Indianapolis Urban League

Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative: First-Round Grant Awards Announced

Iaaqli Logo Web Page 6.10.21


Grants will fund programs and initiatives to improve the quality of life for African American residents

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – (August 1, 2022) The National Urban League has selected 40 Indianapolis/Marion County not-for-profit organizations as the first recipients of grants from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI). The organizations represent 52 grants awarded with funding totaling more than $21M. The initiative is a partnership between the National Urban League, the Indianapolis Urban League, and the African American Coalition of Indianapolis.  IAAQLI was created in 2020 through a $100M grant to the National Urban League from Lilly Endowment Inc.

The awards follow intensive community conversations and analysis of the most critical issues impacting the quality of life for African Americans within Indianapolis /Marion County. The focus of funding is to help non-profit organizations implement IAAQLI’s goal, which is to support effective programs, policies and ventures that will make measurable improvements in the daily lives of African Americans. The National Urban League awarded grants to organizations whose programs, services, and advocacy will address historic inequities existing within Indianapolis’ Black communities.  “As a place-based racial equity initiative, this is a historic opportunity that comes with a sound commitment to make a change and eliminate longstanding education, economic and social disparities for African Americans in Indianapolis/Marion County”, said National Urban League President, Marc Morial. 

“For the past two years, the IAAQLI team has spent countless hours listening to the concerns of our African American community,” said Indianapolis Urban League President and CEO Tony Mason. “This first round of funding will provide a wide range of organizations with the resources to create and implement sustainable programming to address the issues our community has identified.”

“The time is now,” added African American Coalition of Indianapolis Chair Willis Bright. “This is just the first of many steps the IAAQLI is committed to taking as we strive to eliminate disparities and conditions created by decades of systemic racism. We encourage the entire community to follow our progress and to invest in organizations such as those we are funding and others working daily to eliminate disparities in health, education, and other areas, and stay tuned for the announcement for our second round of funding this fall.” 

To learn more about the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative and review a complete project listing along with descriptions visit

Listen to the live announcement on Tuesday, August 1, 2022, with remarks from National Urban League President and CEO Mark H. Morial, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Urban League, Tony Mason, and grant initiative leadership.

Grants in the first round of funding are to the following organizations:

Category: Technical Skill Development & Employability

Flanner House of Indianapolis $250,000

Martin University $250,000

Community Alliance of the Far East Side (CAFÉ) $250,000

Edna Martin Christian Center (EMCC) $250,000

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) $250,000

Fathers and Families Resource Research Center, Inc. $250,000

Ivy Tech Foundation $250,000

Category:  Health & Wellness: Food Justice and Quality Options

Center of Wellness for Urban Women $285,276

Felege Hiywot Center, Inc. $300,000

Flanner House of Indianapolis $300,000

Kheprw Institute $300,000

Business & Entrepreneurship:  Capacity Building

Indiana Black Expo $300,000

Indy Black Chamber of Commerce $500,000

Kheprw Institute $500,000

She Event Indy, Co. $250,000

Northwest Vision Development Center $150,000

Business & Entrepreneurship:  Equity

Edna Martin Christian Center $500,000

GangGang $333,800

Indiana Black Expo $200,000

Indy Black Chamber of Commerce $500,000

Flagship Enterprise Capital $500,000

Intend Indiana $500,000

Education:  Professional Development

Children’s Policy & Law Initiative of Indiana $300,000

Indiana Council on Educating Students of Color $382,206

Indiana Black Expo $50,000

Eclectic Soul VOICES Corporation $170,100

Teach Plus Incorporated $400,000

Education:  Professional Development & Recruitment/Retaining Teachers & Early Childhood

A Learning Bee STEM PreK Academy $200,000

Judah Ministries $400,000

New Beginnings of Indianapolis $236,379

SBC Development Corporation/Purpose of Life Academy $400,000

Education:  Professional Development & Recruitment/Retaining Teachers

Educate ME Foundation, INC. $399,211

MSD of Washington Township Schools $230,000

MelanatED Leaders $60,000


Education:  Recruitment and Retaining Teachers of Color

Indiana Black Expo $200,000

Teach for America Indianapolis $40,000

Indiana University Foundation $400,000


Education:  Early Childhood Education

Martin University $400,000


Housing and Homeownership & Economic Mobility

Community Action of Greater Indianapolis $500,000

NeighborLink Indianapolis Foundation, Inc. $500,000

United Northeast Community Development Corporation $500,000


Housing and Homeownership: Racial Equity & Housing Development

Eastern Star Church Jewel Human Services Corporation $1,000,000

BUILD (Believers United in Local Development) CBDO $752,000

Westside Community Development Corporation $850,000

Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation $800,000

Intend Indiana $126,600

United Northeast Community Development Corporation $500,000

Flanner House of Indianapolis $1,000,000

IFF $1,000,000

Kheprw Institute $1,000,000

Pathway Resource Center, Inc. $1,000,000

Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership $1,000,000

About the National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 92 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research, and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. 

About the Indianapolis Urban League

The mission of the Indianapolis Urban League is to empower African Americans and disadvantaged individuals to achieve social and economic equality and improved quality of living through programs, services, and advocacy in education, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and housing. 

About the African American Coalition of Indianapolis

The African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) is a non-partisan collaboration of African-American civic, social, professional, service, and community organizations with a goal to educate and engage African Americans in the local, state and national political process.