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Barr Announces $4.15 Million in New Grantmaking Centered on Racial Equity

New and extended support for over 30 organizations to advance racial equity and support communities hit hardest by COVID-19 in Greater Boston and across Massachusetts.

In August, I wrote about Barr’s enduring commitment to racial equity, outlining plans to expand our grantmaking in future years – both through Barr’s core programs of Arts & Creativity, Climate, and Education, and through support of targeted efforts beyond our core programs.

Today, I am pleased to announce new grantmaking of $4.15 million, representing our latest steps in making Barr’s expressed commitment tangible. With a focus on advancing racial equity in Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we have awarded the following grants:

  • $1 million to support the King Boston Center for Economic Justice, payable over four years. This grant will provide core support as the Center develops action-oriented solutions aimed at eliminating the economic and social inequities that affect Boston’s communities of color.
  • $200,000 to support the City of Boston’s recently-established Office of Equity, led by Dr. Karilyn Crockett. These resources will help to build staff capacity as well as support strategic planning, research, and community outreach efforts as the Office embeds equity across the policies and practices of various City departments.
  • $175,000 to support the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, for capacity building and development of key infrastructure and its stakeholder engagement strategy.
  • $100,000 to support the Forward Fund, a collaborative fund managed by King Boston that will regrant resources in support of BIPOC-led, grassroots organizations that provide direct services, engage in advocacy, and provide mutual aid.

In addition to these four grants to new partners, Barr has awarded grants that augment and extend support to a set of organizations to which we made grants earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, these grant augmentations represent new commitments of $2,675,000 to 31 organizations.

In April, Barr awarded general operating and core support grants to a number of organizations that principally support immigrant communities, which have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Then, in July, we awarded another round of similar grants, this time to a group of organizations that primarily serve Black communities in the Commonwealth.

The 31 grants we’re announcing today represent a doubling of the amount and length for any of those grants that had been initially awarded as one-year grants. As before, these grants are for unrestricted general operating or core support, to provide organizations with the greatest latitude in the use of these funds.

We recognize that the effects of this pandemic will endure into and well beyond 2021, and we determined it was vital to provide this additional, flexible support to organizations that are serving communities of color, and that are also primarily led and governed by people of color. The list of grant recipients and amounts follows here:

  • African Community Education Program ($50,000)
  • Berkshire Immigrant Center ($50,000, Fiscal Sponsor is the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition)
  • Black Economic Council of Massachusetts ($150,000)
  • Black Economic Justice Institute ($50,000)
  • Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston ($125,000)
  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center ($100,000)
  • Boston Ujima Project ($100,000, Fiscal Sponsor is Center for Economic Democracy)
  • Brazilian Immigrant Center dba Brazilian Workers Center ($75,000)
  • Catholic Services of Fall River ($50,000)
  • Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores ($50,000)
  • Centro Presente ($75,000)
  • East Boston Ecumenical Community Council ($50,000)
  • Gardening the Community ($50,000, Fiscal Sponsor is Third Sector New England)
  • GreenRoots ($125,000)
  • Immigrant Family Services Institute ($50,000)
  • Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción ($100,000)
  • Justice at Work ($50,000)
  • La Colaborativa (formerly Chelsea Collaborative) ($125,000)
  • Lawyers for Civil Rights ($150,000)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services ($100,000)
  • Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition ($150,000)
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute ($75,000)
  • Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts Education Fund ($75,000)
  • Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project ($75,000)
  • Rian Immigrant Center ($150,000)
  • Sociedad Latina ($100,000)
  • Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts ($50,000)
  • The Islamic Society of Boston ($50,000)
  • Urban Farming Institute of Boston ($75,000)
  • Urban Guild ($50,000)
  • Urban Revival dba City Life/Vida Urbana ($150,000)

In awarding these grants, we recognized that nonprofits have long argued that general operating support is the most valuable support foundations can provide; that foundation application processes can be cumbersome and unwieldy; and that the lag time between submitting a proposal to a funder and receiving a decision can be far too long.

These realities informed how we approached these grants – streamlining and expediting our internal processes to provide flexible support to organizations and programs quickly and responsively. While these particular actions were prompted by an unprecedented pandemic, it is my intention that we at Barr apply what we learn from this experience to how we work going forward, as we strive to become more effective in service to our nonprofit partners and their leaders.

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