Social Change Activist to Award Non-Discrimination Grants to Nonprofits

Stark County native and activist Craig Covey has dedicated his life to advocating for marginalized communities. Now, he’s awarding non-discrimination grants to local organizations as a way to continue to support racial, cultural and sexual minorities in our community.

Through the recently established Craig Covey LGBT and Diversity Pride Fund at Stark Community Foundation, he plans to award $5,000 to Stark County nonprofits that have or plan to adopt non-discrimination clauses in their staff, board, volunteer and program policies. At a minimum, these existing or new policies must prohibit discrimination based on age, race, gender, gender status, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, disability and immigration status. A total of 10 mini-grants of $500 will be awarded to nonprofits that have adopted these policies or can demonstrate their immediate plans to adopt.

“A community that recognizes and embraces the diversity of its people is a stronger and more attractive and interesting community. Inclusion at the table has always been the American way,” said Covey.

Covey’s activism dates back to 1981 when he co-founded the first off-campus gay and lesbian rights organization in Columbus, Stonewall Union (now Stonewall Columbus), and helped organize the city’s first Pride parades. He directed a statewide LGBT rights group called the Michigan Organization for Human Rights and later became Michigan’s first openly gay elected mayor in Ferndale. He also designed programs for Black, Latinx, Asian and Arabic communities during the HIV pandemic while serving on Ferndale City Council and Oakland County Board of Commissioners. Covey returned home to Canton in 2017.

Nonprofits interested in applying for Covey’s non-discrimination mini-grant have until January 14 at 4:30 p.m. to apply online.

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