The Community Foundation of Macon County Selected To Receive National Training in Advancing Racial Equity

This fall’s training provides tools to help eliminate racism and promote racial equity.

The Community Foundation of Macon County (CFMC) is one of only 13 community foundations nationwide selected to participate in Community Foundation Racial Equity Training, an interactive virtual series held over six days this fall. The series is facilitated by ABFE, a philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities.

The participating foundations were selected through a competitive process and range in asset size from $21 million to $594 million. The group includes several who are role models for their efforts in promoting racial equity in the large communities they serve, including the community foundations of Greater Birmingham (Ala.) and Louisville (Ky.), and the East Bay Community Foundation (Oakland, Calif.)

“This program is designed to help community foundations foster a deeper understanding and shared appreciation for what it means to advance racial equity as an organization, both operationally and programmatically,” says Kyumon Murrell, senior program coordinator, philanthropic advising services, ABFE.

ABFE, once known as the Association of Black Foundation Executives, partnered with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to provide the focused racial equity trainings, which will be offered to CFMC’s staff, senior leadership and trustees.

“This is not just a national acknowledgment of the good work we are already doing in this area at The Community Foundation,” says CFMC President and CEO Natalie Beck. “This training is an opportunity to further equip our staff and trustees with the shared knowledge, skills and tools needed to better understand the foundations of race, racism, and racial equity. This will help us become even more deliberate in our work to advance racial equity in our community.

“At the Foundation, we believe all residents in our community should have the opportunity to reach their full potential,” she adds. “We also believe our community has the resources available to meet our most pressing problems, including racism and inequity.”

Recent CFMC projects related to advancing racial equity include last year’s launch of the Racial Equity Fund. This endowed fund provides grant funding to address equity gaps in these areas affecting quality of life: education, job readiness, health and wellness, income and wealth creation, and neighborhoods and communities. Fifty percent of all donations fund yearly grants, and the other 50 percent support the fund’s endowment to provide a lasting legacy of support for ongoing needs. To date, a total of more than $24,000 in grants from the fund has been presented to 10 local nonprofit organizations working to help eliminate systemic racism and advance racial equity.

“It’s our hope that this ABFE training will help us in mobilizing our community’s generous spirit to make a positive difference,” Beck says. “Working together, we are optimistic we can build a community of expanded opportunities where we all thrive.”

For more information, call Natalie Beck at 217.429.3000 or email