Home Madison Ascendium awards $200,000 to four Madison-area nonprofits working for racial justice

Ascendium awards $200,000 to four Madison-area nonprofits working for racial justice


Four Madison-area nonprofit organizations working to advance racial justice – The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, Freedom Inc., Urban Triage and YWCA Madison – will receive $50,000 grants each from Ascendium Education Group, the organization announced today.

Ascendium’s leaders had asked its more than 250 employees to nominate Madison-based nonprofits that are providing an identifiable and meaningful response to address racial justice. Employees nominated 15 organizations and the top four were selected. The awardees are:

• Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, which works to eliminate health disparities and other barriers impacting the lives of Black women and girls through education, outreach, advocacy, support circles and partnerships;

• Freedom Inc., a nonprofit organization that works with low- to no-income communities of color to achieve social justice through coupling direct services with leadership development and community organizing;

• Urban Triage, which aims to empower Black families and children by developing and managing life-changing programming and mobilizing community resources to distribute them to those most in need.

• YWCA of Madison, which works to advance race and gender equity to create a more inclusive community; helps people with job training and transportation; and supports women and families in housing and shelter.

Ascendium Education Group is the nation’s largest federal student loan guarantor, a leading post-secondary education philanthropy and a provider of student success services for postsecondary institutions.

“Now more than ever, education is the single most effective way to enhance upward social mobility, which is an essential step towards equity and inclusion,” said Richard D. George, Ascendium’s chairman, president and chief executive officer in a statement. “Absent hope for opportunity, the underlying currents that foster racism and violence are given the power that drives crisis.

“We wanted to contribute to change by supporting those organizations in our community that are already doing great work in that regard,” he added.

All four organizations selected for grants provide direct service to the community and lead broader community awareness and education efforts on racial and social justice.