Racial and Economic Justice

The Nathan Cummings Foundation


Racial and Economic Justice

To combat inequality, NCF will fight economic marginalization and challenge policies that damage families and communities and excessively criminalize communities of color and the poor. We invest in leaders, organizations and coalitions working to expand economic opportunity and racial justice by eradicating racial discrimination and implicit bias. We focus on people whose options have historically been limited, including low-income people, people of color, women and those disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system. Our work acknowledges the deeply disruptive effects of criminal justice policies on communities and on the ability of formerly incarcerated people to connect with their families and participate in our democracy and economy.

We partner with those building pathways and advancing narratives that lead to the creation of inclusive economies where everyone has the opportunity to achieve economic security and social mobility. To find alternatives to capital-intensive, market-based economic models, we will invest in efforts that promote business ownership, wealth and asset-building for people in low-wealth and energy-poor communities. Success requires creative problem-solving, including the use of stories and religious and ethical traditions to redefine meaning, images and art to reconstruct identities and new cultural language to shift thinking and behavior.

Specifically, we will focus on innovative ideas and programs that:

  • Develop clear solutions for a new, more inclusive, sustainable and democratic economy;
  • Support critical interventions that reshape our criminal justice system and overturn policies that disproportionately target low-income people and communities of color;
  • Build assets and wealth that lead families to greater economic security and mobility, advancing racial, gender, ethnic and economic justice;
  • Advance business ownership models that extend wealth and asset opportunities to traditionally under-resourced groups of people;
  • Create entry points and mobility opportunities to climate jobs and financing for people historically outside of the clean energy economy; and
  • Counter existing racial and gender stereotypes with new narratives that shift biased thinking and increase empathy and compassion for traditionally marginalized people.

For information on how to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI), click here.