(June 8, 2017, Warren, Ohio) – The Raymond John Wean Foundation awarded grants totaling $193,000 at its June Board of Directors meeting. Each project represented in this quarter’s funding demonstrates the Foundation’s mission of leveraging a powerful combination of support, alignment and partnerships with other organizations to advance community-building in the Mahoning Valley.

Grants from the Foundation’s responsive portfolio are:

In support of We Are Warren, an initiative that seeks to bolster existing programming and better utilize community resources to ensure that Warren’s youth live safe, healthy, productive lives, Inspiring Minds and the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership were awarded funding.  Inspiring Minds for Warren City School student’s participation in its six-week summer enrichment program in addition to the 2017-18 academic year component and Eastern Ohio Education Partnership for continued professional development for youth services program providers and educators.

The Ohio Transformation Fund (OTF) for its work to address the impact of mass criminalization and incarceration in Ohio’s communities. Matching funding from the Ford Foundation, the Wean Foundation, along with its Ohio partners, support on-the-ground work in community organizing, policy advocacy and civic engagement programs.  The partners of the collaboration understand that maximizing connections and aligning funder dollars is a model stronger than funders responding individually.

“Funding from OTF has allowed our advocacy power to grow exponentially.  In partnership with other OTF grantees, we’ve engaged in powerful intra-state connections, leveraged lobbying efforts and gained increased recognition and voice in the statehouse,” said Stephen JohnsonGrove, senior attorney, Ohio Justice and Policy Center. “This high-level access is vital to directly impacting communities through street-level, power-building organizations and people. This is an electrifying experience for OJPC and all our partners.”

In further partnership with the OTF, the Joyce Foundation and other Ohio funders, the Rockwood Leadership Institute, will roll out an Ohio-based fellowship. The Leadership Now: Ohio project will focus on building the capacity of social change leaders. Twenty-four Ohioans from multiple sectors, including several from the Valley, will convene and collaborate at three multi-day retreats infused with Ohio-specific workshops, network mapping and individual leadership coaching sessions to equip these leaders for Ohio’s critical role in local and national issues.

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