Healthy Start Male Involvement Endowment Fund
|The Healthy Start / Male Involvement Endowment Fund supports programs like New Haven Healthy Start, which hosts an annual Family Fun and Fitness Day (pictured above). Photo Credit RTS Photography.
The Healthy Start / Male Involvement Endowment Fund was established by many individual donors and community residents, including three community leaders in Greater New Haven: Larry Conaway, Michael Jefferson, and Amos Smith.
The Fund is a designated fund at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and has distributed over $14,000 since being created in 2004. Grants support:
- New Haven Healthy Start for the benefit of low-income pregnant and parenting women and non-custodial low income fathers;
- New Haven Family Alliance for their Fathers Matters program; and
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Ell Chapter for its fatherhood initiative.
Fund founders Conaway, Jefferson and Smith have long been active in Greater New Haven's community supporting efforts that engage youth and families in positive ways and work to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities.
Conaway's career as an administrator in New Haven's alternative schools began after attending Southern Connecticut State University, the University of Connecticut, and the Principals' Center at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. In 2019, the proud father of four retired as Principal of Riverside transitional school in New Haven.
Jefferson, a long-time community activist and a former radio talk show host, is credited with establishing New Haven’s first ever community based All Civilian Review Board as a means of combating police misconduct. He is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, and has a Masters degree in Child Welfare from Saint Joseph College and Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is also the founder of Kiyama, a movement dedicated to promoting self-improvement primarily among African American males of all ages.
Smith was once the Director of Programs at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and served as Principal Investigator for the federally funded New Haven Healthy Start project which seeks to improve Maternal and Child Health for women in New Haven. Today, he is the President and CEO of the Community Action Agency of New Haven — an organization focused on providing emergency assistance to families as well as ending long term generational poverty.
Conaway and Jefferson also have charitable funds at The Prosperity Foundation, a community foundation designed to strengthen Connecticut’s Black communities in critical areas such as health, education, and economic development.
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