UMass Boston’s Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development Receives $100,000 Cummings Grant


UMass Boston’s Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy receives 2-year funding from Cummings Foundation for Youth Wellness Corps

UMass Boston Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants through the Cummings Foundation’s $25 million grant program. The Gastón Institute was chosen from a total of 580 applicants in a competitive review process. He will receive $100,000 over two years.

The Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy is recognized as the region’s leading Latinx research and public policy institute. Through the collaboration, the Gastón conducts applied research projects aimed at evaluating the impact of policies, programs, and practices on Latinx education, health, economics, and community outcomes. Recent research has focused on how the social determinants of health have shaped COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality.

“We are thrilled to be able to launch this health equity internship program for our students,” said the biology professor Adan Colon-Carmona, who leads the project. “We also look forward to directly connecting their educational experiences with community organizations that are doing valuable frontline health equity work that is having a positive impact in the neighborhoods many of our students call home. »

The funds will help establish the Youth Wellness Corps Fellows (YWCF) program, which will provide underrepresented UMass Boston undergraduates interested in health careers with internships at community-based organizations and health centers focused on health. equity in communities of color ravaged by COVID-19. As Boston neighborhoods have been devastated by the impacts of the pandemic, this health careers training program will place students in their communities, empowering them to address health equity issues while learning skills to contribute to Greater Boston’s STEM-related workforce needs.

The $25 million Cummings Grant Program supports nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, the Cummings Foundation aims to give back in areas where it has commercial property. Its properties are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate company leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We are so fortunate in Greater Boston to have such successful nonprofits, and a multitude of talented and dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said the executive director of the Cummings Foundation. Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do every day to meet basic needs, remove barriers to education and health resources, and work for a more equitable society.”

With the help of approximately 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations that will receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time grantees as well as nonprofits that had previously received grants from the Cummings Foundation. Forty of this latter group of recipients were then selected to have their scholarships increased to 10-year scholarships ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

“Our volunteers bring diverse experiences and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” Vyriotes said. “Thanks to this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide on more than half of the grants each year.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education and mental health services. Non-profit organizations are spread across 45 different cities and towns.

The full list of 140 winners, plus more than 900 previous winners, is available at The Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to nonprofits in Greater Boston.

About the Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at UMass Boston

In 1989, the state legislature established the Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy in response to calls from Latinx community leaders and scholars for a better understanding of the Latinx experience in the state. Recognized as the region’s leading Latinx public policy and research institute, Gastón collaborates with government agencies, community organizations, foundations and corporations in applied research projects aimed at evaluating the impact of policies, programs and practices on education, health, economics and community outcomes. Advisory councils made up of professors and community leaders guide the Institute’s research program. The Gastón also offers educational programs for undergraduates and Boston Public School students. The Gastón is located at UMass Boston, the city’s only public research university and New England’s most diverse institution of higher learning. UMass Boston is a federally recognized Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and is one of only two universities in the nation with independent research institutes dedicated to four major communities of color in the United States – Afro- American, Asian American, Latino and Native American – through its Collaborative of Asian American, Native American, Latino and African American Institutes (CANALA).

About the Cummings Foundation

The Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to become one of New England’s largest private foundations. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable affiliates, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at


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