City of Austin announces equity mini-grant fund —
July 9, 2020

City of Austin announces equity mini-grant fund

Mayor Steve Adler, UT prof Alba Sereno and Brion Oaks. (LBJ Library photo by Jay Godwin)

Community organizations focused on improving the quality of life for Austin’s most vulnerable populations are invited to apply for a grant from a new fund set up by the City’s Equity Office.

In response to the complex, cross-outcome needs within the community of Austin, the Equity Office is announcing a new City of Austin grant fund, the Equity Mini-Grant Fund.

City Council directed the creation of a new fund intended for small, local community organizations. The fund was designed in partnership with the Economic Development Department and Austin Public Health. The deadline for applications to the new fund is September 10. Awards will be announced early October.

The fund provides flexible resources for local, community-based organizations to seed projects that are focused on eliminating structural barriers and/or improving the quality of life for the City’s most vulnerable populations. In addition, this fund will support projects that are aligned with advancing one or more of the six outcome priorities featured in Austin City Council’s Strategic Direction 2023 addressing equity concerns and disparities where gaps need to be closed.

The Equity Mini Grant Fund will prioritize projects that:

  • Align with the strategic outcome priorities outlined in Strategic Direction 2023
  • Demonstrate a positive impact on the indicators and metrics laid out in Strategic Direction 2023
  • Incorporate a structural analysis of inequities in development and implementation of the proposed activity
  • Build on, align, and further work that has and is being done to advance equity/eliminate inequities in community outcomes, and eliminate structural inequity
  • Center around the lived experiences of those most impacted
  • Demonstrate “Cultural responsiveness,” e.g. being respectful of, and relevant to, the beliefs, practices, culture and linguistic needs of diverse consumer/client populations and communities whose members identify as having particular cultural or linguistic affiliations
  • Leverage opportunities that are likely to have the greatest impact.

“We’ve heard from the community,” said Brion Oaks, Chief Equity Officer. “The City of Austin grant programs presented serious barriers for many local, grassroots organizations who lacked the resources to put together applications, reports, and administrative requirements these grant contracts create. We designed the Mini-Grant Fund intentionally to remove these barriers. We’re excited to be creating a new grant that is grounded in the community, evaluated by the community, and responsive to the community.”

The Equity Mini-Grant Fund is being launched with $75,000 in ongoing funding. Organizations may apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. A Grant Review Panel comprised of Commissioners from the four Quality of Life Commissions, aided by advisement from representatives of EDD, APH, and the Equity Office.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online at For questions, please email Brandon Kroos.

The City of Austin Equity Office works to achieve a vision of Austin in which race, orientation, or gender do not predict a person’s outcomes. Their work includes the Equity Assessment process to evaluate potential inequities within Departmental programs and policies, and a Quality of Life Budget Work Group that assisted the four Quality of Life Commissions in impacting the base budget at a proposed $6,000,000 level.

About Merideth Cox 239 Articles
Merideth is a music writer who has covered bands from her hometown in Colorado to London to Bangkok to Shanghai and finally back to Austin. Led Zeppelin changed her life. So did Dolly Parton. You can read her music reviews at

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