Wu Announces the Awardees for the 2024 Community Empowerment Grants

Mayor Michelle Wu and the Office of Black Male Advancement  announced the awardees for the 2024 Community Empowerment Grants. These grants are a $500,000 investment aimed at supporting community-based organizations that are focused on empowering and improving outcomes for Black men and boys in Boston. These grants will help organizations scale up their work and deepen their impact throughout the city’s neighborhoods. The program is sustained by Black Male Advancement’s operating budget.

“We’re committed to supporting community organizations that are focused on empowering and improving outcomes for Black men and boys in Boston,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “These grants will support critical organizations in scaling up their programming and deepening the impact across all of Boston’s neighborhoods. I’m grateful to the Office of Black Male Advancement for their work to build a stronger network for Black men and boys in our city.”

“Investing in the empowerment of Black men and boys across Boston means Mayor Wu stands firm on her commitment on building a truly inclusive and thriving community,” said Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity and Inclusion. “These Community Empowerment Grants move the needle closer to a future where every Black man and boy has access to the resources and support they need to flourish.” 

“The Community Empowerment grants will provide additional financial support for Boston community-based organizations to continue their invaluable efforts within our neighborhoods day in and day out,” said Frank Farrow, Executive Director of the Office of Black Male Advancement. “I’m excited to collaborate with local community based organizations and can’t wait to see the continued positive impact they will be able bring to our Black men and boys across the city.”

The BMA Community Empowerment Grants prioritized organizations that expand one of the following seven focus areas:

• Mentoring and Out-of-School Time: providing quality mentoring, literacy and out-of-school time programs when and where they are needed, offering developmentally appropriate learning environments that support social emotional and physical wellbeing. 

• Youth and Young Adult Pathways: providing educational and career pathways for youth and young adults navigating their own course to economic prosperity.

• Housing Mobility: providing a continuum of housing opportunities, resources, and supports that are effectively resulting in pathways to affordable housing and homeownership.

• Economic Inclusion and Wealth Building: supporting individuals to experience financial empowerment and economic mobility.

• Workforce Training and Development: helping unemployed and underemployed individuals attain livable wage jobs and helping businesses with training for employees to support a pipeline of skilled workers.

• Fatherhood Engagement: supporting fatherhood education, case management, and peer-to-peer support to strengthen positive father-child interaction, improve social and economic outcomes for fathers and their families and improve healthy relationships.

• Mental Health and Wellness: helping support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of men.

The grants will be awarded to the following local organizations: 

Youth & Young Adult Pathways

• Bottom Line (Jamaica Plain)

• Apprentice Learning (Jamaica Plain)

• Mbadika (West Fens/Kenmore)

• Next Leadership Development Corporation (Jamaica Plain)

• Charlestown Community Cares (Charlestown)

Mentoring and Out-of-School Time

• Voices of Liberation Inc (Jamaica Plain)

Fatherhood Engagement

• Black Male Artists Collective/Union of Minority Neighborhoods (Jamaica Plain)

Building on the office’s work to strengthen Black male serving community organizations, Black Male Advancement is partnering with Resilia on the office’s Capacity Building and Impact Institute. The Institute will provide critical capacity building support and on-demand technical assistance to equip proven or promising Black male serving organizations with long-term capacity needs and to drive impact efforts. The Institute will also support a cohort of Community Empowerment grantees to deepen their impact and bring their work to scale.

“Funding supports Young Man with a Plan with holistic mentoring growth as we expand enrollment, staff, space, and programming, including new wellness programming,” said Jaykyri Simpson, Executive Director of Young Man With A Plan. “Our entire organization appreciates the funding from the Office of Black Male Advancement and the uplift!”

“Thank you to the Office of Black Male Advancement for gracing the Center with funds to help make a difference–generationally–in men’s lives” said LaWaun Curry, Fathers Nurturing Program Specialist, Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts. “While we do the work for men directly, we also want to impact their children and their children’s children.”

For more information on the Office of Black Male Advancement’s Community Empowerment Small Grants program, please visit this link.

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