Ivy Tech Foundation Receives a $250,000 Grant from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI)

Grant will support technical skill development and employability for justice-involved individuals in Marion County 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ivy Tech Foundation received a $250,000 grant in the first round of funding from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI). The proposed initiative titled “ELEVATE: Change Starts Here” will provide resources to justice-involved youth and adults, incarcerated individuals, and individuals on parole/probation to reduce the rate of recidivism and provide access to high-quality education to support careers in high-wage, high-demand jobs in Marion, Boone and Hendricks Counties.

Through a coordinated partnership between Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, American Prison Data Systems (APDS), Shepherd Community Center, and Public Advocates in Community Re-entry (PACE), program participants will gain access to a holistic program aimed at helping justice-involved individuals. The partnership will provide educational opportunities for currently and formerly incarcerated individuals through Ivy Tech classes and curriculum, which will help set them up for success and continued educational pursuits. A dedicated career coach working with the Ivy+ Career Link model at Ivy Tech will provide additional educational opportunities and career pathway assistance, which weaves career readiness practices with academic coursework.

“The generous support from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative is a prime example of what it means to be a true community advocate and partner, said Dr. Lorenzo L. Esters, chancellor of Ivy Tech Indianapolis.”

“The ‘ELEVATE: Change Starts Here’ initiative directly aligns with Ivy Tech Indianapolis’ vision to be the ‘Campus Without Walls’—our continued commitment to leading the way toward educational and economic equality through strong community partnerships.” “Together, we are excited to be able to provide holistic assistance including educational opportunities and career readiness that will be a pathway to a better future for so many,” added Esters.

IAAQLI is a partnership between the National Urban League, the Indianapolis Urban League, and the African American Coalition of Indianapolis. IAAQLI was created in 2020 through a $100M grant to the National Urban League from Lilly Endowment Inc. The focus of funding is to help non-profit organizations implement IAAQLI’s goal, which is to support effective programs, policies, and ventures that will make measurable improvements in the daily lives of African Americans. 

For more information about this program, please contact Tracey Jackson, Executive Director of Workforce and Career Placement, at tjackson317@ivytech.edu or Michael Martin Drain, Director of Justice-Involved/ Elevate Program Director.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degree and short-term certificate programs, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College also offers courses and associate degree programs that seamlessly transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana and out of state for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree. Follow Ivy Tech on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the most up-to-date information.

About the National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 92 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research, and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide.

About the Indianapolis Urban League

The mission of the Indianapolis Urban League is to empower African Americans and disadvantaged individuals to achieve social and economic equality and improved quality of living through programs, services, and advocacy in education, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and housing.

About the African American Coalition of Indianapolis

The African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) is a non-partisan collaboration of African-American civic, social, professional, service, and community organizations with a goal to educate and engage African Americans in the local, state, and national political process.

About the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative

The Indianapolis Urban League (IUL) in partnership with the African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) and a variety of organizations has implemented the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI). Funded through a $100 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, the IAAQLI is mobilizing African American resources while also building collaborations and partnerships to elevate the quality of life of African Americans in Indianapolis/Marion County.







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