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The Indianapolis Urban League will have a backpack giveaway 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 7 at 777 Indiana Ave. Free backpacks filled with school supplies will be given away until supplies last. Children must be present.

CIREF awards grants to organizations

Central Indiana Racial Equity Fund awarded $860,000 to Black-led nonprofit organizations that work to advance racial equity in Indianapolis and surrounding counties to support capacity building and scaling up strategies for career training, mentorship and justice-focused programs.

CIREF supports organizations in efforts to improve interactions between the Black community and local police; address the disproportionate number of Black youth in the juvenile and criminal justice system by providing positive alternatives for education and employment; and increasing employment, health and wealth opportunities for communities of color.

Grant recipients are:

Bloom Project, $75,000— Group mentoring and workshops to promote character development, professional development, emotional intelligence, civic engagement and cultural competency.

Center for Wellness for Urban Women, $75,000 — Programs and services to address clients’ physical, mental and emotional health.

Educational Destinations, $75,000 —Programs to ensure African post-incarcerated male veterans equal access to resources supporting their return to the community.

Indianapolis Freedom School Partnership, $25,000 — Educational support programming during summer and out-of-school time for children in low-income primarily Black communities.

Stop the Violence Indianapolis, $75,000 — Violence, drug and alcohol prevention programming for justice-involved youth.

Use What You’ve Got Ministry-Keeping Families Connected, $25,000 — Transportation for prison visits and other support to help incarcerated people and their families maintain relationships. 

Edna Martin Christian Center/Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corp./Stop the Violence, $300,000— Training, counseling and other support services to help individuals become competitive in the career and college sectors.

Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center at Crooked Creek, $210,000 — Workforce development programming and career coaching.

Townhall addresses underage drinking

The Marion County Prevention Alliance presents the 2021 Communities Talk Panel. The discussion will focus on ways to prevent underage drinking from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 12 at Pathway Resource Center, 10119 John Marshall Drive. Face masks are required.

Nominations for Charles L. Whistler Award

The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) is accepting nominations until 5 p.m. Sept. 3 for the 36th annual Charles L. Whistler Award, which recognizes an individual who has brought together the public and private sectors toward civic improvement in Indianapolis. Mayor Joe Hogsett will present the award, the highest honor for civic leadership, at a breakfast ceremony at the end of the year. Charles L. Whistler supported and was involved in the creation of UniGov, the City Center on Monument Circle and the modernization of White River State Park.

Community members can nominate individuals who reflect the leadership of Whistler. Current government-appointed employees and elected officials may be nominated. Candidates should exemplify the passion and skill Whistler displayed by going above and beyond what is expected to foster public-private partnerships working toward the overall betterment of the community. For more information on past winners and to learn more about Whistler, visit GIPC’s website.

Electronic applications are available and additional letters of support can be emailed to info@indygipc.org or mailed to 200 E. Washington St., Suite 1901, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Free Paddle Days

The White River Alliance and the White River Canoe Co. are offering Free Paddle Days Aug. 8, Aug. 13, Aug. 22 and Aug. 27. A deposit of $15 is required with registration and will be returned upon arrival.

Two River Clean-Up Days are Aug. 13 and Aug. 27 in conjunction with Free Paddle Days. Cleanup will be along the river from Conner Prairie to 116th Street on Aug. 13, and from Claire Dam to White River Canoe Co. on Aug. 27.

Click here for more information on Free Paddle Days or to register.

Awards for innovation

Meridian Foundation is accepting applications for a new award, Arago Honors, which builds on the work of the Indiana Achievement Awards and Impact 100 and celebrates the nonprofit sector. The top three winners will be awarded $10,000.

The new award is designed to encourage innovation and to inspire and unite the community. 

The Meridian Foundation is accepting nominations until Sept. 15. Applicants must be a 501(c) located in Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan or Shelby counties. Click here to apply.

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