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Grantees include CBMA and other local organizationsFunds allocated for programs and initiatives to improve life outcomes for black men and boys in the state

July 5, 2016 – New York, NYThe William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust has awarded close to $3 million in grants to school districts, family-focused organizations and universities that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to creating opportunities and expanding quality of life for Kentucky’s boys and men of color. Grantees include the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Kentucky State University, in partnership with Frankfort Independent Schools; the National Center for Families Learning; Lexington Leadership Foundation; Metro United Way; United Way of the Bluegrass; Jefferson County Public Schools; and Transylvania University.

Dr. Dorian Burton, Assistant Executive Director of the Trust, states, “We chose to partner with organizations and leaders throughout the state of Kentucky that were committed to systems-level change for males of color with an emphasis on African-American men and boys. The group of leaders we have funded will work to connect the dots within their communities and neighborhoods, and partner with other innovative organizations committed to uplifting and building strong families within their communities.”

Leading the investment is a $400,000 grant to the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), a national membership-based organization that provides leadership and capacity-building support to groups and organizations dedicated to improving life outcomes and opportunities for black men and boys. CBMA leads events like Rumble Young Man, Rumble, convening thought leaders each year at the Muhammed Ali Center in Louisville. “CBMA is grateful to the Kenan Charitable Trust for committing this important funding to advance our work on behalf of black men and boys in Kentucky,” said Shawn Dove, CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

Though the Trust’s grants vary in size and scope, each focuses on different entry points across the life courses of males of color. For example, in education, Fayette County Public Schools will create a dedicated office within their district to “remove and eliminate barriers so that our boys can reach their fullest potential,” notes Superintendent Manny Caulk. Similarly, Superintendent Houston Barber of Frankfort Independent Schools will develop a 6th-grade to post-secondary pipeline for black male students with emphasis on supporting its science, technology, engineering and math programs in partnership with Kentucky State University.

“The impact that the Kenan Charitable Trust grant will provide for our students is a game changer. The collaboration between KSU and Frankfort IDS will be a model for students, families, and cities across the country. African-American males will be leading the way in making Frankfort the new ‘Silicon Valley’,” said Barber.  Furthermore, the Trust has engaged long-standing partners like Transylvania University to highlight and scale its efforts ensure college-readiness for black males.

Additional grants will focus on families and multi-generational strategies. David Cozart, Director of the Fayette County Fatherhood Initiative at the Lexington Leadership Foundation, states “While not insinuating that societal/community challenges are associated exclusively to African-American male fathers and boys; we would be remiss if we didn’t seek to address the many pervasive issues/opportunities among this population. In fact, anyone seeking to address  the human condition will do well by seeking to positively impact the trajectory of men of color.”

“We felt that Kentucky, and, more specifically, cities like Louisville have strong leaders like Shawn Dove, Daryle Unseld, Manny Caulk, and John Marshall that are on the frontlines of innovation and systems-level change for males of color. We are privileged to support them in their efforts. We hope that our support will shine a light on the impact of the work that has been going on in Kentucky, and that these amazing leaders will create the type of bright spots that the nation’s school districts, institutes of higher education, nonprofits and cities can learn from,” said Dr. Burton.

Said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, “These dollars will have a real and lasting impact on our city. Our mission to help improve the lives of black males in Louisville will be helped tremendously by this generous grant, and our citizens are grateful for this investment in our people.”


The Campaign for Black Male Achievement is a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys. CBMA is a growing network that currently includes more than 5,200 leaders and 2,700 organizations and programs across the country. www.blackmaleachievement.org


The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust was established in 1966 by a bequest from the estate of chemist and industrialist William R. Kenan, Jr. Mr. Kenan felt so keenly about the importance of education that his will directed that part of his estate become the corpus of the Kenan Charitable Trust. Grants are awarded in the areas of higher education and K-12 education; arts and arts education, basic human needs, as well as others initiatives and family interests. www.kenancharitabletrust.org

Grantees Include: