Brooklyn Community Foundation launched the Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund in March 2020 with an explicit focus on racial justice and centering communities of color. The Fund has since become the largest community-supported emergency response in the Foundation’s history.
In the first phase of the Fund, we distributed $3.3 million through 420 grants to 246 organizations across our borough in just 16 weeks. Our second phase of grantmaking launched in Fall 2020, brought the Fund's total commitment to nearly $6.5 million.
We began the second phase of the Fund with Brooklyn Insights 2020, an eight-week community engagement process. Guided by the belief that those who are closest to the challenges are closest to the solutions, this process allowed us to learn from, and partner with, communities of color most impacted by the pandemic. Through this, we identified recommendations for community-led solutions to achieve structural change, as well as relief for urgent ongoing needs.
Phase 2 encompassed an additional $3 million in funding commitments, including:
- Investment in Social Change: Real change doesn’t happen overnight and that’s why we are investing $2.5 million over five years for community-led advocacy and organizing to advance our collective vision for a fair and just Brooklyn.
- Vaccine Access and Education: We have committed $250,000 for culturally relevant, medically accurate information, outreach and navigation—including vaccines—provided by trusted community-based organizations.
- Continued Support for Urgent Needs: We are also providing nearly $300,000 in continued support for urgent needs in the community districts most impacted by the pandemic, including anti-Asian bias and violence, food security, and lost wages.
We hope that you will join us and make a contribution today or pledge a monthly recurring donation to sustain this ongoing work. 100% of your donation will go organizations on the frontline of the fight for justice and equity in Brooklyn. Thank you for all that you are doing for Brooklyn during this time.
By Cecilia Clarke, President & CEO