A view of Boston's historic Pilot House from the harbor

Matt Conti

Barr Awards $1.36 Million to Nonprofits Supporting Black Communities in Response to COVID-19

The Foundation’s third set of grants in response to the pandemic focuses on organizations serving Black communities.

In Massachusetts and our neighboring states, the trendlines for COVID-19 are currently moving in the right direction. Yet, the impacts in our communities have been profound and will be felt for some time. As a result, the Barr Foundation continues listening to our partners and local leaders and using data to understand where needs are greatest. We have seen the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on low-income communities, immigrants, and people of color, and have prioritized Barr’s COVID-19 response grantmaking in support of these populations. In Massachusetts, Black and Hispanic residents have experienced more than three times the rate of positive cases as white residents.

Today, I am pleased to announce new grantmaking from Barr of $1.36 million to 19 organizations that specifically serve Black communities and are on the front lines helping them grapple with the pandemic. Many are also Black-led nonprofits.

  • Arise, Inc. dba Arise for Social Justice ($60,000)
  • Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc. ($150,000)
  • Black Economic Justice Institute, Inc. ($50,000)
  • Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, Inc. ($125,000)
  • Brockton Interfaith Community, Inc. ($50,000)
  • Boston Ujima Project ($100,000, Fiscal Sponsor is Center for Economic Democracy, Inc.)
  • Fresh Start Wellness Center Inc. dba Fresh Start 508 ($60,000)
  • Gardening the Community ($50,000, Fiscal Sponsor is Third Sector New England, Inc.)
  • Legendary Legacies, Inc. ($60,000)
  • Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance ($50,000, Fiscal Sponsor is Community Labor United, Inc.)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, Inc. ($100,000)
  • New England United for Justice ($60,000, Fiscal Sponsor is Community Labor United, Inc.)
  • South End Community Center, Inc. ($50,000)
  • Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts ($25,000)
  • Urban Farming Institute of Boston, Inc. dba Urban Farming Institute ($75,000)
  • Urban Guild, Inc. dba The Guild ($50,000)
  • Urban Revival, Inc. dba City Life/Vida Urbana ($150,000)
  • Violence in Boston, Inc. ($70,000)
  • Women of Color in Solidarity ($25,000, Fiscal Sponsor is Press Pass TV dba Transformative Culture Project)

As an extension of our earlier support for immigrant-serving organizations, we are also awarding $50,000 to Immigrant Family Services Institute, Inc.

New grants are focused on core support.

Most of these organizations have established COVID-19 relief funds that make resources available directly to community members and/or that augment services to Black communities. Most of these grants are for core support, and some funding also supports new advocacy efforts, as several of these organizations have shifted to work on policy and system changes to address some of the underlying inequities that COVID-19 has revealed so starkly.

These new grants build on two prior rounds of COVID-19 response grantmaking that totaled $4.6 million: a first to relief funds established by a number of community foundations across Massachusetts, and a second to support immigrant-serving organizations addressing community needs created by COVID-19.

Beyond COVID-19, Barr’s commitment will endure.

We realize that the work of combatting systemic inequities and structural racism requires long-term commitment to listening, learning, and investing in leaders of color and nonprofits working most proximately to the communities they serve.

Combatting systemic inequities and structural racism requires long-term commitment to listening, learning, and investing in leaders of color and nonprofits working most proximately to the communities they serve.

At Barr, we are committed to this work because it is inextricably linked to our central goals of creating vibrant, culturally rich, engaged communities; ensuring all young people can access high-quality schools; and advancing solutions for a changing climate.

In the coming weeks, I will share more detail on how the confluence of COVID-19 and our nation’s reckoning with anti-Black racism is accelerating work at Barr to focus our philanthropy more explicitly on the imperative of promoting racial equity in advancing our program goals.

comments powered by Disqus