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The Racial Equity and Community Partnership Grant Program

evanston-chicago areiral shotThe Racial Equity & Community Partnership Grants program is led by the Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations. A committee of University administrators and academics, along with community representatives, serves as advisors to the program.

Beginning in 2020, Northwestern committed more than $500,000 annually to advance racial equity in our home communities of Evanston and Chicago.

Our goal is to foster mutually beneficial partnerships between community-based organizations and Northwestern University representatives that address the root causes of racial inequities and work toward structural changes. Northwestern seeks to become a national model for how a major research university engages with the communities where it resides.

Application Guidelines

Our Definition of Racial Equity

We believe racial equity is the foundation for a just and fair society where all people can participate to reach their full potential. Advancing racial equity means doing things differently than they have done before. We mean:

  • Investing in communities of color, especially underserved and under invested areas
  • Making changes to institutions to address root causes of inequities
  • Racial healing and acknowledgment of past harms to communities of color


If you have questions about the Racial Equity and Community Partnership Grant Program, browse our frequently asked questions or contact us directly.

Frequently Asked Questions Contact Us

See How Others Are Making a Difference

Featured Projects

evanston neighborhood photo

Professor kihana miraya ross to study new Evanston reparations

kihana miraya ross has received a $250,000 Spencer grant to support her work.

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Melvin Thompson and Dinee Simpson

New Project Aims to Improve Healthy Food Access and Education

A new project led by Northwestern Medicine investigators aims to mitigate food deserts — areas with limited access to affordable healthy food — as well as improve outcomes for patients with kidney disease in predominantly Black communities in Chicago.

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butterflies in window

A symbol of hope: Thousand Butterflies Project promotes community care in Evanston youth

Through the Thousand Butterflies Project, Evanston students are using butterflies — a symbol of rejuvenation in many cultures — to foster connection and community care.

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new building

Enhancing Health Equity on the Southwest Side

Through a $75,000 Racial Equity and Community Partnership Grant, a soon-to-open community wellness facility on Chicago's Southwest Side has greatly benefited from a partnership with the Osher Center for Integrative Health in Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.

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Past Projects

Check out previous projects that demonstrate the kind of partnerships we seek to fund or help develop.

  • 2021 - 21 projects funded
  • 2022 - 9 projects funded
  • 2023 - 13 projects funded