December 18, 2019

Buckingham Names Its 2019 Pillar Grant Recipients

Seven nonprofit organizations have been awarded funding in 2019 as part of Buckingham Strategic Wealth’s Pillar Grant Program. This year’s recipients are: Washington University Brown School of Social Work, Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson, City Garden Montessori School, Center for Creative Arts (COCA), We Stories, Multicultural Alliance and Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

The Pillar Grant Program, an annual multifaceted philanthropy effort launched in 2015, is the firm’s most significant philanthropic initiative and seeks to support the missions of organizations working to better the lives of people in the communities that Buckingham calls home.

Our Pillar Grant committee seeks to recognize organizations whose projects demonstrate three key pillars of the Buckingham experience — conscientious planning, carefully articulated evidence and a commitment to “doing the right thing.” In 2019, the grant committee considered organizations and programs whose primary objective is to create a safer, inclusive and more respectful community by working to reduce or eliminate racism and promote equality. Programs and projects matching this year’s area of interest included efforts that focus on eliminating discrimination based on race in schools, workplaces and in the community, such as those that provide training and education to law enforcement, educators and other service-oriented individuals.

The important work the firm’s 2019 Pillar Grant recipients will pursue includes:

Washington University, Advancing Racial Equity in the Brown School of Social Work

Founded in 1925, the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, seeks to create positive social change through path-breaking research and education. The Brown School holds social justice and equity as guiding principles in its work, and these values direct its efforts around diversity and inclusion. Leading in this area is a central feature of the Brown School’s history and mission, which includes collaborating with organizations to use evidence to improve access to and quality of social services and to address social and economic justice.

Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson

Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson advances racial equity through the power of storytelling, specifically through telling the stories of St. Louis, Missouri, families and their struggle for a quality education and the American Dream. The organization focuses on using stories as catalysts for change, as well as to shine a light, engage the mind, touch the heart, and serve as a call to action.

City Garden Montessori School, Regional Equity Leadership Program

City Garden Montessori School, a charter public school in St. Louis, Missouri, provides a high-quality, Montessori education to a diverse student population and exists to cultivate young people who value and respect themselves, others, the environment and the world community. The school, which incorporates anti-bias/anti-racism education to affect social change, seeks to strengthen families and the neighborhoods it serves by nurturing its students to be competent, creative, lifelong learners who practice compassion, respect, nonviolence and sustainability.

Center for Creative Arts (COCA), COCAbiz’s Acting with Awareness

COCAbiz in St. Louis, Missouri, provides immersive arts-based training, programming and consulting for business professionals. It seeks to build a more creative, engaged and effective workforce by delivering innovative workshops and events that employ authentic arts teaching and achieve business results. The goal of its Acting with Awareness program is to humanize differences, build self-awareness and empathy, and enhance workplace culture so everyone feels empowered to contribute and build a creative, inclusive and innovative organization, where everyone can do their best work.

We Stories

We Stories in St. Louis, Missouri, engages white families to change the conversation about and build momentum toward racial equity. The nonprofit envisions a St. Louis region where families of all races have the opportunity to thrive, and it advances that goal by promoting anti-racism as a parenting priority. We Stories believes that racial inequity is the greatest challenge to the St. Louis region's future, its growth, and the well-being of its citizens, and so aims to intervene in the vicious cycle that keeps people segregated, suffering and stuck by asking how the status quo gets perpetuated and inviting families who have been on the sidelines to step up and dig in.

Multicultural Alliance, Table Talk on Race

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the Multicultural Alliance promotes inclusive communities, working toward the elimination of bias, bigotry, and oppression and encouraging understanding and equity through shared experiences and educational programming. The nonprofit provides programming and educational forums that address the opportunities and challenges of living in a pluralistic society, the purpose of which are to advance understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution and education. In affirmation of its founding principles, it exists to foster individual and group dignity, cooperation, mutual understanding and respect among all peoples.

Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Tidewater Prejudice Awareness Summit

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, based in Richmond, Virginia, works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success by addressing prejudices, in all forms, in order to improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity, and enhance local trust. Through workshops, retreats, and customized programs that raise knowledge, motivation, and skills, the nonprofit develops leaders who work together to achieve success. The organization seeks to create spaces and places where people from all backgrounds feel engaged and supported, and believes that inclusion exists when people accept, respect, and value differences.

These seven organizations were carefully selected following a detailed review process. Organizations interested in pursuing a Pillar Grant in 2020 can visit the Buckingham website this summer for more information about the funding cycle’s area of interest and how to apply.

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