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BOSTON – The Partnership, Inc. led by President and CEO Pratt N. Wiley, is one of 130 local non-profits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. The Boston-based organization was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process.

“Receiving this grant from the Cummings Foundation will allow us to reach multicultural non-profit leaders, strengthen and expand their leadership capacities to meet the challenges their communities are currently facing,” said Wiley. “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed immeasurable stresses in our communities of color – stresses caused by a disease that is new to us, and systemic racial disparities that we know all too well. In fact, it is moments like this that remind us of the importance and value of authentic leadership, resiliency, and adaptability.”

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The grant will be used to develop 10 high potential non-profit leaders of color through The Partnership’s Next Generation Executives (NGE) program and advance the mission of organization. The NGE program is an experiential, peer-supported curriculum that provides participants with the strategic and interpersonal tools needed to accelerate their executive career. The curriculum includes strategic innovation, organizational change, operating in a global market, team leadership, and executive resiliency. Since its inception, the NGE program has 451 executives and leaders from 192 companies across Boston’s business landscape.

Through the 2018 $100for100 Cummings Foundation award, following nonprofit leaders of color have participated and completed the NGE program:

–        Yi-Chin Chen, Executive Director, Fr1ends of the Children

–        Elisabeth Jackson, Executive Director, Bridge Over Trouble Waters

–        Lianna Kushi, Executive Director, Entrepreneurship for All

–        Maroli Licardie, Executive Director, Family and Children’s Service of Greater Lynn, Inc.

–        Eric Mitchell, Appointed President & CEO, Pathways for Children

–        Michelle Sanchez, Principal, Epiphany School

–        Leela Strong, Director of Development and Communications, Casa Myrna

–        Dr. Geralde Vital-Gabeau, Founder & Executive Director, Immigrant Family Services

–        David Walton, Co-Founder & CEO, Build Health International

–        Juanita Zerda, Former Chief Operating Officer, The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, Current Executive Director for MA & RI at Propel America

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The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.  Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. 

Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation Executive Director. “Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact in the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.”

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Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $280 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

Social distancing requirements will prevent Foundation and grant winner representatives from convening for a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, as planned, to celebrate the $20 million infusion into greater Boston’s nonprofit sector.  Instead, Cummings Foundation expects hundreds of individuals to gather virtually for a modified celebration in mid-June.

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program resulted from a merger of the Foundation’s two flagship grant programs, $100K for 100 and Sustaining Grants.

The Foundation and its volunteers first identified 130 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each.  Among the winners are first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that have previously received Cummings Foundation grants. 

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A limited number of this latter group of repeat recipients will be invited to make in-person presentations in the fall, when public health related circumstances allow, proposing that their grants be elevated to long-term awards.  Thirty such requests will be granted in the form of 10-years awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention, affording housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity.  The nonprofits are spread across 40 different cities and towns and most will receive their grants over two to five years.

Formed in 1987, The Partnership has evolved from its original focus on the advancement of African Americans in corporate Boston, into an organization that supports multicultural professionals at all levels in an increasingly diverse and global workforce.

For 34 years, the organization has collaborated with 350 organizations and helped more than 4,448 diverse professionals reach their full potential in organizations across the country.

For more information, visit

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This press release was submitted to SOURCE media

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.