Lumina Foundation on Thursday announced that it will provide more than $5 million in competitive grants for work in three key areas, including efforts to increase adult community college enrollments, advance racial justice and equity, and support nonpartisan state policies that increase overall education levels within communities of color.
Lumina said the work is tied to its goal of ensuring 60% of working-age adults have college degrees, certificates, industry certifications and other credentials of value by 2025.
“Lumina’s strategic objectives demand that we put the pursuit of racial justice at the center of everything we do,” Lumina President and CEO Jamie Merisotis said in a release. “We aim to identify organizations that can help the nation create a fair and just learning system after high school.”
The foundation looks to support community colleges that already work to scale efforts that increase adult student enrollment. It is focused on nine states — Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas — plus tribal colleges.
Lumina will award up to 20 grants of up to $75,000 each. The deadline is September 17. Achieving the Dream is handling the RFP process and will hold a webinar on August 25 for interested colleges. (Colleges do not have to participate in Achieving the Dream to be eligible for grant awards.)
The foundation also seeks applications from organizations committed to achieving racial justice and equity and dismantling systems of oppression. Eligible organizations specifically focused on supporting Black, Hispanic, Latino, Native American and Asian American and Pacific Islander populations are encouraged to apply, including centers within colleges and universities. Lumina will support seven to 10 organizations with grants of up to $400,000 for two years. The deadline is September 2; Lumina has scheduled an informational webinar for August 19.
The third area focuses on state policy partnerships that can increase educational attainment after high school and improve outcomes for Black, Hispanic, Latino, Native American and adult students. State-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations may apply for one of up to five grants of up to $200,000 each. Applications are due September 9. (Postsecondary systems/institutions and other organizations incorporated as 501(c)(4)s are not eligible.)