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African American Equity Restoration Task Force awarded first grant
June 14, 2022

KNOXVILLE -- The African American Equity Restoration Task Force is marking notable progress since its inaugural meeting in September 2021. In that time, the Task Force has:

• Received a $30,000 grant from the National League of Cities
• Received approval from City Council to hire a grant writer
• Named Tanisha Fitzgerald-Baker as Task Force Chair

“I was excited to announce news of this grant last week,” said the City’s Director of Community Empowerment Charles F. Lomax, Jr., whose office provides the Task Force staff support. “This opportunity to participate in the NLC’s Southern Cities Economic Inclusion Initiative is a great first step. The work done through NLC will help leverage additional grant funding for the Task Force to apply to efforts that will significantly impact our residents.”

At its March 22 meeting, City Council approved funding for a new grant writer position to support the Task Force’s efforts to research and apply for grants.

Task Force members also recently selected Tanisha Fitzgerald-Baker to serve as their chair. The native Knoxvillian is active in community building, equity and education issues.

Mayor Indya Kincannon said she is excited by the Task Force’s momentum. “Their energy and commitment is vital to our community’s efforts to explore and resolve issues of historic inequity,” she said.

In December 2020, City Council approved a resolution to invest $100 million in Knoxville’s established Black neighborhoods, which were largely destroyed during urban renewal projects of the 1950s and ‘60s. The resolution called for the creation of the Task Force to oversee the investments, which will mostly come from grants.

For a list of meeting dates, locations, agendas and minutes, and a form to submit questions and public comment, visit


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