NEW YORK — The Convergence Partnership — a collaboration of six of the nation’s leading funders, plus the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — awarded Santa Monica-based The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation $80,000 for their work building healthier, more equitable communities.

The awards honor new innovative projects that help ensure all Americans can live, work, and play in healthy communities. Fifteen foundations and nonprofits across America received the grants, totaling more than $1.8 million.

“Innovative projects like these are at the vanguard of a national effort to create healthier communities for all people,” said Judith Bell, president of PolicyLink and the Partnership’s program director. “By investing in the local foundations that know their regions best, the Convergence Partnership hopes to encourage new risk-taking and create a sustainable, long-term impact in communities across America.”

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation invests in programs that promote education, tolerance, social services, health care and the arts.

California foundation is using its $80,000 award to support built environment approaches that address the lack of access to physical activity and/or healthy food. Specifically, they will support efforts to increase the accessibility and maintenance of parks for low-income communities throughout California.

The awards provide as much as $200,000 over two years to each recipient to support innovation new local and regional initiatives and projects. Foundations were required to provide a $2 match for every $1 they were awarded. Earlier this year, the partnership invited local and regional grant-making foundations to request funds to support their efforts to improve the built environment and/or expand food access to improve health and equity.

To find out more about the individual winners, visit www.ConvergencePartnership.org.

The Convergence Innovation Fund — the partnership’s initiative that awarded these grants — supports place-based efforts focused on promising and innovative strategies and works to build connections across multiple fields, including public health, transportation, urban planning, sustainable agriculture and more. By focusing on local and regional foundations who are already dedicated to their communities, the Fund seeks to create sustainable policy and environmental changes focused on developing healthier, more equitable communities.

The Convergence Partnership launched the Innovation Fund in May 2009 as a way to:

• Support foundations to shift their grant-making towards policy and environmental change strategies which target health and equity;

• Create local and sustainable resources for promising, innovative strategies to build healthy, equitable communities;

• Promote multi-field partnerships on the ground; and,

• Support partnership among foundations.

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