Empowering BIPOC Communities in the Opioid Response Grant

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Empowering BIPOC Communities in the Opioid Response


Nspire – A Park Community Initiative, Inc. is more than a traditional philanthropic organization. Its role is to build relationships and innovative philanthropy solutions to support community. Nspire’s vision is to promote neighborhood empowerment by building a culture of health with a goal of improving population health, well-being and equity policy action.

Nspire is sister philanthropic arm to Park Community Credit Union, a 55-year strong low-income designated Credit Union that serves Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Park Community believes that everyone deserves access to fair and affordable products and services no matter their location or socio-economic status. That type of dedication landed Park Community a Certified Development Financial Institution (CDFI) designation as a community partner across Kentucky.

The opioid epidemic has primarily focused on White suburban and rural communities, however BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities are similarly experiencing dramatic increases in substance use and overdose deaths. Furthermore, the COVID-19 Pandemic has revealed and exacerbated longstanding racial and ethnic disparities in behavioral health care.

Nspire has partnered with the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE) to offer a grant opportunity to raise awareness about substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD), address stigma associated with SUD/OUD and Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), and promote greater access to MOUD and other SUD/OUD prevention, treatment and recovery support services, with a primary focus on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

Program Grant Information

The Empowering Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the Opioid Response grant program aims to engage and empower community organizations around Kentucky to develop and implement outreach activities that increase community understanding, reduce stigma, and provide information on how services can be accessed.

This grant opportunity aims to reduce disparities by increasing outreach and engagement within BIPOC communities that are underserved and most at risk.

Awarded funds will support community campaigns and outreach activities that increase community understanding of SUD and OUD, MOUD, prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery support services and how these services can be accessed within communities of color. This grant opportunity is focused on communities of color and vulnerable populations that are disproportionately impacted by OUD and criminalization of SUD, and that often have less access to treatment and information about OUD and SUD supports. These include but are not limited to Black/African American, Native American, Latinx, and Asian-Pacific Islander communities in Kentucky.

Nspire is seeking applications from organizations that encompass health equity as an organization and will develop and implement culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate outreach and awareness projects. This grant opportunity is intended for organizations and partners who possess cultural humility and responsiveness, and reflect the racial, ethnic and cultural community they intend to serve so that project activities/materials are tailored and utilize stigma-reducing approaches that address systemic and cultural barriers to SUD and OUD treatment.

Partners who may apply for the Empowering Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the Opioid Response grant opportunity include, but are not limited to, community organizations, recovery support organizations, and social service providers invested in and reflective of impacted communities of color. Selected organizations will be required to establish and adhere to a clearly outlined approach to increase outreach, awareness, education and/or stigma reduction within communities of color.


Addiction: A chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.

Substance Use Disorder (SUD): Recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causing clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD):  Recurrent use of opioids including illegal substances such as heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others.

Stimulant Use Disorder (StimUD): Defined as either dependence or abuse involving substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription stimulants.

Evidence-based Treatment: Scientifically sound, research-based substance use treatment that provides consistent preferred client outcomes and promotes long-term recovery.

Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD): Medication treatments such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are FDA-approved, evidence-based, safe, and highly effective medications used to control or eliminate one’s opioid use.

Prevention: Aims to develop comprehensive systems through providing the development of policies, programs, and services to prevent the onset of substance misuse.

Harm Reduction: Harm reduction (https://harmreduction.org/) is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs.

Recovery: A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

Eligibility Criteria and Guidelines

Nspire will fund selected organizations that meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Lead applicant must be a nonprofit organization with 501c status.
  • Located in the state of Kentucky.
  • Provide social services in the state of Kentucky to persons that use opioids (e.g. heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl) and/or stimulants (e.g. cocaine, methamphetamine)
  • Are a community-based organization with established community relationships that reflects and has a history of investment and engagement within communities of color. Organizations should have a history of working with BIPOC communities and reflect those communities via board representation, staff, client services and/or neighborhood where services provided.

Funding Information

  • Federal Funding Source: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA; TI-83-283)
  • Awarding Agency: Nspire
  • Award Ceiling: $15,000
  • Budget: Submit a 8-month budget with an anticipated start date of 10/1/2021
  • Project Period: 10/1/2021 –  6/30/2022 with the potential for renewal
  • Cost Sharing/Match Requirement: No
  • Service Delivery Data: To begin no later than 30 days from receipt of contract.
  • Reporting Requirements: Awardees must submit quarterly progress reports that capture data related to performance measures identified in their contracts and financial reports detailing project expenditures.

Electronic applications will be accepted from September 1, 2021- September 15, 2021.  Full applications must be submitted by September 15, 2021 at 11:59 pm for consideration. Nspire, in conjunction with KORE, will review and select applications submitted by eligible organizations. The selected organizations will be notified of award by September 17, 2021.

Allowable and Non-Allowable Activities

  • Start-up staff time to develop and implement project activities.
  • Development and circulation of materials (e.g. printed educational materials).
  • Implementation of a culturally responsive, linguistically appropriate stigma-reduction campaign.
  • Community outreach events to foster conversation and understanding of SUD/OUD and/or MOUD.
    • Cannot supplant current funding of existing activities. “Supplant” is defined as replacing funding of a recipient’s existing program with funds from a federal grant.
    • Cannot support non-evidence based treatment approaches.
    • Meals are generally non-allowable; however, funds can be used for light snacks.

Scope of Work

Activities and materials developed through this grant opportunity must be related to substance use, specifically the use of opioids and stimulants, and should focus on one or more of the following:

  • Increased understanding of SUD, OUD, and stimulant use disorder within BIPOC communities.
    • Example key message: Addiction is not a choice. It is a disease.
  • Reduced community and individual stigma through increased recognition of the chronic nature of the disease of addiction.
    • Example key message: When we stop the stigma, we support recovery. 
  • Increased knowledge of evidence-based treatment, including MOUD, and recovery supports, how to access these services, and reducing stigma associated with seeking/utilizing these services.
    • Example key message: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder is not substituting one addiction for another.
  • Increased knowledge of available harm reduction services, such as local Syringe Services Programs and naloxone, how to access these services, and reducing stigma associated with seeking/utilizing these services.
    • Example key message: Naloxone Saves Lives.

NSPIRE will provide support to awarded organizations to help develop and implement project activities including messaging, materials, event planning and other proposed activities. Also, awarded organizations will participate in a learning collaborative along with other awardees, which will provide the opportunity to share experiences, successes and barriers, and foster collaboration.

Application Review Information

Proposals will be screened to ensure minimum eligibility requirements have been met. Proposals meeting minimum eligibility requirements will be assessed by the Nspire and KORE review committee and funded on a competitive basis.


Possible Points:

1. Mandatory Submission Requirements: Pass/Fail

2. Project Narrative Evaluation Criteria

  • Organization Overview = 30 pts.
  • Population of Focus and Statement of Need = 10 pts.
  • Proposed Project Activities = 50 pts.
  • Sustainability = 5 pts.
  • Evaluation Process = 5 pts.

    Total points possible for technical proposal = 100 pts.

Mandatory Submission Requirements

1.  The abstract/summary. (The abstract is a summary of the grant proposal and highlights the most important components of the proposed project. It should include the population(s) to be served, strategies/activities, project goals and measurable objectives).

2. Project Narrative

3. Detailed Budget Worksheet and Narrative using template provided on this webpage. (Download and complete the template to upload with your organizations online application.)

4. Copy of the organization’s 501(c) IRS letter of determination non-profit status.

All materials must be submitted via the online application system:  https://parkcommunity.academicworks.com/opportunities/91

**Please review this Application Help Guide before starting your application for the Empowering BIPOC Communities in the Opioid Response Grant.**

Important Items to Note:

  • To ensure the best experience while using the online application system (Blackbaud Award Management), you are encouraged to use a supported internet browser. For optimal compatibility, we recommend using a desktop computer or laptop and any newer browser such as:
    • Google Chrome,
    • Mozilla Firefox,
    • Apple Safari, or
    • Microsoft Edge.
    • Not Compatible: Internet Explorer
  • You will be required to ‘sign up’ by entering an email address and a password of your choosing.

Please submit questions regarding proposals to:  Andrea Brown, KORE Project Leader, at Andrea.Brown@parkcommunity.com

Project Narrative Evaluation Criteria

The Project Narrative Evaluation Criteria describes what the applicant intends to do with the project and will be reviewed according to the quality of responses to Sections A-E below.

A. Organization Overview (30 points; 650-word max)

1. Provide a brief description of your organization’s experience and qualifications to reach the population(s) of focus and provide the proposed services.

  • When was your organization established?
  • What is your mission?
  • Who do you serve and in what geographic region?
  • What type of services do you provide?

2.  How is your organization reflective of the community you intend to serve with these funds? How have you served the BIPOC community? Of the people you serve, what proportion of them are BIPOC?

3.  Describe your organization’s capacity to implement the project.

B.  Population of Focus and Statement of Need (10 points; 250-word max).

1. What impacted community(s) will your project primarily serve (e.g.  Black, Latinx, Asian, women of color, LGBTQ persons of color)?

2.  Describe the need to expand the knowledge of SUD/OUD, MOUD, prevention, treatment, recovery and/or harm reduction services in the proposed geographic service area(s) and population(s) of focus.

C.  Proposed Project Activities (5 points; 750-word max):

1.  Provide a description of the proposed project to include, but not limited to, the following:

  • What activities are being proposed?
  • What methods of outreach and engagement will be used?
  • Identify any community partners and how the partnership(s) will be leveraged.
  • How does the proposed project create an opportunity for long-term engagement within communities of color?
  • How will the proposed project help to decrease overdose deaths and reduce disparities in health?

2.  Provide an implementation timeline. For each key activity (e.g., staff  training, materials development, service delivery start date) list the specific time-period during which it will occur, and which staff are responsible for implementation of each key activity.

3.  List 3-5 expected direct outcomes of the proposed project activities.

D. Sustainability (5 points; 300-word max).

1. We recognize these funds are limited, how can this project help to sustain proposed activities after the funding ends?

E. Evaluation Process (5 points; 300-word max).

1. Describe how your organization will document or evaluate progress toward achieving project activities. Examples may include tracking the number and type of outreach events conducted, number and demographics of people reached through outreach events and materials, results of any community surveys or program evaluations, and other evidence of activity impact and effectiveness.