Commencement Address


February 12, 2015
One look at his shadow and the groundhog dashed all hopes that a reprieve from snow and icy cold was imminent. A few days later, the New York Foundation trustees warded off predictions of six more weeks of winter by awarding four new grants, two strategic opportunities grants, and six renewal grants to groups chosen from a pool of nonprofits that responded to our November deadline. To learn more about the issues these groups were working to solve, we made visits across the city hearing from youth leaders, public housing residents, LGBT detainees, parents, health advocates, and tenant organizers. You can read about our current cohort of new grants below:

chhaya

Chhaya Community Development Corporation works with New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities. They provide free direct-counseling services, facilitate housing education trainings, and engage in community organizing campaigns.
Year Founded: 2000
Population served: immigrants/refugees, neighborhood residents
Approach: community organizing
Website: http://chhayacdc.org/

cvh

Community Voices Heard has an active membership of more than 600 low-income people in New York City, and in Westchester, Rockland, and Orange counties, and reaches tens of thousands each year through community organizing, policy work, nonpartisan citizen engagement, leadership development, and creating new models of direct democracy.
Year Founded: 1994
Population served: neighborhood residents, economically disadvantaged
Approach: community organizing
Website: http://www.cvhaction.org/

queer detainee

Queer Detainee Empowerment Project offer an alternative detention program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) immigrants seeking assylum by connecting them to services and advocating for the elimination of structural barriers they experience in accessing housing, food, employment, and health care.
Year Founded: 2014
Population served: immigrants/refugees
Approach: community organizing
Website: http://qdep.org/

ugnayan

Ugnayan Youth for Justice and Social Change is a member-led group that brings together young people of Philippine ancestry who have experienced some form of systemic oppression and exploitation to engage in education, community research, and grassroots collective action.
Year Founded: 2004
Population served: immigrants/refugees
Approach: community organizing
Website: http://www.ugnayanyouth.org/

We also approved two grants out of our Strategic Opportunity Fund:

Fair Chance NYC is a citywide campaign to expand access to jobs for workers with criminal records and help close the racial jobs gap. Campaign partners include VOCAL-NY, the National Employment Law Project, Faith in New York, Community Service Society, 32BJ SEIU and more than 25 community, labor, and faith organizations

The DOB Reform Campaign member groups identified a growing problem in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods: the displacement of tenants through vacate orders issued by the Department of Buildings. This coalition of community-based organizations, legal services providers, and advocacy groups aims to change the way the city handles complaints from tenants who are endangered during illegal demolition and construction.

Grants were also renewed for: Black Women’s Blueprint, Red Umbrella Project, Community Action for Safe Apartments, Picture the Homeless, Riders’ Alliance, and the Laundry Workers Center.

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