Grants & Awards

Thoma Equity Grant Builds the Capacity of Enterprising Nonprofits at the Intersection of Arts, Education, and Community

March 3, 2021

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation announces the Thoma Equity Grants, building partnerships that improve the lives of young people in rural and under-resourced areas of New Mexico.

The Thoma Equity Grant supports rural youth, art-focused community programming, and education. Through this grant, the Thoma Foundation honors the power of the arts, education, and community to inspire the next generation of leaders, changemakers, and entrepreneurs.

In the fall of 2020, the Thoma Foundation initiated conversations with educators, government officials, and nonprofits in New Mexico to learn about the needs of young people throughout the state. The Foundation then partnered with four nonprofit organizations to support pilot programs and enhanced engagement at each organization. The Equity Grant partners represent diverse communities and strategic initiatives sharing a passion for advancing equity and creating pathways to opportunity in New Mexico.

“The Thoma Equity Grant funds programs that will increase opportunities for youth and young adults in rural areas of New Mexico,” said Nicole Danti, PR and Communications Manager at the Thoma Foundation. “Offering access to career-education in these underserved areas becomes an investment in an entire community.”  

The Thoma Equity Grants funded $555,000 in programs throughout New Mexico in 2020, in partnership with these local nonprofits: 

CNM Ingenuity brings in-demand high-tech skills to New Mexico’s rural youth. The Thoma Foundation grant provides 16 full scholarships including a laptop and materials, for a 15-week UX/UI coding Deep Dive for rural New Mexican young adults starting in August 2021.

Creative Startups is partnering to pilot a Native American entrepreneurship portal. Equity Grant funding support development and implementation of learning resources, peer networks, mentorship, and support to Native American entrepreneurs.

Moving Arts Española builds community and cultivates leaders through arts and culture. The matching Equity Grant to MAE supports the design and building out of a space in the former Ohkay Owingeh casino allowing expanded access to digital arts and media education for youth and young adults.

High Plains Regional Education Cooperative and NS4ed are supporting career readiness and learning in Northeastern NM with the implementation of a virtual series in eight school systems for counselors and teachers on Social-Emotional Learning, and professional development for teachers in up to 20 schools to implement NS4ed’s career-focused math curriculum. 

The Thoma Foundation will continue forming New Mexico partnerships in 2021 while expanding to include nonprofit organization partners in Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas. Partner organization participation in the Equity Grants is by invitation. 

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