See press release below:
Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the launch of the City of Boston’s Summer Activation Mini-Grants, a $100,000 investment focused on empowering neighborhood associations, tenant task force organizations, and grassroot community-based organizations in efforts to activate social spaces and build community with residents. This grant program is funded through the City’s Operating Budget and administered by Isaac Yablo, the City’s Senior Advisor for Community Safety. The Summer Activation Mini-Grants, formerly known as the “Save R Streets” grant, is an integral component of the City’s upcoming plan for a safe and healthy summer that will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We’re focused on making this summer the most active and joyful one yet across every neighborhood,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “These mini-grants will support programming through community partners, and ensure more spaces for young people and families to connect and build community.”
“Violence causes harm to not only the individual, but also to communities that experience violence in their neighborhoods. It is critical that our city not only continues to utilize community policing in reducing violence, but is also working with our local organizations to address community violence,” said Council President Ed Flynn. “These Summer Activation Mini-Grants will give our neighborhood organizations more resources to provide the services needed to prevent violence and strengthen our communities. I encourage our neighbors who are already doing this work to apply, and I look forward to continuing working together with the Mayor, my colleagues, and our residents on proactively addressing community violence.”
“The City of Boston’s Summer Activation Mini-Grants will allow individual neighborhoods in the City of Boston to activate public spaces with an aim toward reducing violence in those areas,” said Councilor Michael Flaherty, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “I encourage neighborhood groups to apply so that the neighborhoods that need this activation most can benefit from the grants. We must continue to do everything we can to stem the violence on our streets and these projects can help do just that.”
“I am grateful for the Mayor’s commitment to making our neighborhoods safer for all residents by investing in community-led organizations,” said Councilor Brian Worrell. “Our approach to ending violence in our communities must focus on investing in our neighborhoods by activating community spaces, empowering local leaders and organizations doing the work on the ground, and addressing the root causes of violence.”
The Summer Activation Mini-Grants builds on Mayor Wu and the City’s commitment to bolstering community engagement and to working with residents across Boston’s neighborhoods to ensure community safety by deepening and expanding violence prevention and intervention work of organizations connected with the city’s communities. This grant program aims to strengthen relationships between the City and critical neighborhood and community organizations, improve delivery of services to residents, and activate community spaces for residents and families throughout the summer and into the fall.
“These Summer Activation Mini-Grants are central in our work to amplify the people and the organizations that live and work in the communities that experience a disproportionate amount of violence during summer months,” said Isaac Yablo, Senior Advisor for Community Safety. “This funding is meant to bring people together, and to support the work done to promote peace in the community.”
Grant applicants must be a civically involved neighborhood association, registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tenant organization, or a grassroots community-based organization. The applicant’s organization and proposed events must also be resident-led, have direct contact and connection with residents in the specific areas below, and have a track record of bringing together residents. If awarded a grant, organizations will work closely with the Senior Advisor for Community Safety and must notify the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services of the proposed event’s logistics.
Applying organizations must also commit to activating community spaces in specific areas that the City is targeting for increased programming through the duration of the grant. These areas were selected by the City using Boston Police Department data and following various listening sessions with stakeholders, including residents impacted by violence, neighborhood organizations, and City departments involved with ensuring community safety. More information regarding specific areas of focus is available here.
Applying organizations may request financial support of up to $7,000. Black male-, women-, BIPOC-, and immigrant-led organizations and organizations with an operating budget of less than $350,000 are encouraged to apply. The grant period will be from June 26 to September 1, 2023.
Interested organizations are encouraged to apply by May 22, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. An information session will be held virtually on Monday, May 8, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. To register for the information session, please visit the City’s webpage here.
To apply and learn more information about the Summer Activation Mini-Grants, please visit this link. The grant awardees are expected to be announced by the first two weeks of June.
Building on the Mayor’s commitment to expand resident opportunities to connect and build community, the City also announced that the “Adopt A Block” program will relaunch in the summer. Recognizing the critical role that faith-based organizations play in delivering crucial programs and services, particularly to underserved Black and Brown communities, the “Adopt a Block” Initiative will support faith institutions’ efforts to connect and support residents’ safety and health. Additionally, faith organizations will partner with the City to host summer community events, food distribution events, homelessness prevention services and neighborhood cleanups. This initiative will be piloted in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan.
“The financial investment in Adopt a Block this year will help expand our intentional work towards not only deepening, but investing in our relationship with faith-leaders to support the faith-based community who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe and engage youth in the City of Boston,” said Will Dickerson III, Faith-Based Advisor for the City of Boston. “Our partnership with the faith-based community will allow us to continue our neighborhood clean ups which will launch again this summer. We also look forward to introducing Teen Café’s where faith leaders and community organizations will activate their spaces for game nights, team building activities for young people, and host field trips to keep young people engaged with their peers in uplifting community centered activities.”
The following faith leaders and institutions will serve as key partners with the City:
- Rev. Willie Bodrick of The Twelfth Baptist Church,
- Bishop William E. Dickerson II of Greater Love Tabernacle,
- Pastor Arlene Hall of Deliverance Temple Worship Center,
- Pastor Sam Acevedo of Lion of Judah,
- Rev. Gregory G. Groover of The Historic Charles Street AME,
- Bishop Nicolas Homicil of Voice of the Gospel Tabernacle, and
- Bishop John Borders of Morning Star Baptist Church.
This announcement builds on Mayor Wu’s recent initiatives to ensure community safety and healthy spaces for all residents and families across Boston’s neighborhoods including the City’s recent participation in the Violence Reduction Cohort aimed at reducing gun violence and planned launch of a community-led Healing Tour. This year, the City made an unprecedented $18.7M investment in youth jobs, expanding the number of summer jobs available to youth this year to 7,000 – the largest in Boston’s history.
Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.
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