February 19, 2020

Two East Prov groups win grants to boost Census response locally

Local groups can still apply for at least $125,000 in funding by Jan. 31.

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East Providence, RI - The Rhode Island Census 2020 Fund has awarded grants to two East Providence organizations for outreach and education that will encourage residents to participate in the 2020 Census. The goal is to protect the roughly $3.8 billion a year that Rhode Island receives in federal funding for education, health care, housing and more based on Census data.

“These Census outreach grants are an essential tool to build the grassroots effort that will help us achieve our goal of ensuring that every Rhode Islander is counted,” said state Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, who co-chairs Rhode Island’s Complete Count Committee. “The work to ensure that every community in every ZIP code in Rhode Island is fairly and accurately represented must be community led.”

Among the 26 organizations that received funding the Elisha Project, which received $10,000; and the East Providence Public Library, which was awarded $8,000. Their focus is increasing Census response rates for resident from groups that have been historically undercounted and are vulnerable to an undercount in 2020.

Local nonprofits can also apply for a second round of funding. Rhode Island-based nonprofit organizations, municipal governments, public agencies like libraries or schools; houses of worship and community-based groups have until Fri., Jan. 31, to apply for at least $125,000 in funding. More information about the program is posted at rifoundation.org/censusgrants.

Donors to the Rhode Island Census 2020 Fund include local philanthropist Bhikhaji Maneckji, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, the Nellie Mae Foundation, the Service Employees International Union 1199 New England, the Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Foundation administers the initiative working in partnership with the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee.

“Grassroots organizations realize how crucial it is to engage their communities on the Census and they went all in on the first round. The volume and quality of the responses made for a very difficult review and selection process,” said Jessica David, executive vice president of strategy and community investments at the Foundation. “We’re grateful to the funding partners who are supporting this effort, and to the many local groups who will do the on-the-ground organizing in order to turn out their communities in 2020.”

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