Skip to Main Content

January 15, 2023

Ohio State Bar Foundation Awards Nearly $300,000 Through Its Racial Justice Initiative

Racial Justice Initiative

Columbus, OH (January 2022) – The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) Board of Trustees recently approved $295,468 in grants to six Ohio nonprofit organizations through its Racial Justice Initiative. The specific focus of its Racial Justice Initiative supports 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.

“This round of funding will support initiatives related to research and education, both critical to the ongoing pursuit of justice in our communities,” said OSBF President Kris Burkett. “We continue our commitment to the difficult work of confronting and working to dismantle systemic racism.”

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

  • $35,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation for its Know Your Rights: Rights versus Reality educational program. This project will educate the public on systemic racism and provide tools for safe interactions with law enforcement. Serving all 88 counties.
  • $50,000 to Innovation Ohio Education Fund for the Justice Agenda for Black Women and Girls in Ohio Project. The second year of this project will focus on storytelling and real-life implications of discriminatory policies while delivering policy recommendations, testimonials, and education materials. Serving Darke, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, & Shelby counties.
  • $40,000 to Juvenile Justice Coalition for their Mandatory Bind-over 101 outreach campaign which will educate the public about the impact and racial disparities of mandatory bind over. Serving Franklin County.
  • $25,000 to Legal Aid Society of Columbus for their Study on Fiscal Benefit of Right to Counsel in Evictions project, which will conduct a cost benefit study to show the financial benefit to Columbus and Franklin County of funding a right to counsel system for tenants facing evictions which disproportionally impact people of color. Serving Franklin County.
  • $95,468 to the Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity to support the Opportunity Mapping for Inclusion This study will equip policymakers with the data they need to eliminate racial inequality in housing and development and provide the tools to reform zoning updates with the end goal of creating more equitable and just communities in Ohio. Phase two of this project will focus on the city of Worthington as a pilot community for expanding research. Serving Franklin County.
  • $50,000 to the University of Cincinnati Foundation to support the Social Justice and the Law: Assessment and Application in Ohio project, which will assess the inclusivity, diversity, and racial equity of the legal profession in Ohio. Serving Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, & Warren counties.

Since launching in 2020 the Racial Justice Initiative has provided $788,865 in grant funding to support projects focused on long-lasting impact and institutional change for racial justice. 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


Back to All News