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New $1.5 million community investment fund available to Northwest Dayton advocacy groups

Northwest Dayton Partnership Steering Committee, Learn to Earn Dayton, and Preschool Promise team members pose for a group picture. The Committee created a community investment fund for advocacy groups in Northwest Dayton.
Preschool Promise
Members of the Northwest Dayton Partnership Steering Committee, Learn to Earn Dayton and Preschool Promise went door-to-door in Northwest Dayton to learn about residents’ priorities for their community. They recently announced a community investment fund for advocacy groups in Northwest Dayton.

Community Groups in West Dayton can now apply for grants from a $1.5 million dollar fund. The investment fund was created by the Northwest Dayton Partnership and Learn to Earn Dayton.

The funds are meant to help organizations advancing economic mobility, racial and educational equity in the Northwest part of the city. Groups must submit applications by February 25.

The investment fund is part of a larger, $8 million dollar project aimed at building up family and educational advocacy groups. The project is already funding non-profits like Omega CDC and Preschool Promise.

Kristina Scott is the CEO of Learn 2 Earn Dayton. She says one of the biggest needs in the community is access to affordable early childhood education.

“It is really critical that childcare centers and other early childhood education institutions are able to recruit and retain the best and brightest talent for our children's early childhood education,” Scott said. “The first three years are so critical for the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of our children.”

The fund and grant application were created with input from the Northwest Dayton Partnership Steering Committee. According to Scott, this committee is made up of community members who live and work in Northwest Dayton, and who have a “real stake in the outcomes of this work.”

And one outcome the committee is working towards is achieving racial equity, says Scott.

“We have got to wrap our arms around families and not just individuals in order to get where we want to go,” Scott said. “We've got to be really honest with ourselves about the structural and systemic causes of why these families might not have been able to achieve their full potential and unfortunately, too often, it is because of the color of their skin.”

Learn to Earn Dayton will host an information session about the grants Friday, January 21 from 10 a.m. to noon, on Zoom.

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.