The New York Women’s Foundation has awarded the first recipients of its Brooklyn Economic Justice Project (BEJP) accelerator microgrants, distributing $45,000 to 11 organizations and individuals.
Launched in 2020 with support from Fondation Chanel, BEJP is a three-year initiative that invests in organizations working to collectively interrupt the negative impacts of gentrification while strengthening economic prosperity for women, transgender, gender-nonconforming, and non-binary (TGNCNB) people, and their families in four underinvested neighborhoods: Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, and East New York.
Funding from BEJP will support projects across three focus areas: economic security and justice, neighborhood safety, and healing justice.
“Only 2% of venture capital flows to Black entrepreneurs, so Black Connect is working to close the funding gap with our national pitch competition. FeverPitch provides funding and exposure for Black entrepreneurs who are overlooked by venture capitalists and too often excluded by the stringent rules that govern many pitch competitions, and the New York City Chapter of Black Connect is thrilled to present a FeverPitch that showcases creative and innovative women entrepreneurs in Brooklyn.” – Angela Majette, Black Connect
“Brooklyn Level Up’s mission is to maximize access to opportunities and information to spur communal wealth in the East Flatbush, Flatbush and Flatlands communities of Brooklyn. Our belief is that the space to build and grow, as well as the resources to back those dreams, have to be hyperlocal and devised in a way that ‘meets people where they are.’ We truly appreciate being a grantee in the Brooklyn Economic Justice Project Accelerator. This funding will support our BKLVLUP Small Business Entrepreneurship Collective non-profit/for-profit cohort and course series which will become a permanent community resource.” – Allyson Martinez, Brooklyn Level Up
“I spent K-12 in the NYC public school navigating the special education system as a student with a disability. In June 2020 after graduating college with my associates degree in Liberal Arts from Kingsborough Community College, I knew it was the moment to start sharing the obstacles, barriers and successful moments I dealt with in order to make it through college. I then envisioned and started the Disability Champion Mentoring Network so that no young person should face barriers in accomplishing their dreams especially, and to be able to support students with disabilities in their transition from high school pathway. I aim to disrupt the school to disability pipeline for those with disabilities, reach those in underserved communities, and redefine what success looks like towards society.” – Ketrina Hazell, Disability Champions Project
“My collective Foolonia, works to unite Queer BIPOC Brooklynites in a vibrant culture of fellowship, food, music, art, and love. We hold space for our community members to exhibit their talents, build networks, and be free in a welcoming and familiar space. We are honored that our Summer 2022 project ‘Stoop Saturdays’ was selected to be a part of the Brooklyn Economic Justice Project Accelerator. Stoop culture is a part of our history, and an important vehicle for our community wide interaction and capacity to love on each other. This project will actively address the threats of gentrification’s misalignment with the culture.” – Regi Angelou, Foolonia
“GrowHouse Community Design + Development Group connects the next generation of Black creative leaders across the Diaspora by creating spaces and experiences for experimental artistic practice, contemplation, creativity, and living. Our vision is to create an archipelago of Black Utopias – a term coined by Intelligent Mischief. We do this by empowering Black creatives and their allies to become developers and investors in their communities through collective ownership of artistic production, neighborhood real estate, businesses, and cultural institutions.” – Shanna Sabio, GrowHouse
“Women of Color in Cannabis (WOCC), pronounced ‘WOKE,’ is an education-first nonprofit group that empowers women of color and other marginalized groups to enter the cannabis space as an avenue to financial freedom and much needed reparations for survivors of the war on drugs. WOCC’s mission is to provide industry-related education throughout the five New York City Boroughs to increase Cannabis industry participation amongst people of color.” – Women of Color in Cannabis (WOCC)
DeVanie Jackson (Brooklyn Rescue Mission Bed Stuy Farm and Urban Harvest Center)
The Disability Champions Project
GrowHouse Design + Development
Hope and Healing Family Center
Trina and Dedra’s Hip2B Healthy Café