Unity Fund

Unity Fund


The purpose of the fund is to serve as a catalyst for achieving equity and justice for people of African Heritage in our community, utilizing the resources of the fund to effect changes in the community that will provide African Heritage persons opportunities to fully experience the community’s benefits. Priorities include:

  • Providing a mechanism for those who wish to create a racially just and equitable community
  • Supporting actions advancing racial equity that will increase health and wealth resiliency as well as sustainability
  • Engaging community members in efforts to end racism in our communities
  • Supporting the creation of accessible, supportive environments for persons of African Heritage by working to change existing inequitable systems
  • Supporting programming specifically designed to be carried on within any developed safe space—physically safe, emotionally safe, culturally safe—where people of African Heritage descent can feel comfortable and free to express and share thoughts, emotions and views on issues and topics of concern to them and the community
  • Raising awareness of the many systemic racial inequities that exist in our community through outreach, education, cultural sharing and other means to reach across community lines
  • Serving as a signal that the community and its leaders wish to build an all-inclusive society
  • Supporting the education and development of and leadership opportunities for past, current, and future African American and African Heritage leaders of all ages
  • Dismantling racism and discrimination within systems (e.g., police, housing, wealth, education, health, transportation, etc.).
  • Building relationships, especially between people of differing backgrounds, to establish
    understanding of core connectedness as people and appreciation for and knowledge of African Heritage and African American culture



  • Community-building events and celebrations
  • History projects and events
  • Art
  • Sustaining funding for existing work
  • Technical support for seeking additional funding



To be eligible to apply for funding, an organization must:

  • Be classified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or classified as an organization under Section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code or have a fiscal sponsor classified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or an organization under Section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Be located in or provide service to residents within: Duluth, Superior, Hermantown, Proctor, Rice Lake and the Iron Range communities


Grant range

Individual organizations may apply for $5,000 – $10,000

Collaborations of multiple organizations (lead organization as applicant) may apply for $5,000 – $25,000


Application process

  • Applicant logs into foundation grant portal and completes a basic form with organization
    information, a brief description of how funding would be used and a check box to indicate interest in meeting with the Unity Fund Committee. Members of the Unity Fund Committee are African American and African Heritage leaders of all ages.
  • A meeting will be arranged for the applicant to connect with the Unity Fund Committee to describe the opportunity or need for funding and express how funding would be used, including who would benefit as well as when, where and how funding would have impact. A transcript of this presentation will be saved in the applicant’s request in the grant portal.
  • The Unity Fund Committee will make a funding recommendation based on the meeting. This recommendation will be presented to the DSACF Board of Trustees or Executive Committee, whichever occurs first, for approval.
  • Applicants will be notified of the decision within two months, shortly before checks are mailed.
  • Grantees are asked to complete the Grant Story form on the portal so the foundation can partner in sharing the stories of grantees as well as impacts of the funding. Ideally, this will encourage additional donations to the Unity Fund.


Application timetable

To better serve our community, Unity Fund grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, unlike applications for other grants, which are scheduled only at certain times during the year.