Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards grants to two local organizations

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards grants to two local organizations
March 15
00:00 2016


Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation have awarded a $60,000 grant to Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods for its efforts to connect people, strengthen underrepresented voices, and help communities leverage resources to create safe, just and self-determined neighborhoods in the Winston -Salem area. Rather than focusing on particular issues, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods (NBN) works broadly to help low-and middle-income neighborhoods recognize their existing assets, build leadership and strengthen their decision-making capacity. Through its flagship program Neighbors in Action – which includes trainings designed to help individuals understand current systems and how their community is situated within them – the organization is able to empower citizens and help open up meaningful civic avenues for low-income communities in Winston-Salem.

“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes a strong democracy works best when all citizens in a community are involved and diverse voices are heard and included,” said Joy Vermillion Heinsohn, assistant director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. “Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods is working to encourage residents to become more active participants in addressing the issues that impact their lives and their communities and to empower them to make change happen. We are proud to be a partner in achieving this shared vision.”

Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation also awarded a $30,000 grant to the S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation to support its work of creating balanced and revitalized communities in areas surrounding Winston-Salem State University. While the S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation (CDC) spearheads a number of initiatives, its primary areas of focus include housing development and renovations; community-based initiatives including the cultivation of a community garden; and The Enterprise Center – a combination of a business incubator and community edu-cation center. To date, some of the CDC’s accomplishments have included investing $5 million for the adaptive reuse and operation of a 40,000-square-foot building that is a hub of community activity; providing $200,000 in micro-loans to minority and women-owned businesses; and harvesting more than 3,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables through its community garden.

“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes in the importance of creating sustainable, vibrant and equitable communities for all,” said Heinsohn. “Through a multi-pronged approach implemented by the S.G. Atkins CDC, areas surrounding Winston-Salem State University are benefitting from strategic investments that promote entrepreneurship and community-building. As a Winston-Salem partner, we are proud to support the organization as it works to achieve its mission and vision for this community.”

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