The Community Foundation of Johnson County Inclusive Johnson County Fund Grant Cycle concluded in August 2023 with the awarding of eight grants totaling $20,538 in grants made to local nonprofit organizations. The grants support a variety of projects and programs in our local nonprofit organizations including accessibility updates, hosting a cultural event, providing translation to utilize needed services, and community education to reduce barriers for residents searching for employment.
The following are the eight organizations who received 2023 Inclusive Johnson County Fund Grants and a short description of their work:
- Better Together 2030 – Welcoming Week 2023
- Welcoming Week is a community-wide collaboration that is designed to bring together neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity. The Johnson County Welcoming Week committee is collectively convened by Better Together 2030, but made up of representatives from ICAD, the University of Iowa, Think Iowa City, ICDD, Systems Unlimited, Open Heartland, International Rescue Committee, the City of Iowa City, Johnson County, the Englert Theater, HACAP, Johnson County Transit & Social Services, Coralville Library, North Liberty, the Iowa City Chinese Association, and the Iowa City Area Asian Pacific Association. Welcoming Week is a scheduled week of events across the county.
- Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa – ESL & Computer Literacy Classes
- CWJ will host free English as a Second Language (ESL) workshops and free computer literacy workshops to help create more equitable opportunities for low- and moderate-income and immigrant Johnson County residents.
- Iowa City Area Chinese Association – Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
- Chinese Mid Autumn Festival is also called the Moon Festival, or the Mooncake Festival. It is the second most important festival in China after Chinese New Year with a history of over 3000 years. It was derived from the custom of worshiping the moon, in autumn to thank it for the harvest. In modern times it is celebrated as a time for family reunion, as on this day, the moon is brightest, and the roundest.
- Iowa City Community School District – Healthy Kids Inclusivity Project
- This project will help the clinic continue eliminating language barriers for non-English speaking children and families who are seeking health care. Funds will be used for interpreting services for non-speaking English families at our clinic sites and at partnering sites who are unable to offer interpreting services, which is coordinated by Healthy Kids’ care coordinators.
- FilmScene – Accessibility at FilmScene
- This project will support captioned screenings, sensory sensitive screenings, and the ReelAbilities Film Festival which are all offerings designed to assist those with differing abilities to access film.
- Free Lunch Program – Accessibility Updates
- The Free Lunch Program will update the Braille signage for their entrance, exit, bathrooms, and serving line; translate promotional materials into French, Spanish, and Arabic; and purchase 2 foldable wheelchair-accessible, single occupant tables to improve the quality of service for guests with limited vision and mobility and raise awareness of our services for those who speak languages other than English.
- Friends of the Center – Accessibility Improvements
- This project will update wayfinding signage to fully meet ADA Braille signage requirements to fully serve our community members that are vision impaired. The project will also allow for expanded options for assisted listening devices that would allow hearing-impaired people to participate in more programs and events at the Senior Center through portable devices to be used for off-site programming or in areas throughout the building without built-in audio induction to expand accessibility.
- The Village Community – Adaptable Basketball Hoop
- This project is to install an accessible and adaptable basketball hoop system that can be adjusted according to the needs of people with disabilities and serve the Special Olympics team on-site as well as for daily use by Village Community members.
The Inclusive Johnson County Fund was created to support nonprofit organizations who are serving Johnson County residents in a manner that promotes, supports, and enhances diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our county. The Community Foundation of Johnson County strives to create a community where all are welcomed, invited to the table, protected, and regarded as equal. We continue to find ways to lift up the voices of those doing justice, equity, and inclusion work in our community, and the Inclusive Johnson County Fund is open for donations to continue to support inclusion in Johnson County. You can learn more about the work of the fund here.