Since 2018, Echoing Green and the Citi Foundation have been partners in building a more inclusive social entrepreneurship sector by supporting emerging leaders that serve and represent communities of color. In 2021, the Citi Foundation expanded its support with a two-year, $2.5 million grant for Echoing Green’s newly launched Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund, which is working to scale social enterprises focusing on racial equity throughout the U.S.
Action for Racial Equity
In 2020, Citi and the Citi Foundation announced Action for Racial Equity, a comprehensive set of strategic initiatives that harness the core capabilities of each institution to help close the racial wealth gap in the U.S. As part of this effort, the Citi Foundation is providing $100 million in grants to support community change agents addressing issues of racial equity in each of our focus areas by 2023. Learn more about our focus areas here. These investments build on a long history of support to organizations that are working to level the playing field for people of color in the U.S. Our efforts center on both “what we fund” and “how we fund.”
The Citi Foundation is committed to adopting anti-racist principles and applying a racial equity lens across our policies and procedures. In doing so, we aim to provide funding to organizations with people of color in leadership positions, that engage communities of color in designing and implementing the programs that impact them and that elevate the dialogue around advancing racial equity in our communities. Progress requires action from organizations at different stages in their journey to embed racial equity in their efforts, so the Citi Foundation is committed to investing in organizations across the spectrum and providing flexible support to help grantees further their approaches and practices.
Highlights of Citi Foundation’s Action for Racial Equity investments:
Youth Economic Opportunities
Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Citi Foundation provided a $1 million grant to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to launch the HBCU Career Incubator Program on 30 HBCU campuses. Over the next two years, this new initiative will provide 2,000 first-year HBCU students with the critical support they need to graduate and to pursue their chosen career paths.
Financial Health Network
In 2020, the Citi Foundation committed $3 million over three years to support the next phase of the Financial Health Pulse Initiative (Pulse) to shine a spotlight on economic disparities across race, gender and age and identify solutions through timely and comprehensive data sets to dismantle systemic barriers to financial health. The first set of data released in February showed millions are still struggling one year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Citi Foundation continues its long-time partnership with Living Cities as a founding supporter of the Closing the Gaps Network. The network will bring together municipal leaders from cities across the U.S. to understand how systemic racism impacts their cities and residents, and provides support to experiment, document and share lessons learned on how to address racial disparities and how to accelerate the adoption of best practices that close racial income and wealth gaps.
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
The Citi Foundation is supporting the Joint Center’s Data for Black America project, which aims to help public and private sector decision-makers better understand the needs of Black communities. The project addresses a gap in data and offers a deep analysis of the needs of different segments of the Black community. Through this initiative, the Citi Foundation and the Joint Center intend to inform and drive a more inclusive national economic recovery.