New round of investments to create a more equitable community

Posted on Friday April 14, 2023

Waterloo Region – Funding applications are open again for grassroots organizations, groups, and individuals working on projects that create a more equitable community.

The Upstream Fund, now in its second year, supports and prioritizes upstream initiatives led by and serving Indigenous, Black, racialized and other communities facing discrimination and systemic barriers. Funded projects improve wellbeing by removing barriers and providing support that allows people to achieve their full potential.

The funding model also removes barriers for those who have historically, and continue to be, excluded from funding opportunities.

“The Upstream Fund is about removing red tape and de-colonizing the way we work with community,” says Fauzia Baig, Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Region of Waterloo. “We put decision-making and power into the hands of the community because they know best what they need to address root causes of harm.”

A Community Change Committee comprised of community members will allocate the funding based on priorities identified by community.   

Last year, 41 recipients received funding to continue, expand, or continue work that focuses on healing, building confidence and skills, and developing a sense of belonging among children, youth and adults facing discrimination.

The Region will once again pair the Upstream Fund with the Community Capacity Building Fund, offering a total of $1.5 million in 2023. (The remainder of the $4.1 million was allocated in 2022 to multi-year projects.) Applications will be accepted until May 15.

Those interested in applying can attend a Community Collaborative Event virtually or in person. These events are opportunities to make connections, and learn more about other funding and grant programs available.

In addition to funding, applications to join the Community Change Committee are open until April 17.



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