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. Previous 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.

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.

Subscribe to this page to get an email when we add information about future workshops.

Previous recipients

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

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 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.
Levant Canada

Levant intends to create a Steps Dance Club to offer newcomers with disabilities professional instruction and guidance in a variety of styles of dance, with the purpose of providing a social space and helping them engage in physical exercise.

Accelerator program that provides Black, Indigenous and racialized young women and diverse people aged 18-24 an opportunity to learn how to effectively create a social impact initiative or business to solve one of the 17 UN Global Goals.
African Community Wellness Initiative (ACWI)
Support the continuation of mental wellness circle facilitations with the aim to dedicate a staff member to this role.
Association of Liberian Immigrants in Kitchener Environs (ALIKE)
Support the sustainability and expansion of ALIKE’s hybrid afterschool program.
Help create a software platform to provide Black freelance hairstylists with the technology and resources they need to automatically handle appointment bookings, payment transactions, financial reporting, and client management.
Rohingya Centre of Canada
Toward the maintenance and sustainability of Rohingya Centre of Canada’s core programming that provides employment support for newcomer youth up to the age of 24.
Action for Women & Family Foundation (AFWAFF) – Gardens for Black Families (GBF) project
This project brings together 15 families to farm 15 garden plots in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. The fruits and vegetables that are planted will be harvested for their use and use by the community.
African Family Revival Organization (AFRO) – home support for Black seniors
AFRO will run a one-year pilot program and train a team of three Black youth to provide regular home visits and light housekeeping services to isolated Black seniors living in Kitchener.
The Coalition of Muslim Women (CMW) of K-W – Women Leading Change Project
Recognizing that racialized women require more tools to leverage education and experience from their country of origin, the CMW will run a Women Leading Change Project. This project will help bridge gaps in knowledge and understanding for racialized women to achieve more successful economic and social outcomes.
The Ethiopian Association of KW & Surrounding Areas (EA) – conference event
The EA will host a one-day conference for association members focused on financial planning, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, preparing a will, and the importance of education. The conference will also provide access to valuable community resources such as mental health services, family counselling, legal representation, community recreational activities, and financial education.
Hope for Community Development – service expansion
This group will build on its existing services to provide racialized youth and adults with employable skills and entrepreneurship programs to enhance their professional capabilities and grow their businesses. This funding will allow more than 50 young aspiring entrepreneurs aged 16-35 to attend educational workshops and training to learn principles to grow their businesses.
Maada’oonidiwag – Mentorship Program
This mentorship program pairs four individuals with an Indigenous knowledge carrier for one-to-one teaching and mentorship. The program will include traditional dance teachings, ceremonial practices, protocols and responsibilities, regalia, and cultural guidance.