Press release
November 12, 2018

Foundation Announces New Priorities for Community Investment Focus Areas

In October 2017 the Foundation announced two new broad focus areas for its community investments – Building an Inclusive Economy and Advancing Equity in Education.

Over the past year, our staff has been listening to and learning from hundreds of individuals across Forsyth County to help us shape our emergent strategy.  As a result, the Foundation has identified three priorities within each broad focus area where we will begin programmatic work in 2019:

Building an Inclusive Economy:

  • Access to efficient and affordable transportation
  • Reduction in the racial wealth gap
  • Inclusive pathways to family-sustaining careers

Advancing Equity in Education:

  • Anti-bias culture and practices in educational settings (Pre-K to Post-secondary)
  • Positive/constructive behavior intervention strategies (Pre-K to 12)
  • Racially and economically diverse public schools (K to 12)

“These priorities reflect areas where significant levels of inequity persist in Forsyth County, where we’re hearing that our resources are most needed, and where we believe we can make the greatest impact,” says President Scott Wierman.  

Initial responsive grant funding opportunities:

  • Spring 2019 – access to efficient and affordable transportation
  • Fall 2019 - reduction in the racial wealth gap  

More information about the first grant deadline (transportation) will be available in January 2019.

With limited resources and complex challenges, the Foundation will be using additional forms of capital to effect change going forward. In addition to grantmaking and collaboration with nonprofits, Foundation staff will be showing up in new ways in the community, leveraging its position, tools, and resources to cultivate community action on these critical issues.

Within this work, the Foundation is also deeply committed to advancing racial equity in our community. Data shows that in Forsyth County race is a reliable predictor of an individual’s educational, health, and economic outcomes, and the Foundation is committed to advancing racial equity across all of our work, both internally and externally.  

Wierman notes, “As we approach our Centennial in 2019, we want the community to know that the Foundation is listening and learning, and we’re committed to evolving with Forsyth County – both by tackling its challenges and enhancing its opportunities.”

To learn more about what we heard in our listening sessions and the next steps for our work, visit our new microsite, Evolving to Meet Community Needs, at https://focus.wsfoundation.org