OSBF's Racial Justice Initiative

$500,000 in Grant Funding Now Available


For the first time ever, the OSBF is providing up to $500,000 in grant funding to support initiatives focused on long-lasting impact and institutional change for racial justice. This grant money will be given out in addition to the Foundation’s traditional grant cycles.

Grant applications for OSBF’s new Racial Justice Initiative should specifically address and support initiatives concerning systemic racism that hinder the pursuit of justice and public understanding of the rule of law for the historically marginalized communities of color in Ohio.


OSBF announces  PHASE I and II grant recipients

During phase one of the Racial Justice Initiative grant cycle, the OSBF awarded the following:

$15,000 grant to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio for their Connections Between Criminal Justice and Health Brief. With grant funding, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio will create its new policy brief, which will provide research on the following:

  • The relationship between criminal justice and health
  • Data and information on how racism and inequities in the criminal justice system impact the overall health and wellbeing of Ohioans of color
  • Opportunities for improvement across the criminal justice and health systems
  • Evidence-informed policy approaches to eliminate racism, advance equity, reduce spending, and improve outcomes in the criminal justice and health systems

The new brief will be provided to legislators, state policymakers, and other stakeholders to increase their knowledge of the factors that impact both criminal justice and health, including racism, neighborhood conditions, education, family, and community violence and policing practices. 

During phase two, the OSBF awarded the following:

$25,000 to the University of Cincinnati College of Law’s Ohio Innocence Project for their Cincinnati Murder Conviction Audit. This audit will use data from the City of Cincinnati on all homicides in the city since 2011 to thoroughly investigate various cases, then determine if wrongful convictions occurred. Nationally, convictions occur at a much higher rate in the black community, which also indicates a higher risk of potential wrongful convictions. This audit will explore Cincinnati’s record of wrongful convictions, whether institutional racism was a factor, and provide a model for other innocence projects across the U.S. on how to get similar transparency disclosures from government entities.

$10,000 to the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education for their Case Study for Law Enforcement: Building Community Through the Lessons of the Holocaust. Using the history of the Holocaust and Nazification of law enforcement as a case study, they will develop a training for law enforcement professionals that explores the topic of group think, challenge participants to analyze the role of law enforcement in history and its importance in modern-day community building and policing practices, and examine one’s conscious bias. Activities will focus on training implementation, ongoing support, follow ups, and development of a post-training guide. Set to launch in June 2021, the guide will provide ongoing activities/exercises, benchmarks, goals, and suggestions for supervisors to set for each officer.



Grant funding for the Racial Justice Initiative will continue and occur in phases. The deadline for the next phase is March 15, 2021. Applications that are submitted after one of the deadlines will be considered for the next phase, pending availability of funds and continuance of the initiative.


Submitting an Application

If you're interested in submitting an application, organizations must first email a letter of intent (LOI) to or schedule a pre-submission conference with OSBF Grants Manager Tiffany Patterson. To schedule a call with Tiffany, click here. LOIs can be emailed to TPatterson@OSBF.net.

All applications can be submitted through OSBF’s online portal. For new applicants who need to create an account and start a new request, click here. For returning applicants who wish to start a new request, continue a saved request, view a previous submission, or manage grant requirements, click here.

Organizations can apply for grant money through the OSBF's Racial Justice Initiative and through the traditional grants cycle. However, the proposals must be unrelated.


Applicant Resources

As your organization works through the grant application process, reference the resources below for help.



If you have any questions, please contact OSBF Grants Manager Tiffany Patterson at 614-487-4483 or TPatterson@OSBF.net.