Fourteen nonprofit leaders of color from across the state have been awarded grants from the Maine Community Foundation’s Investing in Leaders of Color program.

The program supports nonprofit leaders of color at nonprofit organizations that serve communities of color and promote racial equity in Maine. It provides one-on-one coaching, a stipend for professional development and operating costs, and networking opportunities. Since its launch in 2019, 35 leaders representing 27 organizations have completed the program. 

“What I really like about this program is the importance on the relationship between nonprofit leader and coach,” said Gloria Aponte C., MaineCF senior program officer. “The coaching relationship is very personal and being able to choose a coach is important. The leaders also choose what areas of focus to work on to best benefit their organizations.”

The 2022 grantees include: Ekhlas Ahmed, Chance to Advance; Sydney Avitiva-Jacques and Stacey Tran, Southern Maine Workers’ Center; Chaplain Eddie Green Burgess, Wellness Mobile; Adriana Ortiz Burnham, Presente! Maine; Yannick Bizimana, Cultivating Community; Juan Jose Castillo, Mano en Mano; Nathan Davis, Gateway Community Services Maine; Andrea Francis, Wabanaki Reach; Amina Hassan, Her Safety Net; Candace Johnson, AK Health and Social Services; Beatrice Mucyo, Intercultural Community Center; Stacy Perez, Maine Inside Out; Yvette Unezase, Maine Association for New Americans; and Desiree Vargas, Racial Equity and Justice.

The next grant cycle opens July 1 and the deadline to submit proposals for the program is Sept. 15. For more information about Investing in Leaders of Color, visit or contact Aponte C. at or 207-412-0847.

The Maine Community Foundation brings people and resources together to build a better Maine through strategic giving, community leadership, personalized service, local expertise and strong investments. To learn more about the foundation, visit