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Over $745,000 in Community Empowerment Grants Awarded

The grants will empower 60 community organizations that serve Black men across Boston’s neighborhoods to deepen their impact.

Mayor Michelle Wu and the Office of Black Male Advancement today announced 60 community organizations will receive grants totaling $747,467 for the Community Empowerment Small Grants program. These grants, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, aim to empower Black male-serving community-based organizations and amplify their impact in alignment with the BMA's core values and strategies.

"Empowering our Black-led community organizations is essential to ensuring that Boston is truly a city for everyone,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We are thrilled to support these critical organizations across the Boston area and increase their capacity with resources and technical assistance, deepening their impact and building stronger infrastructure for Black men and boys in our city.”

“For too long, black men and boys have faced stark disparities in education, health, employment and economic outcomes,” said Council President Ed Flynn. “We must bolster and support community organizations that provide important mentorship, youth and workforce development, housing and wealth building, mental health and wellness programs for our black communities so that they have greater opportunities and better pathways to succeed. The Community Empowerment Small Grants equip Black-led community organizations with what they need to better advance their youth, at-risk families and community."

"These funds are a critical commitment to uplifting Black men in our City and there is no better approach than to fund the organizations in our communities doing that work every day," said City Councilor Brian Worrell. "I am proud that many of these organizations and their leaders call District 4 home and I look forward to continuing to partner with them and the mayor to create a more equitable future for Black men in Boston."

The Community Empowerment Small Grants are being awarded to programs that expand at least one of the following seven focus areas: 

  • Mentoring and Out-of-School Time: Supporting quality mentoring, literacy, and out-of-school time programs that create nurturing learning environments, promoting social-emotional and physical well-being
  • Youth and Young Adult Pathways: Providing educational and career pathways to empower youth and young adults in their journey towards economic prosperity
  • Housing Mobility: Offering housing opportunities, resources, and support that result in affordable housing and homeownership for individuals and families
  • Economic Inclusion and Wealth Building: Fostering financial empowerment and economic mobility for individuals and communities
  • Workforce Training and Development: Assisting unemployed and underemployed individuals in acquiring livable wage jobs, while providing businesses with employee training programs to cultivate a skilled workforce
  • Fatherhood Engagement: Supporting fatherhood education, case management, and peer-to-peer support to strengthen positive father-child interaction, improve social and economic outcomes, and foster healthy relationships
  • Mental Health and Wellness: Promoting the mental health and well-being of men through support programs and initiatives

“We are proud to witness the positive impact of the Community Empowerment Small Grants program on the Black community in Boston,” said Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity and Inclusion. “These grants will serve as catalysts for access, promoting equity and inclusion within our city. By investing in mentoring, education, housing, economic inclusion, workforce development, fatherhood engagement, and mental health, we are co-creating pathways for young Black men to lead.”

“The Mayor’s Office of Black Male Advancement is committed to providing continued support to increase capacity and deepen the impact of community based organizations that are providing essential services to improve outcomes Black men and boys throughout Boston neighborhoods,” said Frank Farrow, Director of the Office of Black Male Advancement. “By empowering Black male-serving organizations that are aligned with our core values, we are creating pathways to success and leading towards a stronger support network for Black men and boys in our city.”

Funded by the City of Boston FY23 operating budget, the Community Empowerment Small Grants program exemplifies BMA's work in advancing opportunities for Black males and creating a more inclusive and prosperous city. The grants will be awarded to the following organizations: 

Building on the office’s work to strengthen Black male serving community organizations, Black Male Advancement is partnering with Resilia to launch 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 Community Empowerment grantees to deepen their impact and bring their work to scale.

“Young Man with a Plan is honored to receive a Community Empowerment grant from the Mayor's Office of Black Male Advancement,” said Dr. Jaykyri Simpson, Executive Director of Young Man with a Plan. “This funding is truly impactful as we grow our programming, enrollment, staff, and space to serve more young men and close the racial achievement and well-being gaps that are unacceptable."

“Family Nurturing Center is honored and thrilled to receive the Community Empowerment Grant from the Office of Black Male Advancement. It is the mission of FNC to work with others to create nurturing communities, where children are cherished, and families are supported,” said Richard Claytor, Director of Programs of Family Nurturing Center. “This partnership with the city will help us to advance a public interest, and provide essential services to strengthen Black families by supporting Black fathers.”

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

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