LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington's East End experienced segregation after the Civil War and suffered economically post World War II. Now, residents of the historically African American neighborhood say it's a community on the rise, and a major investment from the PNC Foundation will play a role in improving the quality of life for people who live there.
This morning, the foundation announced three-year grants totaling $225,000. The recipients include Community Ventures Corporation, the United Way of the Bluegrass, and the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County. Each organization gets $75,000 to help address systemic racism and promote racial justice in the community.
NEW: Three Lexington nonprofits (United Way, Community Ventures, Urban League) will each receive $75,000 from PNC to address racial justice and empower residents of the city’s East End. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/g0YPmP7VzA— Evelyn Schultz (@EvelynSchultzTV) August 10, 2021
The United Way plans to use the money for education-based programming, including a volunteer program at the WayPoint Center's Charles Young Location. The Urban League is focusing on expanding its offerings, including programs addressing financial literacy and minority entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, Community Ventures is investing the grant money in technical assistance programs to bolster small businesses and homeownership in the East End, as well as other Black communities in Fayette County.
"This community, it's got some history with Black entrepreneurs," said Mark Johnson, the president of artistic operations for Community Ventures. "These funds are going to help us continue that legacy and help people with small businesses and entrepreneurial dreams bring them to fruition."
Johnson is also the president of ArtHouse Kentucky, located in the MET building in the East End.
"The history of the East End, it's such a special history," he told LEX 18. "I think these funds and what's being done here is just going to continue to elevate that history and make those opportunities even more special."
The grants are part of PNC's billion-dollar pledge to address systemic racism, which they announced last summer.