A new philanthropic fund announced May 20 aims to address racial inequalities in Houston by providing support to local nonprofits focused on social justice.

“This is a critical time for our city and quite frankly the country. It is imperative that we come together and address system inequalities in black and brown communities,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “The murder of George Floyd was the catalyst for this fund.”

The Houston Fund for Social Justice and Economic Equity, funded by private contributions, is led by Turner and local business leaders.

With an initial goal of raising $25 million through private donations, the fund will contribute to nonprofit efforts and also have a venture capital arm focused on minority entrepreneurs.

So far donors include H-E-B, Verizon, Cigna, HNTB Corp. and Enterprise Holdings.

Turner said he could also envision the fund establishing an environmental justice hub at Texas Southern University that he referred to as “Ion 2.” The original Ion opening soon on the border of Third Ward and Midtown serves as a technology entrepreneurship incubator. Turner said his hope is that Ion 2 will spur additional development in the environmental justice movement.

Editor's note: this post has been updated for clarity.