The Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Equity (RISE) Fund is a community grant that provides support for community-led organizations, programs, initiatives or events meant to decrease inequities and increase opportunities and well-being for Black, Indigenous and racialized communities in Kitchener.

On this page:

  1. Categories and grant amounts
  2. Eligibility
  3. Apply for the RISE Fund
  4. Staff contacts
  5. Assessment process
  6. Grant agreements
  7. Accessibility and translation
  8. Grant writing for racialized communities workshop
  9. RISE Fund recipients

Categories and grant amounts

The RISE Fund has an annual budget of $150,000, with these maximums and minimums:

  • maximum annual grant amount for groups: $10,000
  • minimum annual grant amount for groups: $1,000
  • maximum for events: $5,000

Groups are eligible for funding within these categories:

  • capacity building: groups and organizations can use this funding to provide resources to build and develop internal capacity before launching projects or events
  • core operational costs: groups and organizations with core operational costs essential to their work
  • event funding: an event organized by the group or organization, or a series of small events over time (maximum $5,000)
  • project funding: projects organized by the group or organization
  • other: we'll consider other requests as long as they still fall within the broader criteria of the grant


This grant is open to formal and informal organizations or community groups in Kitchener. The group can be newly formed for the purpose of a specific project or is a pre-existing group undertaking a project.

Applicants must meet the following application criteria:

  • the organization or group is led by and for Black, Indigenous and/or racialized individuals or groups in Kitchener
  • can demonstrate through a budget how groups or organizations propose to use funds, and agree to report back upon completion of the project, including accountability of all revenues, expenses and proof of purchases
  • the project, initiative or event will contribute to one or several of the following:
    • decrease inequities
    • increase opportunities
    • increase well-being for Black, Indigenous or other racialized community members in Kitchener

We will not provide grant funding, financial support or any other financial or in-kind contribution to any person, including any individual, body, business, or entity, that hosts, arranges, contributes to or promotes Conversion Practices. Learn more about this policy on LaserFiche.

Apply for the RISE Fund

Applications are closed. Subscribe to this page to get an email when applications open in the future.

Staff contacts

If you have questions about the grant criteria, eligibility, or potential alignment of your project, group or event with the objectives of the RISE Fund, please email Rea Parchment.

If you have questions about the grant process or completing the application form, please email Amanda Drumond or call 519-741-2200, ext. 7591.

Assessment process

Our Equity & Anti-Racism Advisory Committee is the selection committee for this grant. This committee includes 12 community members representing voices who have been historically underrepresented or excluded, specifically those who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+ identified, people with disabilities, religious minorities, and the intersections of these identities.

Staff provide facilitative and administrative support. City staff do not have voting privileges in the grant selection.

Grant agreements

All recipients of the RISE Fund will be expected to sign a contract with the City of Kitchener outlining the terms of the agreement in accordance with regulations provided by the City Solicitor.

Final financial reports must be submitted within 8 months of receiving your city-issued cheque unless otherwise discussed and agreed upon. Within the 8-month timeframe, we may request a status update from the recipient(s).

Accessibility and translation

We are committed to helping with all accessibility requests, including language translation. Applications may be submitted in languages other than English, and translation or interpretation services will be provided upon request. Paper versions of the application are also available upon request for pick-up at any of our community centres or City Hall. If you have any accessibility requirements, please email Amanda Drumond or call 519-741-2200, ext. 7591.

Grant writing for racialized communities workshop

Twice each year, we work with a community organization to deliver a grant-writing workshop for Black, Indigenous and racialized groups and organizations serving those same communities.

Upcoming workshop

Join us for an upcoming workshop:

  • dates: Thursday, April 11, and Thursday, April 18
  • time: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • location: Kitchener Public Library

Register online

About the workshop

Facilitators teach the essentials for writing a successful municipal, provincial and federal grant application.

Workshop participants receive guidance and support related to their specific grant application challenges and build practical knowledge and skills that can be applied to all future grant applications.

This workshop covers specifics related to our RISE Fund.

RISE Fund recipients

Open the accordions below to learn about previous RISE Fund recipients.

Abeingo Association Canada
The RISE Fund will support two of their annual events - the Annual Summer Barbeque and Celebration of Black History Month.
African Women's Alliance of Waterloo Region
The RISE Fund will support the “Shock Proofing Our Homes Against Violence” initiative. This project aims to address the urgent need for awareness, education, and action to combat the pervasive issue of gender-based violence within African communities.
Afropolitan Canada
The RISE Fund will support Afropolitan Canada’s swimming program which is the first national Black swimming program in Canada. The monies will contribute to the continuation of the program teaching swimming to Black women and children who would like to conquer their fear of the water, be comfortable in the water and/or learn new skills.
Congress of Black Women - Waterloo Region
The RISE Fund will support the “Paving the way for ACB Student Success in Waterloo Region” (Show me the MONEY) project. The purpose of the project is to provide Black high school students and their parents/guardians an opportunity to learn about scholarships and empower them to be able to complete scholarship applications so that they can pursue their educational goals following the completion of high school.
The RISE Fund while contribute to core operational costs that will allow Findsuri's continued operation, growth, and ability to provide ongoing support to Syrian families seeking to reunite with their missing loved ones and prioritize mental health.
Kingsdale Community Garden
The RISE Fund will support the growth of the garden. The Kingsdale Community Garden is inclusive with plots designed to accommodate both young, old, and wheelchair accessible residents with a communion garden section to enable the community to have access to the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season free of charge.
The RISE Fund will aid in covering the costs of renting appropriate spaces for the women to practice and play their games. Koraa requires soccer pitches and basketball and volleyball courts to function as a sports league.
MedInclude is a web and app-based platform that helps patients who do not speak English as their first language to better understand medical information by transcribing it into simple terms (grade 5 and below) and translating it into multiple languages. Their goal is to increase health equity for newcomers in Kitchener. The RISE Fund will contribute to growing the application by improving the accuracy of medical transcriptions and translations as well as increasing the scope and capacity of the platform.
Nigerians in the Region of Waterloo (NIROW)

The RISE Fund will support NIROW’s ability to hire a consultant who can assist them in putting the appropriate governing structures in place so that they can continue to attend to growing community needs. This includes reviewing and updating board charters, policies, community by-laws and HR practices.

O:se Kenhionhata:tie (Land Back Camp)
The RISE Fund supported a Winter Solstice event, a time in which the Indigenous community celebrates with a feast and ceremony. It was held on December 20, 2023 and was open to the broader Black, Indigenous, Racialized, Queer and grassroots communities in Kitchener. An Indigenous family-owned catering company provided the main meal and live music was featured. The ceremony included the giveaway (potlatch), drum circle, smudge, and words from the Elder.
Sporas Scattered
The RISE Fund will contribute to their annual Palestine Festival, an event that brings in the Arab community to celebrate Palestinian culture and heritage. It features Palestinian singers, poetry, cuisine, and trivia. The event focuses on engaging and encouraging Palestinian youth to build relationships with their community and their roots.
Previous recipients
  • Somali Canadian Association of Waterloo Region (SCAWR)
  • Rhythm & Blues Cambridge
  • Muslim Social Services
  • The Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region
  • Crow Shield Lodge
  • CKW Naija Mama's Group
  • Bring on the Sunshine (BOTS)
  • Nigerians in the Region of Waterloo
  • Sporas Scattered
  • Muslim Association of Canada Youth Inspire
  • Empower Employment (Mental Mindset Management)
  • Levant Canada
  • ForUsGirls
  • African Community Wellness Initiative (ACWI)
  • Association of Liberian Immigrants in Kitchener Environs (ALIKE)
  • BeBlended
  • Rohingya Centre of Canada
  • Action for Women & Family Foundation (AFWAFF)
  • African Family Revival Organization (AFRO)
  • The Coalition of Muslim Women (CMW) of K-W
  • The Ethiopian Association of KW & Surrounding Areas (EA)
  • Hope for Community Development
  • Maada'oonidiwag