You Can Change the Trajectory!

by supporting the 

Lauren Brown Empowerment Fund

For historically disadvantaged staff


ERS has launched a $500,000 campaign to create the Lauren Brown Empowerment Fund (LBEF), with an ultimate goal of building an endowed fund in excess of $1,000,000. To nearly $300,000 has been raised.

Will you support the campaign to help Change the Trajectory of the lives of some of our most valued staff.

The purpose of the LBEF is to boost the careers of Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) team members, who often face barriers to job advancement. The fund is named for Lauren Brown, a beloved team member who strove to make life better for her family.

Lauren, a single Black mother, joined ERS while in high school, working in dining services at Marjorie P. Lee. She worked hard to educate herself continuously. She held positions in life enrichment and administration at ERS and then became an Affordable Living manager. She aspired to go through the rigorous process of becoming a licensed nursing home administrator. When ERS vowed to support her through the difficult journey, Lauren exclaimed, "You have changed the trajectory of my life. I see a new future for my sons and myself because of this opportunity." 


Tragically, Lauren passed away a few weeks later. 

With your support, Lauren will live on through the LBEF, which will preserve her legacy and empower other historically disadvantaged individuals to realize their full potential for years to come. 

UPDATE: We Can Do Better. Two years into the journey.

What factors have historically prevented BIPOC individuals the opportunity to advance?

The denial of the opportunity to build wealth.

The American Dream is based on the opportunity to generate the kind of wealth for the realization of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” An unattainable dream for many for reasons including:

  • After the Civil War, the Black families who were enslaved were promised property to not only provide the means to support themselves after slavery ended, but help build wealth moving forward. This, however, was never fulfilled by the United States government.

  • Under the New Deal, redlining maps were drawn and neighborhoods were ranked for property devaluation risk. Ranked as “riskiest” were areas where mostly African Americans lived. This precluded them from home-loan qualification.

  • Also under the New Deal, domestic and farm workers were excluded from Social Security, impacting 60% of African Americans across the US.

 The denial of a quality education.

 Studies consistently correlate positive academic performance with four factors-

  • Smaller schools where they are personally known well,

  • Smaller class sizes, especially at the elementary level,

  • A challenging curriculum, and

  • Instruction by highly qualified teachers.

White and affluent regions are exponentially more likely to have funding allocated to provide these critical factors than schools comprised mainly of members of the BIPOC community.

Limited access to well-paying jobs

  • A lesser quality education hinders college readiness to prepare for higher paying career fields,

  • With neighborhood deterioration, fewer quality jobs are close to home,

  • Without some accumulated wealth, moving to be closer to higher paying jobs is out of reach.

Who can apply to the LBEF?
What will the impact be?

single mom family-1

ERS BIPOC staff are eligible to apply annually for funding and other supports that will help address personal, professional and educational barriers to success to empower them to fulfill their potential. By helping to uplift individuals, the ripple effect will create a lasting impact on their families, ERS and the broader community in the following anticipated ways:

  • Individuals will improve their personal financial position through higher paying jobs with continuous career growth potential,

  • This will, in turn, position their families for greater opportunities for long term success due to increased access to resources,

  • The overall community will improve as a result of the impact they will have through their actions and engagement.

  • ERS will continue to be an Employer of Choice by expanding diverse representation and thought leadership of our staff,

  • Reduction of employee turnover and retention of staff who embody ERS Core Values and Ways of Working will lead to improved quality of care,


Your gift to the campaign will

Change the Trajectory


Support the Campaign to Launch the LBEF

Short-Term Goal: $500,000
Raised to Date*: $395,000

Balance to Goal:  $105,000

*does not include gift commitments made in donor estate plans


Help Create a Permanent Endowment

The long-term goal is to build an endowed fund of at least $1M

to generate a minimum of

to support the advancement of worthy BIPOC applicants.

Special thanks to those donors who have helped launch the

Lauren Brown Empowerment Fund, including:

Targeted gift from Al Harris

Major Gift, Christ Church Cathedral plus an Estate Gift commitment from Jane and Earl Mills




Click the image to learn more about what inspired the Mills’ support


All gifts to the LBEF are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. To learn more about how you can support the LBEF, contact ED of Philanthropy Joy Blang at 513-979-2313 or

Announcing the first LBEF Award Recipients*

CHARLENE Charlene, a beloved Resident Aide. When she has a little spare time, she often sits with a resident to read or sing songs together. She was halfway through her nursing degree when she faced some unexpected family emergencies. Her young adult son was in an accident and faced a long road to recovery. A few weeks after the accident, her grandmother passed away. Charlene was the only member of her extended family able to pay the bills, but to do so she had to discontinue her schooling. The LBEF covered the costs of these unexpected expenses to allow Charlene to continue the pursuit of her nursing degree.


AdobeStock_236047402 George, a member of our housekeeping team. A single father of Darbi, a high school freshman who plans to go to college in four years, George aspires to move into a supervisory position. A few years ago, he started his associate degree as a business major at Cincinnati State.  Unfortunately, between saving for Darbi’s college tuition and a few unexpected expenses, he has had to delay classes. Recently, George learned that their landlord has sold the building and he can no longer afford the increased rent.  He has found a new apartment but doesn’t have the money for the deposit and moving expenses.  The LBEF was able to pay a deposit on a new home as well as some of the unexpected expenses that delayed George’s re-enrollment in school.  He will resume classes in the fall.

*Out of respect for the privacy of our awardees, these composite stories illustrate situations being addressed.



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