York nonprofits receive Racial Equity grants

More than $69,000 in grants have been provided to eight local nonprofit organizations by the Racial Equity Fund (REF) Grant Program of York County Community Foundation (YCCF). The REF is made up of community leaders of color who choose projects that focus on issues of racism and integrity, addressing “shifting the paradigm of equitable opportunities.” 

Grants of up to $10,000 each for projects that address equity gaps for communities of color are awarded by the REF in the following areas: 

  • Education and job readiness 
  • Criminal justice system 
  • Community leadership and development 
  • Income and wealth creation within communities of color 
  • Racial and cultural education 
  • Health and wellness within communities of color 

“The REF is pleased to have completed its second round of grant funding for 2022,” Lisa Kennedy, Chair of the Racial Equity Fund, said in a statement. “We continue to encourage potential applicants to reach out to us with any questions about the work we do to advance racial equity within our community.” 

The REF was created in 2020 by the YCCF to establish a dedicated grant program to support meaningful, positive action towards addressing racial inequities in the York community. To establish an endowment to ensure meaningful grants are distributed every year, additional contributions are being sought. 

The following programs received grants to address iniquities in York County: 

  • Appell Center for the Performing Arts for its Culturally Responsive and Teen Empowered Creative Career Programs that prioritize culturally responsive pedagogy, youth empowerment and pipelines into the performing arts. 


  • Handle with Care Project UPLIFT US Project to unpack issues related to interactions between police and racially diverse community members with disabilities through a series of interactive presentations and dialogue circles. 


  • Junior Achievement (JA) of South-Central PA for its Empowering Equitable Tomorrows in the School District of the City of York Program. JA is working with York City School District to increase its students’ participation in JA’s programs to more equitable levels as other York County students. 


  • Shiloh Baptist Church for The Impact Project (TIP) – an education/job preparedness project that seeks to address equity gaps and racial disparities within communities of color through job training, career preparedness, and income equity. 


  • York College of Pennsylvania for its Race, Mentorship and Career DEI Readiness Program to provide mentors for women of color and career DEI readiness for its BIPOC students. 


  • York County History Center to support the Community Historian for Diversity and Inclusion Position. With YCCF’s support, the York County History Center will be able to offer a Full-time Community Historian Position for Diversity and Inclusion. 


  • YWCA York Leadership for its Youth Summit Expansion Program. The Leadership Summit engages high school students in dialogue around racism and provides activities for continued growth and education throughout the year. 


  • YWCA York for its Voice/Vision/Value – An Advocacy Workshop Series for Teens. This series focuses engaging teens in harnessing their talents to drive equity and build a stronger York. It incorporates the Voice/Vision/Value message through sessions on advocacy through art, music, poetry, civic engagement, and podcasting. 

Four grants were awarded to help nonprofit organizations build their diversity, equity, and inclusion capacity through training. Half the cost for these DEI-related trainings will be covered by the YCCF, the other half by the organizations. The organizations include the following: 

  • Children’s Aid Society SOPA COB 
  • LifePath Christian Ministries 
  • MidPenn Legal Services 
  • PennCares Support Services 

“Strengthening the cultural competence of the nonprofit sector by investing in the leadership, boards, and staff will enable them to become vocal advocates for the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community. It is important to work together to affect positive change,” said Adrian N. Buckner, vice president of grants and community engagement and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at YCCF. 

Nonprofits seeking to qualify for a grant must be working directly with people of color, with a preference for projects that are led by people of color. 

Grant to aid work on York County history center


The former Metropolitan-Edison Steam Generating Plant at N. Pershing Ave. and W. Philadelphia St. in York will be transformed in the York County History Center.

The York County History Center has received a $652,053 grant to aid in improving infrastructure on and around its new site in downtown York.

The grant came from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which is part of the Department of Economic and Community Development, according to press releases from state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) and state Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York).

The history center will be occupying the former Met-Ed steam plant on the corner of West Philadelphia Street and North Pershing Avenue in York.

The grant funding will be used for traffic and pedestrian improvements, utility relocations and streetscape improvements, according to a news release. The total cost of the infrastructure improvement project is $950,015.

“I’m grateful that the history center applied for this grant and that the CFA saw the merits throughout this competitive grant application process. This will turn a blighted property into a community beacon to be enjoyed by generations in the years to come,” Phillips-Hill said in a news release.

The relocation project will consolidate the history center’s 10 locations in downtown York and save an estimated $12 million in deferred maintenance costs at the existing sites, according to the history center’s website. The total cost of the project is $20 million, according to the site.

The new history center will be located a block away from the Colonial Complex, which includes the Golden Plough Tavern, General Horatio Gates House and the Colonial Court House.

A representative from the York County History Center could not be reached for comment.

14 area museums and science centers to offer free admission to military families this summer

More than 70 museums across Pennsylvania, including 14 in Central PA, will offer free admission to military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Blue Star Museums, in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense, provide families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their community, especially after a military move.

Nationally, nearly one million military members and their families took advantage of the free admission to more than 2,000 fine arts museums, science museums, nature centers, and children’s museums last summer.

“Visiting a museum is a great way to get to know a community—whether it’s in your hometown or a stop on a road trip,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu in a prepared statement. “We appreciate the enthusiasm of museums all across the country who open their doors for military and their families to spend time together and have new arts experiences.”

Leadership support for Blue Star Families programming and promotional materials has been provided by MetLife Foundation. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Here’s a list (to date) of participating Blue Star Museums in our region:

 U.S. Army & Heritage Museum, Carlisle

National Watch & Clock Museum, Columbia

Ephrata Cloister

Appalachian Trail Museum, Gardners

Civil War Tails at the Homestead Diorama Museum, Gettysburg

Historical Society of Dauphin County, Harrisburg

Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, Harrisburg

Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg

State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg

Lancaster Science Factory, Lancaster

North Museum of Nature & Science, Lancaster

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg

York County History Center, York