BELLEVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — Applications are now open for community groups to receive Illinois American Water’s new Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity grants.

The grant program will provide financial assistance to develop and implement programs, training or community-related projects that aim to promote and foster inclusion, diversity and equity in the community, said a press release Monday.

“Illinois American Water is committed to fostering inclusion, diversity and equity not only in the workplace, but also in the communities we serve,” said Justin Ladner, president of Illinois American Water. “By focusing on meaningful partnerships which support inclusion, diversity and equity, we can help make a difference for our customers – our friends and neighbors. This is important to us as a company, as well as to our employees who deliver critical water and wastewater services across Illinois.”

Last year, Illinois American Water’s grant program awarded over $18,000 in Inclusion, Diversity & Equity grants to 14 initiatives across Illinois.

In order to qualify for a grant, the organization/project/event must:

  • Be located within Illinois American Water’s service area.
  • Be a new, innovative community initiative or serve as a significant expansion to an existing program.
  • Promote inclusion, diversity and equity in the community the organization serves.
  • Have 501(c)(3) designation or be a government agency (including public schools).

“American Water recognizes that all employees, communities and partners are beautifully different,” said Ladner We’re stronger because we have different experiences, backgrounds and viewpoints. The Inclusion, Diversity and Equity grant program helps us to leverage our unique perspectives in the communities we serve.”

Applications must be received by Tuesday, Nov. 1 via email to karen.cotton@amwater.com.

More information about the grants and the application process can be found on Illinois American Water’s website.