Jocelynne Rainey

CEO and President, Getting Out and Staying Out and Spark Prize Committee Member
What do you love about Brooklyn?
I love Brooklyn’s diversity, I love that there are so many different people from so many different backgrounds. People in Brooklyn are very committed to making this a borough where everyone can have an opportunity, everyone can live, and where everyone is connected to the growth that’s happening here—and I don’t know that every borough is doing that.
Why Brooklyn Community Foundation?
The more I learned about the types of nonprofits that Brooklyn Community Foundation funds, the more involved I wanted to be, the more I wanted to be an ambassador for the work that they’re doing.
The nice thing about the Foundation is that any way you want to get involved, whether on a very small scale or on a very large scale, the team  will help you get involved in that way.
And what makes the Foundation different is that they are focused on racial justice and willing to have those hard conversations. The Foundation’s willingness to tackle these issues in a real way makes them different from any other foundation that I’ve worked with.
How was your experience as a Spark Prize Committee member?
I’ve never understood the scope of what’s happening in Brooklyn in the way that I do now after participating on the Spark Prize Committee. From the experience, I have a deeper appreciation for the work being done by very small organizations—especially those that women of color are leading. 
I’m very active in my community, but even with all of that knowledge I did not know all the work that was happening in Brooklyn, and I think that without this experience I may have never known.