Africa-America Institute Awarded MacArthur Funds to Support Equitable Recovery

[NEW YORK, NEW YORK] July 30, 2021 — The Africa-America Institute (AAI) was awarded a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for its work to provide Africa-related learning opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.

The grant is part of roughly $80 million in awards MacArthur announced in support of the foundation’s Equitable Recovery initiative centered on advancing racial and ethnic justice. The initiative is funded by MacArthur’s social bonds, issued in response to the crises of the pandemic and racial inequality.

“We are honored the MacArthur Foundation chose AAI to be one of its Equitable Recovery grant recipients. During this moment of global reckoning around inequality, our mission of educating people and connecting worlds is more relevant than ever,” says AAI President, Kofi Appenteng.

Founded in 1953, AAI is dedicated to promoting enlightened engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue. AAI’s principal co-founders, Horace Mann Bond and William Leo Hansberry, were pioneering African-American scholar-activists whose work straddles the divide between African and African diaspora studies. AAI continues to embrace the philosophy of education that Bond and Hansberry espoused – a philosophy that affirms the humanity and cultivates the intellectual aspirations and excellence of all people.

In the fall of 2020, MacArthur established a $125 million Equitable Recovery Initiative. The Foundation initially deployed $40 million of bond proceeds through 24 grants focused on strengthening voter mobilization and election protection; addressing anti-Black racism; and supporting Native Americans impacted by COVID-19. 

AAI is one of 86 organizations receiving Equity Recovery grants from the MacArthur Foundation. Almost two-thirds of the awards represent new grantee relationships, and most of the organizations are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led or -serving.  The grants also reflect MacArthur’s global reach: 45 percent of the new funding supports work outside of the U.S., including 12 percent in India, and 14 percent in Nigeria.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including advancing global climate solutions, decreasing nuclear risk, promoting local justice reform in the U.S., and reducing corruption in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program and the global 100&Change competition, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsive democracy as well as the vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.

MacArthur media contact: 

Kristen Mack,

Africa-America Institute media contact: 

Jourden Warren,

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