Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund Established

Community Foundation Announces First Step in Long-Term Strategy

The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties announced today the first step in a long-term strategy to challenge and overcome systemic racism and a broad range of longstanding barriers to opportunity for persons of color. Established with a gift of $50,000 from the Ronald and Sheila Cuccaro Family Fund, and a $50,000 match from the Community Foundation, the Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund will support efforts to advance equality and social justice, building on the Community Foundation’s partnerships with nonprofit organizations, local government and other allies.

“As a community, as a society, the time for committed action and meaningful change is today, tomorrow, and as long as it takes,” said Community Foundation President/CEO Alicia Dicks. “Thanks to Ron and Sheila Cuccaro’s example and to all those who will be inspired to give to this fund, the Community Foundation‘s work to build a vibrant community will empower our partners and expand our collective efforts in unprecedented ways.”

Dicks said the Foundation and partner organizations will seek out other major donor and community support to build the fund over time. The establishment of the fund, she said, is just the beginning of an expanded effort by the Community Foundation to build on its years-long engagement with Black community leaders, partner organizations, and donors to address longstanding issues. Establishing a fund sets the stage for a long-term commitment by the Foundation that will engage individuals and organizations to guide significant investments aimed at substantive impact.

“All of us, each according to their means, must do whatever they can to advance this work and improve the lives of those in our community who have waited too long for meaningful change,” said Ron Cuccaro, a member of the Community Foundation Board of Trustees. “Our hope is that our commitment will inspire others to give, volunteer and work toward a better future for everyone in our community.”

To support the Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, please visit foundationhoc.org/racialequity.