Coburn Place Receives $400,000 from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative to Address Mental Health of Black Survivors of Domestic Violence

March 15, 2023

The Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative awarded Coburn Place $400,000 toward a two-year effort to reduce the stigma of mental health for Black survivors of domestic violence and their families and improve their overall mental health across their lifespans.

The grant supports Coburn Place’s holistic mental and physical health programming, along with the creation of a robust community education and outreach campaign. The campaign includes a comprehensive social media push along with a series of videos created by Ira Mallory and the young people of 40 West Digital program at the MLK Center. It also includes a series of events, trainings and workshops that will be open to the public.

African American women experience domestic violence at a disproportionately high rate due to intergenerational cycles of violence and poverty perpetuated by systemic racism. However, they are less likely to seek mental health treatment from the trauma they have experienced due to mistrust of the medical system that stems from a history of institutional racism, the long-standing image of the strong Black woman, a persistent stigma associated with mental illness, and lack of access to Black or culturally responsive non-Black mental health professionals.

“We are committed to reducing the stigma of mental health and expanding opportunities for Black survivors of domestic violence and their families,” says Coburn Place President and CEO Rachel Scott. “They need increased access to culturally affirming mental health care that addresses the layered traumas they have experienced. It’s the boost they need to heal and create a fresh start.”

The National Urban League selected 52 Indianapolis/Marion County not-for-profit organizations as the second recipients of grants from the IAAQLI. The organizations represent 61 grants offered to support projects with funding totaling more than $21.5 million. IAAQLI is a partnership between the National Urban League, the Indianapolis Urban League, and the African American Coalition of Indianapolis. The initiative was created in 2020 through a $100 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.

The awards follow intensive community conversations and analysis of the most critical issues impacting the quality of life for African Americans living within Indianapolis/Marion County. The focus of the funding is to help nonprofit organizations implement the initiative mission which is to support effective programs, policies and ventures that will make measurable improvements in the daily life of African Americans.

The initiative awarded grants to organizations whose programs, services and policy advocacy will address historic inequities existing among Indianapolis’ Black communities.

About Coburn Place
Coburn Place offers compassionate support and safe housing choices for survivors of domestic violence and their children, illuminating a path forward. It is Indiana’s largest and most comprehensive provider of longer-term housing options for survivors. Coburn Place offers on-site transitional housing along with community-based housing in a Domestic Violence Housing First approach to identify and eliminate housing barriers and improve survivors’ overall housing stability and well-being.

About the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative
The Indianapolis Urban League in partnership with the African American Coalition of Indianapolis and a variety of organizations has implemented the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative. Funded through a $100 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, the IAAQLI is mobilizing African American resources while also building collaborations and partnerships to elevate the quality of life of African Americans in Indianapolis/Marion County.

Contact: Kim Easton, communications director,