The Edward W. Hazen Foundation, a Brooklyn-based funder that supports communities of color fighting for educational equity and racial justice, has announced grants totaling $5.45 million to eighteen organizations.
Awarded as part of a five-year spend-down plan and in support of building political and cultural momentum for social and racial justice, the grants were made in response to an assessment of its grantmaking the foundation conducted earlier this year. Key issues raised by grantees and stakeholders during the review include the need for greater transparency and accessibility, a more streamlined application process, and improved communication between the foundation and its grantees. In response to the findings, the foundation revised its application process, replacing written proposals with an interview protocol designed to gather the required data in combination with site visits and a review of materials submitted by applicant organizations, including newsletters, social and earned media, reports, videos, and podcasts.
Of the organizations receiving grants in 2019, 82 percent are led by people of color, while 77 percent have less than $1 million in annual revenues. Three-quarters of the recipients were awarded multiyear grants of up to four years, enabling them to invest in infrastructure and strategies to strengthen their communities as well as themselves. Grant recipients include the Little Rock-based Arkansas Public Policy Panel, the Baltimore Algebra Project, S.O.U.L Sisters in Miami, and Kids Rethink New Orleans.
"The organizations selected for funding this year are among the most passionate and effective grassroots groups operating in the country today," said Hazen Foundation board chair Lori Villarosa. "Our nation is in a moment of crisis, and we must rise to meet the unique challenges of the day by supporting outstanding advocates for racial, educational, and social justice. The young people who lead these organizations and [who] are fighting for change in their communities will continue the legacy of the Hazen Foundation long after the funds are spent."