Community Foundation shares progress on $10 million commitment

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UTICA — In July 2020, the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties approved a plan to commit $10 million over 10 years, the largest single investment in the Foundation’s history, to address racial equity and social justice issues.

The commitment pledged by the Foundation promised to work alongside local organizations, governments and residents in Herkimer and Oneida County to address systemic and systematic racism in the area and to advance the implementation of impact centers in targeted locations.

It has been almost two years since their commitment and the Foundation recently held a public town hall forum at Mohawk Valley Community College to inform the community about their progress and what will happen in their next phase.

Since the commitment, the Foundation established an equity advisory group, comprised of 12 members of the community who represent different backgrounds and sectors.

The group came together to assist in the overall direction of where the funds should be allocated to, the announcement said.

The group also found many barriers and suggestions to overcome them in topics like criminal justice, education, income and wealth, quality of life and neighborhoods, and workforce development, according the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties President and CEO Alicia Fernandez Dicks.

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