The board of directors of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that grants totaling more than $76 million were approved in the third quarter of 2021. These grants were awarded to 32 organizations across the Hilton Foundation’s program areas, in the U.S. and internationally. 

Vangela M. Wade, president and CEO of Mississippi Center for Justice. Here she addresses media and lawmakers
 “MCJ fights for the most vulnerable Mississippians. Our work is testament to our conviction. Fighting difficult battles and overcoming insurmountable odds is what we do in Mississippi.” -Vangela M. Wade, president and CEO of Mississippi Center for Justice.

Here she addresses media and lawmakers at the state capitol in Jackson, Mississippi on February 27, 2020, after Department of Human Services officials were reported embezzling funds meant for Mississippi families. The Mississippi Center for Justice is a non-profit pro bono law firm dedicated to dismantling the state’s culture of injustice.

Credit – Mississippi Center for Justice / Patrick Taylor   

This round of grantmaking includes more than $11 million within the Foundation’s Equity Fund, which was established in 2020 to combat racism and other forms of bias and injustice across multiple dimensions, including gender, disability and LGBTQI+. Grants made through the Equity Fund are for general operating support and capacity building to organizations led and governed by historically under-represented populations in the United States.

“The impact of the pandemic hit underserved communities the hardest, uncovering systemic barriers and shedding a light on the need to address the root causes of inequity,” said Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “We are proud to support the transformative work of these organizations and directly partner with communities to make our world a better place for all.”  

The Equity Fund increased from $5 million in 2020 to $10 million in 2021, reflecting the Foundation’s commitment to equity across all its programmatic work, and signaling a longer-term commitment to support the individual needs of organizations doing important work to combat racism and bias through general operating grants.

Following is an overview of all grants awarded in the third quarter of 2021 across the Foundation’s program areas:

Catholic Sisters – The Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa was awarded $2 million to support Catholic sisters in East and Central Africa to reignite and strengthen ministries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was granted $1.6 million to build and strengthen partnerships between Catholic sisters and Episcopal Commissions and Diocesan offices responsible for ministries supporting migrants in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Global Solidarity Fund received $5 million to build sisters communication and advocacy skills, support global advocacy against human trafficking and leverage funding from multiple funders to support the Church and sisters human development agenda. Support Our Aging Religious, Inc. was granted $3 million to build the capacity of under-resourced congregations of women religious to plan for and address the short and long-term needs of elderly sisters, including support for congregations who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

Foster Youth – Child Trends Incorporated received $1.9 million to serve as the strategy-level evaluation partner to the Foster Youth Initiative in Los Angeles, New York, and one new geography consistent with the newly-approved strategy, learning and evaluation framework. Friends of the Children — National Office received $2.4 million to support the No Matter What: Professional Mentoring Project for Children of Transition Age Foster Youth.

Global Early Childhood Development – Aga Khan Foundation USA was awarded $3 million to support an early childhood development technical resource hub for the Eastern and Southern Africa region, and community-based research in Kenya and Tanzania. Center for the Study of Social Policy received $1.6 million to strengthen early childhood development systems nationally by building parent leadership. Children in Crossfire received $3.4 million to strengthen the capacity of civil society to advocate for and monitor multisectoral early childhood development programs and policies in Tanzania. The Power of Nutrition was granted $3 million to test approaches to providing integrated parenting supports like nutrition, responsive caregiving and cash grants in Malawi. The Regents of the University of California was awarded $3.5 million to support research by the WORLD Policy Analysis Center to develop an evidence-base case for policy reform to improve early childhood development in lower and middle income countries. Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families received $4.6 million to scale the HealthySteps holistic pediatric care model in Los Angeles County and advocate for improved local and national policies and financing to improve ECD outcomes. 

Homelessness – Local Initiatives Support Corporation received a $2 million program-related investment for a modular construction loan fund for supportive housing development. Urban Institute was awarded $2 million support research and the development of tools to expand the capacity of targeted communities to shape policies at both the federal and local levels that amplify the intersectional nature of race, housing instability and homelessness. Westat, Inc. received $1.7 million to serve as a strategy-level evaluation partner to the Homelessness Initiative in Los Angeles consistent with the newly-approved strategy, learning and evaluation framework. 

Opportunity Youth – Delgado Community College was awarded $1.9 million to support credentials for Opportunity Youth in the Hospitality and Allied Health programs. 

Refugees – International Rescue Committee Inc. was awarded $4 million to support Early Childhood Development and Economic Empowerment for refugees and host community members in Ethiopia and Ecuador. Village Enterprise Fund received $2 million to improve refugees’ income and wellbeing in Ethiopia through integrating two tested models: the graduation approach and market systems development. 

Equity Fund

Organizations receiving general operating support within our Equity Fund include the following:

Disaster Relief and Recovery

African Development Solutions (ADESO) was awarded $2.5 million for Network for Empowered Aid response (NEAR) a global network, in creating a consortia-style pooled fund to respond to disasters globally. Asociación Salvadoreña de Ayuda Humanitaria PRO-VIDA received $2.5 million to support the Concertación Regional para la Gestión del Riesgo (Regional Coordination for Risk Management), a regional response fund and network, to respond to disasters in Central America. Save the Children Federation, Inc. received $2.5 million to support disaster response through the Humanitarian Fund. Start Network was granted $2.5 to support the organization’s global fund for crisis response.

Additionally, The International Union of Superiors General was awarded $5 million to provide support globally to congregations to care for Catholic sisters suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and Community Science received $1.5 million to provide monitoring and evaluation services for the Equity Fund and Partnerships. 

To learn more about our program areas and how we approach our work, please visit For more detailed information on our grantmaking, please visit