October News: Feeling Stressed? Join Us for a Moment of Wellness, and More News from Your Community Foundation

October 28, 2020

It's Election Season! What's Your Voting Plan?


“The most important thing I think, as Michelle Obama said, is have a plan. You have three options…the first thing is to just come to a decision as to what lane you want to travel down.”

Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Already, hundreds of thousands of Brooklynites have cast their ballots in the 2020 Election. With one week until Election Day, if you are still unsure of how you'll vote, it's time to make a plan—and a Plan B! We've put together a detailed blog with everything you need to know to decide how, when, and where you to vote. 

And once you've made your plan, watch the recording of our conversation with Brooklyn Congressman Hakeen Jeffries and Brooklyn Community Foundation board member Aisha Mills to help you examine the issues at stake:

Watch the recording of our Spark Change: Power, Not Politics conversation with
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Aisha Mills

The Largest Community-Funded Response in Our History

As we finalize planning for the Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund's Phase 2, we hope you take a moment to read our special report on the first phase of the Fund

From the start, the Fund has prioritized support for Black, Latinx, and other communities of color who have endured far more damaging economic, social, and health impacts from the pandemic due to structural racism and systems of oppression denying access to basic protections like adequate healthcare, safe housing and employment, and financial security.

Phase 2 of the Fund will begin next month with an extensive community engagement process focusing on the ten hardest hit Brooklyn neighborhoods, detailed in our Phase 1 Report. This will enable us to learn from—and partner with—leaders and residents to fund persistent urgent needs and long-term systemic change. 

Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project Offers Road Map for Schools

Earlier this month, we released the findings of our Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project, a four-year school-based pilot in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the Mayor’s Leadership Team on School Climate and Discipline. With a focus on addressing racial disparities in school discipline, the project offers much needed research on restorative justice implementation.

Findings from the project include an overall reduction in suspensions at participating schools, an increase in students’ sense of safety, as well as equitable access across student populations to non-punitive disciplinary responses. Moreover, the project has yielded a series of comprehensive recommendations for school administrators and educators on how to successfully implement restorative justice practices to achieve racially just and culturally responsive school cultures.

Stream our Spark Change: Restorative Justice For Racially Just Schools conversation to learn more about the Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project
Experts from the Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project came together as part of our Spark Change webinar series to discuss how the project has advanced the Department of Education’s goals of implementing restorative justice citywide, while bringing greater attention to the critical need to address anti-Black racism in school discipline. Watch it here.

Join Us for These Upcoming Events

Through our Spark Change webinar series, we are hosting critical conversations on racial justice, the impacts of COVID-19, and the important work of Foundation grantees:

Spark Change: A Moment of Wellness

November 5th at 12:30PM | RSVP

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” — Audre Lorde

This year has been especially difficult for many—and we believe it’s important to prioritize your mental and physical well-being. We are offering our community members an opportunity for a moment of tranquility and self-care in the form of a complimentary virtual wellness session with MINKA, a community-led wellness center in Brooklyn.

Spark Change: Solidarity, Not Charity

November 16th at 2PM | RSVP

The relationship between philanthropy and social change is often charged, with inherently contradictory dynamics: wealthy, powerful institutions funding movements led by grassroots organizations. Recognizing this imbalance is not enough: philanthropic organizations must build their work around the ethos of solidarity, rather than charity. Join us for this discussion with Abby Disney, philanthropist and social activist, and Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth.  

Spark Change: #SayHerName

December 8th at 2:30PM | RSVP

Join us for a discussion on the intersection of racial, social, and gender justice, centering the experience of Black cisgender and transgender women, girls, and gender expansive youth. Guest speakers Monique Morris, award-winning author and social justice scholar, and Joanne N. Smith, Founder and CEO of Foundation grantee Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), will discuss the impacts of misogynoir on the ongoing fight to achieve gender justice, equity, and liberation for Black women.

#BooklynGives Registration Closes Nov. 1st!

Brooklyn Nonprofits: Time is running out to be part of #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday 2020! This year's campaign kicks off November 10th with the goal of raising $1 million for local nonprofits by Tuesday, December 1st—known around the world as Giving Tuesday—at BrooklynGives.org.

Last year, more than 2700 donors gave over $800,000 through #BrooklynGives. This year, in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and a growing national movement for racial justice, the mission of #BrooklynGives is more important than ever before.