Vibrant Pittsburgh and Urban Affairs Foundation Offer Mini Grants to Address Systemic Inequities in the COVID-19 Era Among the Region’s Diverse Community-Based Organizations

Two Western Pennsylvania champions of diversity — Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation, which is a part of the Community Relations Council (CRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh — have joined forces to implement this year’s Mini Grants Initiative: Systemic Inequities in the COVID-19 Era. Each organization has committed $25,000 to create a $50,000 pool to fund projects that increase the civic engagement of diverse and immigrant communities. This fund will promote diverse communities in the Pittsburgh region. This year’s theme is Systemic Inequities in the COVID-19 Era.

Sabrina Saunders Mosby, President and CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, said, “Building a more diverse and inclusive region is challenging work, but we don’t have to do it alone. In order to harness lasting change, we work in collaboration with inclusion partners like the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. I’m confident in the impact of our joint efforts to build a more just and equitable region because we are investing directly into communities in order to yield greater results. With the spotlight on systemic inequities and COVID-19 recovery, the 2021 Mini Grants initiative will provide much needed funding to communities doing the inclusion and equity work our region needs to pivot, thrive, and grow.”

Larry Lebowitz, chair of the Community Relations Council (CRC), described the partnership between the Urban Affairs Foundation and Vibrant Pittsburgh. “The mission of the Jewish Federation’s Urban Affairs Foundation is ‘to foster amicable relationships among ethnic, racial, national, religious, and other groups in our community.’ We view this partnership with Vibrant Pittsburgh as a way to support diverse communities and their contributions to the vitality of the region.”

Funding through the Vibrant Pittsburgh-Urban Affairs Foundation’s Systemic Inequities in the COVID-19 Era initiative will be available to applicants selected through a competitive proposal process. Lead organizations must maintain a physical presence in the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton Combined Statistical Area and have 501(c)3 non-profit status. Organizations can partner with other nonprofits, academic institutions, religious organizations, community groups, businesses and employee resource groups.

Projects eligible for Mini Grant funding should:

  • Create opportunities for civic engagement that result in a more inclusive and engaged multicultural region, and
  • Be collaborative by engaging diverse communities, organizations, or partners.

The term of proposed projects should be one year. The typical range of a grant award is $500-$7,500.

Grant application materials will be available starting Thursday, April 15th, 2021 at Completed grant applications are due by Friday, June 11th, 2021 and should be submitted electronically at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s grantmaking portal: Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Urban Affairs Foundation will announce Mini Grant awardees in August 2021.

Past Vibrant Pittsburgh Mini Grants have funded health and human services, housing, education, mentoring, professional networking, social support, welcoming initiatives, and job-connection programs for refugees and immigrants.

About Vibrant Pittsburgh

Vibrant Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the growth and economic competitiveness of the Pittsburgh region by engaging the region’s employers; attracting, retaining and elevating a diverse talent pool; and positioning the region nationally and internationally as an inclusive and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds. Vibrant Pittsburgh efforts and this Mini Grants initiative are made possible by Vibrant Pittsburgh Members; more information is available at

About Urban Affairs Foundation

The purpose of the Urban Affairs Foundation, part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council, is to promote the involvement of Jewish organizations and individuals in urban concerns. The Community Relations Council engages in public policy activities to promote harmonious relations and mutual understanding within and beyond the Jewish community and to support the State of Israel.

Contact, Vibrant Pittsburgh

Lora McKnight

Vibrant Pittsburgh

Contact, Urban Affairs Foundation

Laura Cherner

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

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