The City of Kitchener this fall is supporting racialized organizations and groups through a free grant-writing workshop and $75,000 in grants available through the Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Equity (RISE) Fund.

The City is partnering with Kind Minds Family Wellness and the Kitchener Public Library to host a free grant-writing workshop for racialized and Indigenous groups and organizations serving those same communities. The two-part workshop includes sessions on Oct. 5 and 11. Registration is now open. For details, visit the registration page.

The RISE Fund supports applications for up to $10,000 in funding per group and will be open Oct. 10 - Nov. 10. For details about the RISE program, visit

Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic said, “The grant-writing workshop and RISE Fund are just some of the ways the City supports Black, Indigenous, and racialized community-led organizations and helps to increase their opportunities and well-being.

“These programs continue the work we ramped up several years ago,” he said. “Our latest strategic plan, which council passed unanimously in late August, reaffirms our commitment to creating a more caring city — a city for everyone where, together, we take care of the world around us – and each other.”

The RISE Fund program started in 2022, and since then, the City has distributed about $150,000 to support 23 groups, individuals, and events — including 11 organizations that received grants earlier this year.

“This past spring, the selection committee — the City’s equity and anti-racism advisory committee — awarded grants to a broad spectrum of groups working diligently to reduce inequities for local racialized residents,” said Rea Parchment, the City’s senior anti-racism advisor.

The following groups received funding:

Somali Canadian Association of Waterloo Region (SCAWR); to help expand their basketball and soccer drop-in programs into a structured sports program for East African youth in our community.

Rhythm & Blues Cambridge; to enable the group to expand its Black Girl Excellence Program and Art from the Heart workshops to Kitchener.

Muslim Social Services; to support the continuation and expansion of the Hear Me Out youth program that enlightens youth about spiritually and culturally relevant tools that make for a positive, resilient mindset.

The Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region; to support the LiftOff pitching competition, a platform that allows Black entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.

Crow Shield Lodge; to support the ongoing expansion of offerings for the local Indigenous community to connect with the land and waters in the region.

CKW Naija Mama’s Group; to support the Empower Mamas Project to help immigrant mothers — often skilled yet underemployed — find commensurate jobs in their fields.

Bring on the Sunshine (BOTS); to contribute to their annual African Festival, which helps alleviate the isolation of racialized/marginalized groups, spreads awareness for Black and African issues, and promotes education and leadership opportunities for Black and African youth.

Nigerians in the Region of Waterloo; to support INDEFEST, commemorating Nigeria’s Independence Day. The festival features Nigerian arts, culture, dance, food, and music.

Sporas Scattered; to help create a platform where Palestinian diaspora youth can learn about their peoples, cultural identities, and traditions and reduce inequities and anti-Palestinian racism.

Muslim Association of Canada Youth Inspire; to help host multiple events and small-group programs fostering Islamic principles such as purpose, honesty, generosity, and addressing identity crisis issues.

Empower Employment (Mental Mindset Management); to help provide free and compassionate mental health care to racialized families in Kitchener.

For more details and information on how to apply for the next round of funding, visit


For more information

Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Kitchener