The City of Kitchener is proud to launch the Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Equity (RISE) Fund. This new grant program is for organizations and groups run by and for Black, Indigenous, and racialized community members to support community-led programs, initiatives, and events. 

"The concept for this grant came directly from members of the community, who expressed the need for clear action and increased supports for groups who need it most,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “As a community-led, city-supported initiative, the RISE Fund will provide increased opportunities for Black, Indigenous and racialized groups to define and implement community support systems that will serve them best.” 

The RISE Fund was developed in collaboration with community members from the Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to help decrease inequities and increase opportunities and well-being for local Black, Indigenous and racialized communities.  

“Throughout the work of the task force, we heard first-hand how this needed to be one of the actions listed in the City’s Corporate Equity and Anti-Racism Strategy,” said Ward 6 Councillor Paul Singh. “While the fund is starting out small, it is an important step forward for the City in our commitment to breaking down barriers and creating meaningful change.” 

The new Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Equity (RISE) Fund is being launched during Black History Month 2022, an annual month focused on learning more about and celebrating the contributions of Kitchener and Canada’s African, Caribbean and Black residents. 

“In keeping with this year’s theme for Black History Month, which focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness, the launch of the RISE Fund will provide sustained funding for Black, Indigenous and racialized groups,” said Ward 10 Councillor, Sarah Marsh. “As a joint effort with the community, the City is proud to introduce a grant that will help to build a more equitable system of community supports.”  

Those interested in applying can submit an online application. Submissions for the RISE Fund are being accepted year-round and will be considered by the Equity and Anti-Racism Advisory Committee quarterly, during seasonal review periods.  

The City is committed to removing barriers for community members who would like to apply. If alternative methods of applying are needed, community members can contact  

The deadline for applications to be considered as part of the winter review period is March 17. 

To find out if your group or organization is eligible and to apply, visit For more information about other grant opportunities offered by the City, visit  


Shawn Falcao   
Manager, Corporate Communications  
City of Kitchener