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The Center for Equitable Family & Community Well-Being Receives $1 Million Grant from Washtenaw County

September 23, 2023

The Center for Equitable Family & Community Well-Being, led by Professor Trina Shanks, has received a $1 million contract to evaluate American Rescue Plan (ARP) money directed through the Washtenaw County Racial Equity Office.

Passed in March 2021, the ARP was designed to provide relief and support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan supports community investments in programs and infrastructure to build stronger, more equitable post-pandemic economies.

The center’s team of faculty, staff and students will evaluate county-approved projects, including a financial equity center, expansion of local broadband service, and a community priority fund, which will direct grants to nonprofits expanding capacity while cultivating sustainable funding sources to continue their work. 

“These organizations serve parts of the county that historically have been underinvested in and not received substantial public funding,” Shanks said. Small organizations that stepped up during the pandemic—regarding public safety, homelessness, education and basic needs—can now grow, become secure and have sustainable impact.

“We believe that an intentional focus on those whose work hasn’t been acknowledged with federal funding, especially people of color, will bring greater equity to the system and involve the people closest to the solutions,” she said.

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