HERitage fund ‘force for good’

By Juliette Coulter

HERitage Giving Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation awarded more than $56,000 in grants to seven North Texas nonprofit organizations that are led by Black women serving Black women and girls. 

The grants were determined after a process of rigorous evaluation based on a variety of criteria, including the needs of Black communities in the North Texas area, and the level of alignment between the recipient organizations and the HERitage mission. Additionally, HERitage has created a program for grant recipients to gain access to leadership development with the hope its partnership will help leverage additional funding from other sources. 

Halima Leak Francis, Ph.D., Akilah Wallace and Froswa’ Booker-Drew, Ph.D. (HERitage co-founders).
Photo courtesy of Texas Women’s Foundation

2021 HERitage Grant Recipients:

Abide – Funds provide financial and social support to Black student midwives through the Abide scholarship fund, along with mentoring and preceptorship.

The GEMS Camp – Grant supports two-week summer virtual camp for 120 middle school girls of color from four Texas cities, with hands-on STEM learning, leadership and character development. 

Hopeful Solutions – Funds provide rental and utilities assistance for women and children, along with case management, recovery support and living assistance. 

Soul Rep Theatre Company – Funding helps implement online and audio productions, and support a new strategic plan with consulting and production costs to underwrite the 25th anniversary season.

Southern Dallas Link – Grant underwrites the Ride to Work Program, specifically for Black women, to help them maintain employment by providing dependable transportation.

TR Hoover CDC – Funds support Hoover Tech Center, which provides individuals with computer and internet access to further education, employment opportunities and community outreach. 

Viola’s House – The grant funds the new Baby Benefit Store, which provides free and low-cost baby clothing/accessories to the South Dallas community, while generating income for the organization that houses homeless teen moms. 

Akilah S. Wallace, HERitage chair, said: “I never imagined the magnitude giving circles of color would have on North Texas when I first discovered this incredible way to increase the engagement of women of color in philanthropy. Now, in partnership with the co-founders, members and friends of HERitage Giving Fund, I am ecstatic we doubled our collective giving from last year, awarding $56,272 to Black female-led nonprofits. We did this despite the challenges impacting the world by this pandemic. I sincerely thank Drs. Halima Leak Francis and Froswa’ Booker-Drew for their leadership and contributions to this powerful movement. Our transition to Moore Impact is aligned with the membership’s vision of expansion and increased impact, reaching younger and emerging philanthropists across the state. HERitage is honored to partner with Yvonne L. Moore, founder and managing director of Moore Philanthropy. She’s an internationally-respected Black woman transforming humanitarian work, who also is a Dallas native. Together we will continue ‘Strengthening Communities and Honoring Our Legacy.’”

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Texas Women’s Foundation president and CEO, said, “We congratulate the leaders and members of HERitage Giving Fund for their tremendous impact in support of Black female-led nonprofits serving Black women and girls. It has been our great honor to host HERitage Giving Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation since their founding in 2017, and we wish them every success going forward. We know HERitage will continue to be an ever-expanding force for good for Black women and girls.”  

To learn more about HERitage Giving Fund, email info@heritagegivingfund.org. 

HERitage Giving Fund was founded in August 2017 during Black Philanthropy Month. The mission of HERitage is to encourage philanthropy in the African-American/Black community, to contribute in a strategic and meaningful way, and to bring a new source of funding to nonprofit organizations serving African-American women and girls throughout the North Texas area. The circle provides an opportunity to learn about issues and organizations that affect and impact the African-American/Black community. For more information, visit heritagegivingfund.org.