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November 16, 2023

Ohio State Bar Foundation Awards Over $200,000 Through Its Racial Justice Initiative

Columbus, OH (November 2023) – The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) Board of Trustees recently approved $211,135 in grants to six Ohio nonprofit organizations through its Racial Justice Initiative. Since its creation in 2020, the Racial Justice Initiative has granted $1 million in support of projects that specifically identify, address, and challenge systemic racism which hinders the pursuit of justice and public understanding of the rule of law for historically marginalized communities of color in Ohio.

“The recent approval of grants through the Racial Justice Initiative exemplifies our steadfast commitment to confronting the challenge of dismantling systemic racism head-on," said Judge David Hejmanowski, OSBF President. “We are proud to support these organizations that are focused on long-lasting impact and institutional change for racial justice.

This fall’s Racial Justice Initiative grant recipients are as follows:

  • $8,000 to the Driven While Black Podcast to share the lived experiences of Black people in the pursuit of excellence and discuss racial disparities in the legal education system. Serving all 88 counties statewide.
  • $54,195 to Kent State University Foundation for their Examining Organizations' Pledges to Justice-Involved Employees project which will examine hiring practices and support efforts in creating equitable employment opportunities for racially justice-involved individuals. Serving Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton counties.
  • $25,000 to Ohio Humanities for the Brown@70 Initiative which commemorates the legacy of the Lincoln School Marchers, one of the longest sustained protests of the civil rights movement. Funds will support the creation of a documentary that shares the history of the fight for desegregation in schools and the implications for racial justice today. Serving all 88 counties statewide.
  • $41,170 to The Ohio State University for a collaborative educational project aimed at enhancing representation in the Ohio legal profession following the Supreme Court of the United States rulings on affirmative action. Serving all 88 counties statewide.
  • $52,770 to the University of Toledo Foundation for the Launch into Law project which seeks to increase the number of historically underrepresented students enrolled in law school. Serving Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa counties.
  • $30,000 to YWCA Columbus for their Racial Equity 101: Train the Facilitator pilot project which will teach high school girls in the Bright Futures empowerment program to facilitate racial literacy and anti-racism training. Serving Franklin County.

The next application deadline is to be determined. In the meantime, applicants are encouraged to submit projects under the traditional grants program which has annual deadlines of February 15th and August 15th.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the grantees, be connected with one of the organizations directly, or know more about the OSBF’s grantmaking process, contact OSBF’s Grants Manager Laura Spires at 

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