Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency and city of Rochester are among the first grantees in the McKnight Foundation’s new Vibrant and Equitable Communities program.

They will also receive a McKnight Climate and Energy Grant.

The Vibrant and Equitable Communities grant of $150,000 will be used to help DMC and the city continue their commitment to equitable development and racial justice by accelerating economic mobility, cultivating a fair and just housing system, and strengthening democratic participation and equitable community engagement.

“The grant from McKnight provides the opportunity to strengthen social equity as a fundamental principle of the city of Rochester,” Chao Mwatela, Rochester’s diversity, equity and inclusion director, said in a statement announcing the grant award. “It will also help to inform the city’s equity planning pertaining specifically to equitable development, fair and just housing and economic mobility.”

DMC EDA and the city will work with partners including Diversity Council and the Community Mobilization Resource Coalition to implement the award.

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“Diversity Council stakeholders view this collaboration as an opportunity to further integrate diverse voices in community design efforts,” said Dee Sabol, Diversity Council executive director. “Several initiatives developed through intercultural cooperation fit perfectly within the scope of the funding and Community Mobilization Resource Coalition members who interact with different facets of community are poised to take these initiatives forward into implementation. Rochester is fortunate to have secured not just the funding, but the vote of confidence in its ongoing diversity and equity work.”

DMC andRochester will use the $185,000 Climate and Energy program grant to electrify the transportation and building sectors, transform the energy system and strengthen democratic participation and community engagement.

"These grants provide DMC and the city of Rochester a unique opportunity to continue our progress toward ambitious climate goals and to ensure equitable economic development," said Patrick Seeb, DMC EDA executive director. "The support from the McKnight Foundation will guide initiatives that help the entire Rochester region prosper."