95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Urban Core Collective receives grant to provide masks to Black and Latinx residents in Grand Rapids

Mask made out of fabric
Public Thread

The Urban Core Collective, a cooperative of six nonprofit organizations in Grand Rapids, is one of ten groups who have been awarded a grant from the Neighborhood Match Fund. The grant awards range from $3000 dollars to $10,000 dollars.  Beca Velazquez-Publes, Executive Director of the Urban Core Collective plans to use the $3000 dollars it receives to distribute personal protective equipment to local residents.

“The Urban Core Collective is comprised of six organizations that serve predominantly Black and Brown individuals in our community. Our organizations are still providing services to our community so what we found really quickly is that they didn’t have an access to the protective wear needed in order to protect themselves and their clients.”

The Urban Core Collective will be sourcing the masks from Public Thread, a local mask-maker, and will be allocating them widely in the  49503, 06 and 07 zip codes. People of color make up 40% percent of all residents according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

“In communities like 49507 we still see our neighbors that don’t have access to these materials so we want to be conscious of how we are able to distribute these materials in a way in which getting to our neighbors who don’t traditionally have access to able to have face masks and other items.”

Thanks to the grant, the Urban Core Collective will purchase 800 masks to hand out at no cost to local residents and their families.