How 3 organizations will spend $65K in grants to support the BIPOC community

Three Holland area organizations have collectively received $65,000 from Women of Color GIVE (WOC Give).

The West Michigan philanthropic collective supports the advancement, development, and promotion of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). During the group’s annual Investment Night on Dec. 13, the organizations’ investors distributed this year’s grants.  
During the event, each organization shared how it plans to support BIPOC communities. Women of Color GIVE investors evaluated each presentation and determined the order in which funding would be distributed across the three organizations.

“Investment Night is an incredibly exciting event for our Women of Color GIVE investors,” says Kim Koeman, chair of Women of Color GIVE’s grants committee. “It’s an opportunity to connect with and directly impact some of the most influential organizations along the Lakeshore. 

“We are inspired by each nominee and award recipient and proud of how they support the advancement of the BIPOC community in West Michigan. We are excited to partner with each of them over this next year.”

Plans for grants
Ballet Folklorico Sol Azteca received $13,000 to provide a tiered class system ranging from introductory to performance-level classes. The funding will also go toward basic costume kits for participants who cannot afford them, instructor training, materials for costume production and accessories, and hosting instructors from Mexico to provide week-long dance workshops
Latin Americans United for Progress received $19,500 for a five-day trip for seniors in their iMás Adelante! program. This trip will be cultural, educational, and BIPOC-focused, with one to two days focused solely on youth professional development. Additionally, the grant will further support the organization's mental health workshops with BIPOC, bicultural, and bilingual clinician Elisa Pérez-Arellano.
Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates received $32,500 for its paid Internship program, which supports the staff and ensures each intern has an experience that supports them as they enter the workforce or other community outlets.
WOC Give Investors submitted and voted on 22 nominees during the grant process. The top three candidates were announced in October at WOC Give’s fourth annual event, The Future of Belonging.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.