The Winston-Salem Foundation Awards more than $960,000 in Grants Supporting Advancing Equity in Educ

The Winston-Salem Foundation Awards more than $960,000 in Grants Supporting Advancing Equity in Education and Building Inclusive Economy

The Winston-Salem Foundation (WSF) made 15 grants totaling $966,180 in the second half of 2021 in support of its two focus areas for community investment: Building an Inclusive Economy and Advancing Equity in Education, two priorities crucial to ensuring Winston-Salem becomes a place where race no longer predicts life outcomes.

Focus Area grants are made possible by donations to the Foundation’s flexible grantmaking funds that enable the Foundation to adapt to changing community opportunities and challenges. To learn more, visit  

The Forsyth County School Justice Partnership is a collaborative of stakeholders from local courts, law enforcement, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, and community agencies working together to find alternatives to referring youth to juvenile court for nonviolent offenses. The Partnership seeks to reduce suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to the justice system by constructively addressing student misconduct when and where it happens to help students succeed in school and prevent negative outcomes for both youth and their communities.

Grant: $10,000 for organizational planning, $50,000 to implement programming in local schools, and $27,500 for a project coordinator

● Triad Restorative Justice is an emerging community resource that advances peace, equity, and trust in the community by responding to conflict, crime, and injustice through effective restorative practices rooted in respect and interpersonal connection. In their Lead Together restorative project, TRJ partners with WS/FCS and other community stakeholders to engage student voices in discussions around school safety and belonging, ultimately building stronger relationships and stronger community connections. Grants: $20,000 to support the RESTART and Impact Circle programs and $100,000 to support school-based restorative projects in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

● Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools works with nonprofit partner AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) to increase student access to accelerated opportunities and create a college preparatory culture within schools so students can be college and career ready. The program provides academic, social, and emotional support to help students succeed even in the most rigorous courses while also prioritizing equitable and student-centered approaches.

Grant: $69,680 to bring AVID programming to students at five high schools


● Asset Building Coalition (ABC) is working to raise awareness about asset poverty and its effects on individuals, families, and our community. ABC hired its first full-time executive director in 2020, and in 2021 strengthened its internal operations by adding new board members with legal expertise and other skills sets at the governance level. Their new website features data specific to Forsyth County to increase awareness and understanding of asset poverty and the benefits cliff. ABC recently relaunched its benefits cliff committee and benefits cliff learning groups, which are tasked with formulating solutions that will help dismantle and mitigate the loss of public benefits.

Grant: $45,000 for operating support

● Financial Pathways of the Piedmont (FPP) helps improve lives through financial counseling, coaching, and education in a holistic service delivery model. Student loan debt is an issue for many of their clients. While offering counseling on how to navigate repayment, FPP also recognized the need to support community members prior to taking on student loans. To address this, a new student loan navigator position was created to engage community partners, host informational workshops, and provide counseling to community members. This role will have a comprehensive view of the student loan landscape and will help families navigate the process to better understand their options, supporting both high school students and non-traditional age students who may not have access to other resources. This position will stay updated on current student loan policies and legislation to ensure that programming is relevant and to identify opportunities for civic engagement/advocacy.

Grant: $195,000 for a coordinator to assist community members navigate student loans and debt

● Goler Community Development Corporation revitalizes urban neighborhoods through housing development, commercial development, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. This grant supports Goler’s operations, which included four primary projects. TechCareers links unemployed and underemployed residents with education and training to secure positions in the information and technology industry. Goler’s hydroponics facility is an entrepreneurial opportunity in the Kimberly Park neighborhood to provide fresh produce and job training. Goler has also been assisting in the development of the Metropolitan Village housing project, also working to ensure that the 32 existing tenants will not be displaced once the new development is complete in 2023. When the facility is complete, Goler plans to offer onsite workforce training programs. Goler is also working to possibly develop a shared use kitchen in the former Zestos Burgers building they own at 2600 New Walkertown Road.

Grant: $60,000 for operating support

● HUSTLE Winston-Salem works to provide equitable opportunities for community members, especially women, people of color, and those in marginalized neighborhoods, so they can take advantage of the entrepreneurial pipeline in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. HUSTLE plays an important role in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by integrating inclusive and culturally sensitive practices, and by connecting those entrepreneurs most at-risk for systematic exclusion with the resources they need to be part of the local innovation economy.

Grant: $80,000 to expand programming and resources to support Black and Brown entrepreneurs in Forsyth County

● Memorial Industrial Community Development Corporation (MICDC) works to improve the quality of life for Forsyth County residents by addressing social determinants of health related to food, health, nutrition, and the local economy. MICDC is establishing a community incubator food and farm project to help participants develop the skills necessary to operate a profitable small business or farm or obtain employment in the agricultural sector. They plan to lease plots of land to individuals at an affordable rate that they can farm and then sell their crops. This project is in collaboration with N.C. Cooperative Extension: the partnership will leverage the use of County lands to increase agricultural small business for BIPOC community members.

Grant: $15,000 to support the farm incubator program

● N.C. Employee Ownership Center (NCEOC) preserves and protects the job and community impacts of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the state by helping to transition businesses to employee ownership. Many other states have employee ownership centers, which act as a central hub to promote employee ownership and provide support to businesses that may be converting to this model. Earlier this year, NCEOC connected with groups in Forsyth County and is now planning its second phase of local work.

Grant: $150,000 to support employee ownership in Forsyth County for two years

● TCK Providence (TCK) is a culinary training program that primarily serves people who are developing careers in the hospitality industry after significant life challenges, such as job loss, homelessness, or incarceration. TCK has been incorporating trauma-resilient practices into their training program and in their work with employment partners. Trauma-resilient culture adopts methods of communication, decision making, and relationship building that will enhance a person’s resilience to stress – making it easier for participants to successfully obtain and retain employment.

Grant: $60,000 for a trauma informed employment coach for a second year

● Simon Green Atkins Community Development Corporation (SGA) fosters community-based leadership and revitalizes the neighborhoods surrounding Winston-Salem State University. In 2021, SGA expanded its support for small businesses by opening a Small Businesswomen’s Center to assist low-wealth BIPOC women to start or expand their businesses and by adding a small business counselor to assist them in applying for business grants. SGA is offering $1,000 mini grants to assist with business growth and increase capacity in areas such as online marketing and business accounting. Their commercial kitchen at the Enterprise Center has remained in high demand during the pandemic and has made 50,000 free meals since early 2020, in addition to supporting local food entrepreneurs. SGA has also continued to develop and sell affordable homes, with two homes currently under construction.

Grant: $75,000 for operational support

● Triad Farmers Network is a for-profit LLC with a strong focus on making positive local social impact. Triad Farmers Network is comprised of a core group of Black farming partners and Happy Hill Garden representatives. The Urban Farm Cooperative will use regenerative agriculture to create a Black-led bio-nutrient food production supply chain that will include Black food service businesses, support local restaurants, and offer a mobile market supplying six food deserts with produce that will also accept WIC payments. H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem is incubating the Cooperative, offering use of a H.O.P.E. truck and food storage and preparation at their facilities. Grant: $9,000 to establish the infrastructure for an Urban Farm Cooperative


The Winston-Salem Foundation is a community foundation that supports charitable programs in the greater Forsyth County area. Founded in 1919 with a $1,000 gift, it now administers more than 1,550 funds and had total custodial assets of $626.3 million at the end of 2020. In 2020, the Foundation granted $125.8 million to charitable causes, $3.2 million of which was through its Community Grants program. Learn more at