3 Peoria organizations awarded $4,000 in grants to promote local diversity, inclusion projects

Digital Originals

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A new Illinois American Water grant program is helping local inclusion and diversity projects across Illinois.

According to an Illinois American Water press release, more than $18,000 will be shared with 14 Illinois organizations that develop and implement programs, training and/or community-related projects that aim to promote and foster inclusion and diversity in their community.

“At Illinois American Water we celebrate and value the different perspectives and backgrounds each of us offer,” Illinois American Water President Justin Ladner said. “Diversity makes our company and our communities stronger. This is why we wanted to create an initiative focused on partnerships for inclusion and diversity. We’re excited to collaborate with these impressive organizations.”

Locally, three Peoria organizations will be getting $4,000 in grants, including:

  • Big Picture Initiative will receive $1,000 to connect young Black artists in food insecure areas to public arts. The artists will paint fresh produce stands which will be placed in Peoria Public School District 150 schools. The project will elevate the role of art in community issues to students and support the distribution of fresh produce.
  • It Takes a Village will receive a $1,500 grant to expand their efforts of providing resources to students at Manual High School in Peoria. The expansion of their program will provide socks, hats and gloves to students. The group currently provides toiletries, school supplies and food. This effort is in collaboration with various organizations to increase awareness of community resources and support for children and families.
  • Living to Serve will receive a $1,500 grant to enhance their health programming. Their efforts will focus on equal access to healthcare. They plan to expand their efforts through digital marketing and community outreach events to address disparities in public health that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

More information about the grant program is available on the Illinois American Water website.

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