AEP Foundation gift is part of the Delivering on the Dream: Social and Racial Justice grant program
GAHANNA, Ohio, December 1, 2021 – AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, today announced that the American Electric Power Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to Catholic Social Services in Columbus. The gift is part of the foundation’s Delivering on the Dream: Social and Racial Justice grant program, which is a five-year, $5 million commitment to fund organizations with programs dedicated to advancing social and racial justice in communities American Electric Power serves.
“AEP believes actions speak louder than words to ensure equity for our neighbors of color,” said Janelle Coleman, AEP’s vice president, Community Engagement and Diversity, Inclusion, and president of the AEP Foundation. “The Delivering on the Dream grant program demonstrates our commitment to addressing racism and injustice in the communities we serve. AEP and its Foundation look forward to working with these organizations as we progress toward a brighter future, while advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The grant to Catholic Social Services will support the non-profit’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Center located on Columbus’ west side. The center offers many services to Columbus’ Hispanic community, including English as a Second Language classes, financial assistance, food pantry, legal services and job readiness assistance.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe Center has grown from a food pantry into a vital resource for Columbus’ Hispanic population, providing much-needed support for this growing community,” said Marc Reitter, president and chief operating officer of AEP Ohio, a subsidiary of AEP that provides funding to the AEP Foundation. “Through this grant, we’re honored to be a part of the center’s important efforts to increase access to programs and assistance that will help the Hispanic community thrive.”
“AEP and the AEP Foundation have made a transformative difference for the Hispanic community in the Columbus Region,” said Rachel Lustig, president and chief operating officer of Catholic Social Services. “Their long-standing partnership with Catholic Social Services has made an aggressive growth trajectory to strengthen efforts to advance racial justice and equity possible at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Center.”
Ramona Reyes, director of Our Lady of Guadalupe Center adds, “The name, Delivering on the Dream, is appropriate because AEP and its foundation back up their call for social and racial justice with action. AEP’s partnership is the total package – strategic leadership, generous support, and volunteer engagement which has made a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis.”
The other Ohio organizations to receive funds include Zora’s House and the YWCA in Columbus, as well as Community Legal Aid Services in northeast Ohio.