The Starbucks Foundation announces nonprofit recipients of grants to support BIPOC youth


Building on a longstanding commitment to advance opportunity for all, in 2020 The Starbucks Foundation committed to invest $5 million in nonprofits that serve Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) youth.

As a next step in this initiative, The Starbucks Foundation announced the first group of nonprofit grant recipients in March 2021: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Junior Achievement USA and The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR). Additional nonprofits received grants in fall 2021: Covenant House, Public Allies and YWCA USA.

“At Starbucks, we believe it is our responsibility to build bridges and advance social and racial equity on behalf of our partners and communities,” said Virginia Tenpenny, chief social impact officer at Starbucks and executive director of The Starbucks Foundation. “We are honored to partner with nonprofits that share our aspiration for thriving and equitable communities, and which have decades of experience empowering young people. The Starbucks Foundation looks forward to supporting continued innovation of programs that address systemic barriers to equitable outcomes and can contribute to closing the racial opportunity gap.”

The Starbucks Foundation grants will support initiatives that focus on:

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion programs;
  • Youth mentorship and leadership development; and
  • Life skills, such as addressing financial health and mental health.

These initiatives will drive impact through national- and local-level programs in communities across the United States. As of January 2022, programs supported by the Foundation’s grants have impacted more than 100,000 youth. Here are more details:

Big Brothers Big Sisters Puget Sound loading cartons for food bank
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) is the nation’s largest youth mentoring organization, with more than 230 local agencies serving more than 5,000 communities nationwide to create and support 1-to-1 mentoring relationships. Of the young people served by BBBSA, 71 percent identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). The Starbucks Foundation grant will be used to support BBBSA to implement a three-pronged strategy to promote resiliency and advance racial and social equity by: (1) Creating social justice incident response units, Relationship Responders, to help communities negatively impacted by racism and other injustices recover and heal; (2) Providing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Training to frontline Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and volunteer mentors across the network; and (3) Fueling the work of local BBBS agencies to lead grassroots initiatives supporting equity and bridge building in the communities Big Brothers Big Sisters and Starbucks jointly serve. Learn more here.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America, through its network of Clubs across the country, on Native lands and U.S. military installations worldwide, aims to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Starbucks Foundation’s grant will be used by Boys & Girls Clubs to build and implement a racial equity organizational assessment, training and strategy to break down barriers for youth-serving programs. The grant will also help fund the Boys & Girls Clubs’ efforts to measure and improve the racial equity practices and programs in more than 4,700 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve 4.6 million youth annually, from every community and walk of life. This grant builds on a long history of Starbucks partners engaging with their local Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as a recent collaboration with The Foundation to support the critical work of Clubs serving youth amidst COVID-19. Learn more here.
Group of Starbucks partners volunteering with City Year Seattle
Photo taken pre-COVID
  • City Year is dedicated to helping students and schools succeed by creating learning environments where all students can thrive and seeks to advance educational equity and prepare diverse leaders to work across lines of difference. City Year will use this grant, from The Starbucks Foundation will support City Year staff, AmeriCorps members, and the students they serve in building and delivering practices and programs around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. These programs will help ensure diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members will gain experience in facilitating equity practices through their full-time service as student success coaches in nearly 320 systemically under-resourced schools across the country. This grant builds on more than ten years of partnership between City Year sites, The Starbucks Foundation, and Starbucks partners across the country. Learn more here.
Group of Junior Achievement members with Starbucks cups
Photo taken pre-COVID
  • Junior Achievement (JA) USA provides young people with the relevant skills and confidence to pursue their economic success through financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs. The Starbucks Foundation grant will be used by JA USA to support its staff and volunteers in delivering accessible and culturally relevant curriculum, enhanced with inputs from Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) experts and JA students, that will build student pathways to economic mobility. This grant will also support financial literacy education for the students JA serves, focusing on schools with 51 percent low-middle income students, and make the curriculum more inclusive to reach an estimated 60,000 Spanish-speaking students annually for whom English is a second language. This grant builds on over five years of Foundation grants to Junior Achievement programs across the country, and deep Starbucks partner engagement as volunteers in JA programs in local schools. Learn more here.
Group of youth and adults for MENTOR organization
Photo taken pre-COVID
  • The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and its Affiliates drive innovation and collaboration across America in order to rewire inequitable youth-serving systems to better serve young people by prioritizing supportive youth-adult relationships. The Starbucks Foundation’s grant will help fund MENTOR’s development of an online learning system and content that will support the mentoring field by deepening local capacity and access to inclusive mentoring practices, trainings, and resources. The grant will also provide inclusive mentoring capacity building grants to MENTOR Affiliates for focused efforts to develop and deliver localized racial justice, equity, and inclusive mentoring programs. The impact and reach of this work will have ripple effects that extend beyond the MENTOR’s 25 Affiliates across 24 states, to the thousands of mentoring programs MENTOR Affiliates work with, and to the hundreds of thousands of young people across the country connected to these mentoring programs, the majority of whom are BIPOC youth. Learn more here.
Girl writing on a white board
  • Covenant House provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness by helping young people transform their lives and put them on a path to independence. The Starbucks Foundation’s grant will help Covenant House’s new national workforce development initiative, a career pathways initiative that will increase job opportunities for unhoused youth in the U.S. through specialized training and certification programs, along with personalized and comprehensive support along a continuum of care. Through this partnership, Covenant House will enable youth to overcome systemic barriers, achieve sustainable independence and break free from the cycles of poverty and homelessness. Learn more here.
Group of youth posing outdoors in Public Allies t-shirts
  • Public Allies is a national movement committed to advancing social justice and equity by engaging and activating the leadership of all young people and has helped thousands of underrepresented young leaders serve their country, get on successful pathways to higher education and careers, and bring communities together to work for the common good. Public Allies will use this grant from The Starbucks Foundation to support national capacity building and programs across its network including through diversity, equity and inclusion training and new curriculum on mental health and healing, social justice and anti-racism. Through new tools and resources, Public Allies will be able to better help serve BIPOC youth across the agency’s 24 sites and strengthen a pipeline of diverse leaders. Learn more here.
Youth around a table listening to a speaker
  • YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. YWCA is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families, and has been on the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 160 years—from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. The Starbucks Foundation’s grant will help young women of color gain and maintain meaningful employment and achieve financial stability through a trauma-informed workforce development curriculum that will be piloted in ten locations and offered to the YWCA’s network of 200 associations across the country. Through the YW Strive for Teens program, YWCA will help teach young women digital, interpersonal, and business skills needed for success in the modern workplace and will equip participants with the know-how, skills, and confidence necessary to become the thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators of tomorrow. Learn more here.

The news follows the rollout of $1.5 million in Neighborhood Grants from The Starbucks Foundation in October focused on supporting organizations that are Black-led and/or serve Black and Indigenous communities and are dedicated to promoting economic mobility and opportunity and health and social services in local communities. The Starbucks Foundation’s 20+ year history of closing the equity gap for youth also includes grants totaling more than $7 million over five years (2015 – 2019) to organizations creating pathways to lifelong opportunity for youth and underserved communities.

About The Starbucks Foundation

The Starbucks Foundation strengthens humanity by transforming lives across the world, with a focus on enabling community resiliency and prosperity and uplifting communities affected by disaster. Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law. Click here to learn more.