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Racial Healing + Justice Fund

Photo Credit:Nyara Williams & Tyler Small

A Community Designed Fund

Too often Black and Brown St. Louisans, people of color, don’t have power over the resources for community healing, justice, and transformation. Nearly six years after the Ferguson Uprising there’s an urgency to lean into the discomfort of racial healing needed to build a just and equitable society. The Racial Healing + Justice Fund makes it a priority that residents who are directly affected by racial inequity are the ones who design the strategy and govern the investment of the funds into the community.

Forward Through Ferguson (FTF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and does not operate as a foundation or grantor. FTF leads project management and provides community design/engagement support for the Racial Healing + Justice Fund while support for grant administration is provided by Deaconess Foundation.

The Community Governance Board

The Community Governance Board (CGB) is made up of Black St. Louisans and St. Louisans of color who are responsible for managing the Racial Healing and Justice Fund’s granting process and priorities. 

CGB members are entrusted with:

  • Supporting interested Racial Healing + Justice Fund applicants in navigating the grant process
  • Reviewing grant applications and making funding decisions
  • Honoring community engagement and voice

Download Press Release – St. Louis Regional Racial Healing + Justice Fund Announces Community Governance Board:Residents of the Bi-State Area Direct Investments for Community Healing

Photo Credit:Nyara Williams & Tyler Small

About the Fund

Deaconess Foundation, Forward Through Ferguson, and Missouri Foundation for Health, with the thought leadership of InPower Institute, have collaborated to establish the St. Louis Regional Racial Healing Fund to invest in healing community trauma and changing the conditions that reinforce systemic racism. With a matching grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a growing pool of participating organizations, $1.69 million has already been committed to the effort. Through a community-led grantmaking process, the fund will support efforts to develop capacity and infrastructure in the racial justice movement to envision, articulate, and create a transformed St. Louis region through community organizing and healing arts.

Learn more about the history of the Fund and the community design process that led up to the launch in 2020.

Core Principles:

Prioritize Inclusion & Community Voice: Uplift and engage St. Louis’s Black and people of color communities. Center the value of lived experience, emotional wisdom, and intellect.

Grow Community Awareness, Power, and Resilience: Acknowledge collective impact. Guard sacredness of members’ powers as individuals. Invest in community capacity.

Humanize Equity: Push back against white supremacy culture and mindset. Promote the health of one’s whole self. Create liberating practices which harness the power of imagination to self-determine and self-actualize community healing.

Check out this video featuring grantees from the Fund’s first cycle, where grantees share stories about joy, uplifting St. Louis’ Black and Brown communities, and supporting Racial Healing that’s #ForUsByUs.

Grants & Funding Priorities

Current Grant Cycle

The 2021 RH+JF application window has closed for the year. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when the next grant cycle is announced. 

In the meantime, you can explore our website to learn more about RH+JF funding priorities and application process.

The Fund is committed to community-centric and anti-racist philanthropy practices. Learn more by reading our Grant Philosophy

Past Grants

Grant distributions for the first and second grant cycles of the RH+JF total more than $554,000 of the Fund’s $1.69 million.

Click here to learn about each of the Fund’s grant cycles + recipients:

This funding continues to support efforts that include providing outlets for processing community grief, deep storytelling on Black history and Black future, youth capacity building in real estate ownership, and community organizing for public policy change.

Funding Partners

18 local and national foundations are among the organizations currently helping to support the Racial Healing + Justice Fund:

Big League Impact

Clark-Fox Family Foundation

Commerce Bank

Deaconess Foundation

JF Roblee Foundation

Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis

Light a Single Candle Foundation

Marillac Mission Fund

Midwest Bank Centre

Missouri Foundation for Health

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Saint Louis Community Foundation

Saint Louis MHB

The Trio Foundation of St. Louis

Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock

YouthBridge Community Foundation

United Way of Greater St. Louis

Washington University of St. Louis

For more information on becoming a Funding Partner, contact Kiesha Davis, director of partnership and capacity building for Deaconess Foundation at