Skip to main content

Isaac Coleman Economic Community Investment

Programs and services alone are not enough. Health, safety and wellbeing are culturally created…not professionally prescribed.

Improving Equitable Opportunity

People and neighborhoods are impacted by race, poverty and trauma. These factors create barriers to economic success for adults and even impact the health of newborn babies. From early on, these cumulative pressures impact children, hampering the development of the necessary social, emotional, educational, and work skills to achieve self-sufficiency. As a community we cannot leave this talent behind. We need every child in our community to realize their potential and contribute to our community.

Based on recent data, we know our current efforts have not decreased disparities in health, education and economic opportunity. This requires us to think differently and employ different strategies.

What we have learned is that health, safety and wellbeing are culturally created rather than professionally prescribed. If we want to improve the economic opportunity, health and safety of communities then we must engage with communities in ways that allow them to lead. We also know that focusing on individuals alone will not address the pervasive effects of race, poverty and trauma. We must recognize that children and families live in communities and that healing begins within these communities. Three factors that determine the environmental conditions within communities are: economic and educational opportunity, people, and place. By focusing on these factors and harnessing the talents of community members, we can build a more robust workforce and more resilient neighborhoods.

Improving Equitable Opportunity
  • Pipelines to jobs
  • Apprenticeships
  • Self-sustaining businesses
Connecting People
  • Rebuilding trust
  • Fostering a sense of "we"
  • Building a can do sense that neighbors can work together to get things done
  • Supporting emerging leaders
Ensuring Positive Place
  • Healthy public spaces that encourage gathering
  • Gardens and walking trails
  • Cultural identity that brings people together


About the Isaac Coleman Plan & Review Group

Our goal with this investment is to rebuild the health, safety, and self-sufficiency in our communities.

Named for social justice champion Isaac Coleman, the Isaac Coleman Economic Community Investment plan calls for targeted investments in our communities that are currently working to champion equitable opportunity.

These investments are part of a broader approach, which includes continued partnerships with nonprofit and faith-based organizations, mini-grants to augment emerging and innovative community efforts, support for small businesses, and investments in education and the economy. This mix of formal and informal approaches is intended to strengthen community infrastructure so that meaningful and sustainable change can take root.

Isaac Coleman Grant Review Group

  • Commissioner Ellen Frost
  • Commissioner Al Whitesides
  • Antanette Mosley
  • Drew Reisinger
  • Dr. Dwight Mullen
  • Frank Castelblanco
  • Gene Bell
  • Dr. Tiece Ruffin
  • Tracey Greene-Washington

Grants Announcements

Community Innovation/Grant Announcements & Information

On June 23, 2017 the Isaac Coleman Grant Review Group selected the following initiatives for the first round of funding. RFPs were sent out on March 13, 2017 and applications were due on April 28, 2017. Twenty-two applications were received. Each of the applications, reflected significant community efforts to build stronger pipelines for educational and economic opportunity.

Applications were evaluated using factors derived, in part, from the THRIVE Model (see Prevention Institute). Seven projects were funded (see table below and attached summaries for details of projects) for a total of $635,426. This funding represents the allocated funding of $500,000 for the Isaac Coleman grants as well as additional money of $135,426. These additional dollars were secured from grants such as Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities and behavioral health. The funding for these grants, through Health and Human Services, are focused on addressing trauma and building resiliency within communities. We are bringing all of these efforts under one umbrella so that we can build a strong learning collaborative, build relationships across efforts and share learning and resources where appropriate.

In addition to those funded, the County is also extending an invitation to those not funded – to be a part of the Isaac Coleman Learning Collaborative. Through this collaborative we hope to make available resources and training to further support these efforts. Contact Chiloh Campbell or call (828) 250-6566 for information on how to be involved in the Collaborative.

2017 Isaac Coleman Grant Recipients
Group Amount Funded
ABIPA – ABIPA Cares Cooperative $53,707
Deaverview: Residents, Schools, and Community in Relationship (Johnston Elementary/Deaverview Community) $44,520
Emma Community Ownership Project $71,460
My Community Matters Empowerment Program Collaboration with Positive Changes and Writers in Schools $116,435
Shiloh Community Association/Pearson Plan $125,000
United Community Development/ Southside Revitalization $111,804
YTL Training/G.R.A.C.E for Teens and Access for Mothers and Families $112,500
Total $635,426

Locate & Contact

Isaac Coleman Economic Community Investment


Rachael Nygaard
Director of Strategic Partnerships
200 College Street
Asheville, NC 28801
P. (828) 250-6536

Isaac Coleman Economic Community Investment
200 College Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Email Us