PHILADELPHIA, PA — The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) announced on Thursday the first round of grant recipients for the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund, a partnership with Bread & Roses Community Fund to support grassroots nonprofit organizations that serve communities of color and those with low incomes, which have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund is a community-driven grantmaking process in which residents in the affected communities reviewed and scored the applications and recommended the grantees that were awarded. The goal was to empower community residents to determine what would most benefit their communities.
“As a community member in Mantua, which has been given a Promise Zone designation, it is common these days to hear about funding being distributed to initiatives throughout my community and those surrounding it,” said Community Grantmaking Committee member Rikeyah Lindsay. “Still, there is something amazing to be said for processes such as those Bread & Roses uplifts that give power specifically to people who are directly impacted rather than simply trusting the opinions and ideas of overarching power structures, who, though they may be very well intended, are often not equipped with lived experiences to conceptualize how to bring about authentic and sustainable change within communities that residents feel connected to.”
The first round of grants, which totaled $450,000, provided $15,000 to 30 community-based organizations focused on issues including, but not limited to: health education, food distribution, family support, and community organizing. The complete list of grant recipients is as follows:
|Agape African Senior Center, Inc.||Free Migration Project|
|Big Picture Alliance||Kensington Soccer Club|
|Center in the Park||Kiths Integrated and Targeted Human Services|
|Georgia E. Gregory Interdenominational School of Music||Mighty Writers|
|Grands As Parents Inc.||Mt. Vernon Manor CDC|
|Hunting Park Community Revitalization Corporation||Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation|
|Native American House Alliance Inc.||Safe Haven Family Life Center|
|One Art Community Center||The Monkey & The Elephant|
|PAR-Recycle Works||The Reawakening Agency|
|Purple House Project PA Inc.||Tree House Books|
|African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc.||Unemployment Information Center/Philadelphia Unemployment Project|
|ArtWell||Unique Dreams, Inc.|
|Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia||Why Not Prosper, Inc.|
|Cradles to Crayons||Women’s Community Revitalization Project|
|Esteem Girls Inc.||Islamic Cultural Preservation * Information Council – New Africa Center|
“For CEO, the community grantmaking process was an intentional shift from our traditional approach to philanthropy to one which centers the lived experience of those most impacted,” said Mitchell Little, executive director of CEO. “We believe this shift is necessary on a much broader scale to achieve an equitable recovery across all neighborhoods. We sincerely thank the members of the Community Grantmaking Committee for their time and energy, the Bread & Roses staff, and all the outstanding organizations that applied.”
“At Bread & Roses, we know that the best solutions to problems come from the people most affected by the issues being addressed, and these grants are a testament to that. The 30 community-based grantees are generating their own grassroots strategies to work towards equitable recovery. I’m grateful to the 15 members on the Community Grantmaking Committee who shared their expertise as members of these communities and donated their time to participate in this community-driven grantmaking process,” said Casey Cook, executive director of Bread & Roses Community Fund.
Eligible organizations had to be Philadelphia-based, have annual operating expenses under $3 million, and be providing services in high-need areas of the city. Organizations may use funds to support payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, or other operating expenses; and to provide and organize mutual aid projects. This program is funded by a Community Services Block Grant through CEO.
The City states that applications are now being accepted for the second round of the Fund. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST. All applications must be submitted through an online application portal. More information is available at breadrosesfund.org/nerf.
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