Building Black Communities Fund Awards University District Development Corporation $25,000 Grant to Provide Affordable Housing

Barrett Allen directs the University District Partnership, a revitalization program for the residential neighborhoods and commercial areas adjacent to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Photo by Ben Krain.

The University District Development Corporation (UDDC), based at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been awarded a $25,000 Building Black Communities Fund grant from the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative and the Arkansas Community Foundation. 

UDDC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing affordable housing and making neighborhood improvements within the University District. The grant funds, which are provided by Facebook, Inc., will be used to support affordable housing for residents within University District between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.

“UDDC is grateful to the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative and the Arkansas Community Foundation for their investment in the University District,” UDDC Director Barrett Allen said. “This is a great example of partners working together to provide safe, decent, and affordable homes for families to purchase in the University District. UDDC is delighted the funds will be used to support the development and construction of seven new single family affordable housing units.”

Arkansas Community Foundation is one of 20 community foundations in the U.S. selected to receive funding from Facebook, Inc. to manage grant making to support Black communities and Black-led nonprofits. This commitment is part of Facebook’s broader $1.1 billion investment in Black and diverse suppliers and communities in the U.S.

The Community Foundation, in partnership with the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative, provided grants of up to $25,000 to support programs and initiatives specifically designed to impact Black people and communities in the Little Rock metropolitan area, which includes Pulaski, Saline, Perry, Grant, Faulkner, and Lonoke Counties. UDDC is one of 40 Black-led and Black-serving nonprofit organizations in central Arkansas to receive a grant from the Build Black Communities Fund.

“Facebook, Inc. provided the funding, the Community Foundation provided the infrastructure to make the grants and Black leaders in Central Arkansas determined which nonprofits received them,” said Heather Larkin, president and CEO of Arkansas Community Foundation. 

Grant recipients are awarded to nonprofits serving in small business support and economic development, community improvement, human services and basic needs, civil rights, social action, leadership development and capacity building, education, health, and arts/culture/humanities.

“This significant grant funding will empower Black-led organizations to amplify their voice in the giving space,” said Derek Lewis of the Black Philanthropy Collaborative. “All 40 grant recipients were able to demonstrate established relationships and a good track record of working on activities that impact Black communities.”

The Building Black Communities Fund Advisory Committee members include Kandice Bell, Office of the Governor Asa Hutchinson; Joyvin Benton, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute; Alyson Bradford, State Farm; Tamika Edwards, Central Arkansas Water; Charlotte Green, Arkansas Imagination Library; Rev. Shantell Hill, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation; Derek Lewis II, Derek Lewis Foundation and Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative; Kendra Pruitt, Office of Mayor Frank Scott; Charles Stewart, Arkansas Black Hall of Fame; Kara Wilkins, Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative; and Darrin Williams, Southern Bancorp.  

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