Ohio State Bar Foundation awards more than $300,000 to Ohio nonprofits

May 20, 2020

COLUMBUS, OH (MAY 19, 2020) – The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) awarding $320,000 to eight Ohio nonprofit organizations through its Spring Grants Cycle. Each funded project supports the OSBF’s mission of promoting the pursuit of justice and public understanding of the rule of law.

“The Ohio State Bar Foundation is dedicated to helping Ohio nonprofits through its important grant making initiative,” said OSBF President Mark Kitrick. “While we grant more than $800,000 every year, this spring our work is all the more important as everyone navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic. With this grant money, these organizations will be able to continue their crucial work, which aligns with our Foundation’s mission to educate people about our justice system so that they better understand their legal rights.”

The spring grant recipients are as follows:

  • $118,000 to the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) in Columbus to further develop and expand its student programs, teacher professional development opportunities, and outreach efforts. Students can access high-quality civics content and have an opportunity to practice responsible citizenship through the study of the U.S. Constitution, judicial system, and community impact of social issues. Educators learn valuable teaching strategies, create lesson plans and student activities, and share substantive knowledge through OCLRE professional development opportunities.

  • $59,000 to the Legal Aid Society of Columbus for their Statewide Kinship Care Provider Education and Outreach program. The program assists kinship care families, caregivers for children whose parents are unable or unavailable to care for them. This initiative helps kinship caregivers have better access and increased understanding of the legal system through collaborations with Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center in Columbus and with the Cincinnati Bar Foundation and Ohio Federation of Health Equity and Social Justice statewide.

  • $50,000 to the United Way of Greater Cleveland for their Right to Counsel - Cleveland Community Education and Awareness Campaign, which works to educate the Cleveland community on a recent court rule change entitling tenants to legal representation in city eviction proceedings.   

  • $34,000 to Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, located in Dayton and Toledo, for Medicaid Developmental Disability Waivers and You. The program will provide legal information to individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and disability-rights advocates on the three types of waivers available, their rights and eligibility, and the application and appeals process.

  • $20,000 to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Ohio, which is located in Columbus, for Answering the Calls of Veterans in Crisis. With this grant, NAMI Ohio will hold a one-day conference for judges, law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, and veteran outreach coordinators to encourage collaborative efforts for deescalating veterans facing unique problems, such as traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse, depression, and other mental, physical, and emotional challenges.

  • $10,000 to Ohio Voice to expand the Ohio Fair Courts Speakers Bureau, which conducts “Courts 101” presentations that engage and train new speakers and organizations in Dayton, Cincinnati, Akron, and Cleveland.

  • $10,000 to the Legal Aid Society of Columbus for Boss Up, which supports the development of legal education materials for aspiring entrepreneurs in historically underserved communities in Franklin County. The grant will help provide needed information on start-up services for small businesses.

  • $10,000 to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Ohio, located in Dublin and Cincinnati, for Know Your Rights Legal Fellow. The grant will support the development of “Know Your Rights” legal materials that will help educate the Ohio Muslim community on legal issues specific to them and other general legal topics.

  • $9,000 to Ohio State Legal Services Association in Columbus for the Ohio Poverty Law Center’s Advocacy Skills Training. Legal aid attorneys will have the opportunity to participate in a  two-day advocacy training where they'll engage in group presentations, discussions, and small group exercises to help them better understand the legislative process and increase their level of engagement in statewide policy.

“In this time of need, the OSBF has continued its grantmaking efforts to support Ohio nonprofits in their important work,” said OSBF Executive Director Lori Keating. “Granting hundreds of thousands of dollars to recipients on the frontlines will not only help them work effectively within their communities, but also further their missions of making a difference in the lives of all who live there.”

If you’d like to learn more about any of the grantees, be connected with one of the organizations directly, or know more about the OSBF’s grantmaking process, contact OSBF’s Grants Manager Tiffany Patterson at TPatterson@OSBF.net or 614-487-4483.

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