Wean Foundation Responds to Increasing the Economic Mobility of Residents

September 22, 2022 (Warren, Ohio) – The Wean Foundation responded to the ongoing pandemic, rising inflation and systemic racism through operating and programming support totaling $246,812 to two organizations seeking equitable access to resources, knowledge and opportunity:

Organización Cívica y Cultural Hispana Americana, Inc. (OCCHA) – in support of its long-standing history of providing social, economic, cultural and educational programs primarily to the Hispanic/Latinx and multi-cultural communities and Youngstown’s Spanish-speaking residents.

“The OCCHA staff and Board of Trustees thanks the Raymond John Wean Foundation for this grant that will be used for operational expenses. These funds allow OCCHA to further its mission of improving the lives of the Hispanic and Multi-cultural communities,” said Angelica Diaz, executive director of OCCHA.

YSU Center for Nonprofit Leadership – in support of the Summer Fellowship Program which provides a 12-week professional development opportunity with the intentionality of race equity and inclusion values embedded in the design of the Fellowship.

According to research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, minority students are at a disadvantage when it comes to internships. Whereas black students are underrepresented as paid interns and overrepresented as unpaid interns, Hispanic and Latino students are more likely to have had no internship by graduation. In response to these challenges, the fellowship program has been focusing on the participation of minority students by actively recruiting and tracking both their participation along with host organizations led by people of color.

“It is an honor to continue our strategic partnership with the Wean Foundation for this important work,” says Laura Dewberry, director of the YSU Center for Nonprofit Leadership. “We believe this program is a model for how a foundation/university partnership can create inclusion and equity in the nonprofit workforce. We are excited to implement the Nonprofit Leadership Summer Fellowship Program once again in the summer of 2023.”

Interested students and organizations are encouraged to reach out to Dewberry at LJDewberry@ysu.edu. An application will be emailed to organizations in mid-October. Students can apply to specific positions beginning in January 2023.

“The grant awards to several new grantees in 2022, and now OCCHA, reinforces the Foundation’s commitment to creating new grantee relationships as well sustaining and advancing existing partnerships such as that of the YSU Center for Nonprofit Leadership,” comments Jennifer Roller, president of the Wean Foundation.

The board of directors engaged in a thoughtful discussion centered around increased economic mobility of residents in Warren and Youngstown neighborhoods. The Foundation is seeking partnerships with organizations that are well-aligned with its mission, values and racial equity outcomes.

Organizations interested in grant opportunities within the four priorities of community revitalization, economic opportunity, educational opportunity and public and civic sector leadership should complete their WeanFolio at weanfoundation.org/apply-for-grants/#weanfolio.The WeanFolio serves as the entry point and introductory way to connect with the Foundation to see if there is an opportunity to work together.

The Foundation is working with several local and statewide organizations to customize programming specific to its Mahoning Valley grantees and partners. The following Capacity Building Program opportunities will be held in-person this fall at the Wean Foundation:

Equitable Organizations Learning Series – a customized series consisting of three 90-minute sessions where organizations will learn key tactics for strategically planning to achieve equitable organizations, beginning with equitable compensation.

American Negotiation Institute’s Finding Confidence in Conflict a workshop where participants, through the lens of race equity and inclusion, will develop strategies for gaining confidence and conquering the most difficult conversations in life and business.

Ohio Voice Movement Ecology Workshop­ – a full-day workshop that will introduce participants to a social movement ecology framework.

To learn more about capacity building opportunities with the Foundation contact Tara C. Walker-Pollock at 330.394.5600 x105 or tpollock@weanfoundation.org.


About the Wean Foundation: The Raymond John Wean Foundation is dedicated to community-building in underresourced communities of Warren and Youngstown in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley. The Foundation leverages a dynamic combination of grantmaking, capacity building, convening and partnerships to provoke new thinking, strengthen communities and disrupt the status quo to achieve its vision: empowered residents creating an equitable Mahoning Valley. Visit weanfoundation.org to learn more.