$120,000 Untold Stories Program Launches in Macon County

The Community Foundation of Macon County (CFMC) announces Untold Stories, a $120,000 community engagement program to bring to life and share stories of underrepresented people in Macon County. The CFMC is one of only three Illinois foundations who received matching grant funds from The Lumpkin Family Foundation. Decatur Earthmover Credit Union is also providing funding for the Untold Stories program.

“The Lumpkin Family Foundation is proud to support the work of the community foundations across the region who listen deeply to their communities and provide funding to organizations sometimes left out of traditional grant programs,” said Lumpkin Foundation Executive Director Bruce Karmazin. “We look forward to seeing and hearing these stories and contributing to a fuller understand of history.”

The Untold Stories program’s vision is to promote a fuller understanding of history as a contribution to conversations about racial equity and social justice. This year-long program will focus on partnering with local historical/genealogical societies, libraries, schools, universities, museums, nonprofits, and churches to acknowledge and uncover untold history, support partnerships and build relationships, and develop understanding through education.

The program will be led by an advisory committee of community members who are knowledgeable on Macon County history and have a deep understanding of racial equity and social justice. Julia Roundtree Livingston chairs the committee and is joined by Natalie Beck, Steve Grohne, Justin Hampton, Shelith Hansbro, Pastor Matt Samuels, Benny Smith, Jr., Mark Sorensen and Stacey Young. The advisory committee will oversee, coordinate, and select grant partners, they will select historical voices and events to spotlight, and shed light on underrepresented populations.

“I find it very appropriate the Untold Stories program debuts right here in Macon County as we have such rich history from the black and brown communities,” said committee chairwoman Julie Roundtree Livingston, who also works as the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. “I look forward to working with the Untold Stories committee, the Community Foundation, and each of the funding partners to ensure that we highlight these stories of lived experiences as we seek continued progress in racial equity and social justice in our community. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this progress locally and statewide.”

For more information, contact Natalie Beck at nbeck@maconcountygives.org or 217.429.3000.