be expanded to allow the Chicago Baseball and Education Academy to partner with more organizations to help even more children. The group opens its doors and professional-level baseball facilities at the University of Illinois-Chicago – at no charge – to area youth baseball organizations to provide a safe space and updated facilities for children to play during the summer and winter. The group also offers customized programming to children including college tours, mentoring, sports night, and more.

Philadelphia: Center for Black Educator Development

The group focuses on equity, recruiting, training, hiring and retention of Black educators that reflect the cultural background of the students they serve.  The “Freedom Schools of Literacy Academy” program will expand its five-week summer program to an after-school program for the 2022-23 academic year for young scholars in Grades 1-3, and will provide free enrollment for participating students and compensation to the program’s high school and college education apprentices.

Dallas Fort Worth: Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute

Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute’s “Closing of the COVID-19 Reading & Math Learning Gap” program addresses the learning loss students in Grades K-5 have experienced throughout the pandemic, including the widening of racial and economic learning gaps. Certified teachers, assisted by trained volunteers, assess students individually for need and create a customized learning plan for each student. The grant will allow the organization to increase the number of math and reading tutorial programs to meet the increased demand for services.

Bay Area: Kingmakers of Oakland

King Makers of Oakland's mission is to dramatically improve educational experiences, outcomes, and life options for Black students and their families who have been historically underserved by their schools and districts. Their model uses John A. Powell’s groundbreaking work, targeted universalism, which confirms that improving academic outcomes for the most marginalized students – Black males – can lead to improving outcomes for all students over time. The grant will be used to train 60 more Student Leaders to be proficient in narrative change, media production, distribution and event production as part of their Kingmakers of Oakland “KOO” Media Academy program.

Washington, D.C: Shout Mouse Press Inc.

Shout Mouse Press is a writing and publishing program dedicated to amplifying underheard voices. Through writing workshops that lead to professional book publication, they coach young people (ages 12+) from marginalized communities to tell their own stories in their own voices, as published authors, and to act as leaders and agents of change. Shout Mouse Press will use the Project Innovation grant to expand their existing programming by working with teen parents to author board books inspired by their children, and then coaching them to be early childhood literacy ambassadors for their communities.

Boston: Urban Food Initiative

The Urban Food Initiative, “The Daily Table,” solves realistic barriers to food and nutrition insecurity for seniors, homebound individuals, those who rely on public transportation, and the disadvantaged. Their program innovatively created an online ordering system – with no markup, 30% cheaper than in grocery stores, and with free delivery – to increase food bank equity.

Miami/Fort-Lauderdale: Miami Homes For All

Miami Homes For All has been working to end and prevent homelessness in Miami-Dade County for nearly forty years. Grant funding will go towards the Miami-Dade Eviction Task Force (ETF) program, which works to ensure that rental assistance is reaching low income, BIPOC households, who not only experience cost-burden at significantly higher rates than white households, but also experience serious systemic barriers in accessing resources.

San Diego: Promises2 Kids Foundation

Promises2Kids Foundation's mission is to create a brighter future for San Diego’s foster children. The group’s “Guardian Scholars” program, which serves 47% Latino, 24% Black as well as LGBTQIA+ youth, provides current and former foster youth access to group and individual support to ensure that youth successfully graduate from high school and identify an education and career pathway that maximizes their interests to help them lead a healthy and self-sufficient adulthood. The Project Innovation grant will be used to facilitate more mentor recruitment and connection to culturally meaningful opportunities in the broader community.

Harford, CT: Connecticut Violence Intervention Program Inc

Connecticut Violence Intervention Program serves young adults between the ages of 14-24 who have been involved directly or have been victims of violence, and who have been traumatized or otherwise affected by community violence. The organization will use the grant funds to support various programs that provide a safe environment for youth in the Greater New Haven area, who are exposed to or are victims of abuse, while helping to offer effective solutions to control and prevent crime in the community.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.