The New York Women’s Foundation is proud to announce the launch of its second three-year phase of the Brooklyn Economic Justice Project with support from Fondation Chanel. Originally launched in 2020 to invest in organizations working to collectively interrupt the negative impacts of gentrification while strengthening economic prosperity for women and gender-expansive people in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, and East New York, BEJP is ready to advance a larger-scale effort to foster systems change through new economy approaches to security and justice in Brooklyn. Focused on expanding the work of the last three years, Phase 2 of BEJP will explore and galvanize opportunities to redistribute power and resources back to community and advocate for policies and practices that halt uncontrolled gentrification and predatory capitalist policies.
Major achievements of the cohort’s first three years include a successful microgranting program that redistributed resources to support emerging community leaders as they led projects to support low-income entrepreneurship, enhance neighborhood safety, and improve health, wellness, and collective healing for Black residents. Led by the cohort, the BEJP microgranting program disbursed $85,000 between May 2022 and April 2023, in grants ranging from $2,000-$5,000. The projects supported ranged from creating nonprofit organizations focused on upholding the economic and human rights of women and gender-expansive people in Brooklyn to hosting community-focused events that uplift economic justice issues in the borough. Other critical achievements of BEJP’s first phase include a wide-scale campaign and advocacy against gentrification and displacement in the area.
Feedback from grantee partners of the Phase 1 microgranting program has been incredibly positive from community members and organizations supported:
“I remember applying last year and the distribution of funds was so simple. I just thought “woah, this is easy – thank you!”[…] The most straightforward and people centered thing that I have done in a while.”
“I really liked the fact that we’re a new organization but we felt like we had support. Even if they like the ideas it’s hard to get people to take a chance on you. We really do want to do things differently, so it was great to have someone take a chance on us even though we don’t have a long track record of existence and success.”
The grantee partners leading Phase 2 of the Brooklyn Economic Justice Project include:
During Phase 2, this expanded cohort will explore opportunities to develop collective economy models to address the lack of access to financial services and capital. Together, this cohort will collaborate to collectively implement innovative approaches to new, more equitable economic systems that redistribute power and resources back to their community.
The New York Women’s Foundation thanks Fondation Chanel for being true partners toward gender justice and movement building by supporting this important initiative. Their steadfast support and partnership of this coalition is catalyzing gender, racial, and economic justice in Central Brooklyn, led by and for community.