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First Round of Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund Grant Recipients Announced

Thursday, September 23, 2021


PHILADELPHIA - The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) today announced the first round of grant recipients for the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund, a partnership with Bread & Roses Community Fund to support grassroots nonprofit organizations that serve communities of color and those with low incomes, which have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund is a community-driven grantmaking process in which residents in the affected communities reviewed and scored the applications and recommended the grantees that were awarded. The goal was to empower community residents to determine what would most benefit their communities.

“As a community member in Mantua, which has been given a Promise Zone designation, it is common these days to hear about funding being distributed to initiatives throughout my community and those surrounding it,” said Community Grantmaking Committee member Rikeyah Lindsay. “Still, there is something amazing to be said for processes such as those Bread & Roses uplifts that give power specifically to people who are directly impacted rather than simply trusting the opinions and ideas of overarching power structures, who, though they may be very well intended, are often not equipped with lived experiences to conceptualize how to bring about authentic and sustainable change within communities that residents feel connected to.”

The first round of grants, which totaled $450,000, provided $15,000 to 30 community-based organizations focused on issues including, but not limited to: health education, food distribution, family support, and community organizing. The complete list of grant recipients is as follows:

One of the grantees is Big Picture Alliance, which engages and educates youth whose voices have traditionally been underrepresented through filmmaking and digital media arts. Aleks Martray, BPA's executive director, said, “Our programs provide Philly youth a safe and supportive space to develop as individuals, artists, and professionals through producing original films from script-to-screen under the guidance of industry mentors. Especially during the pandemic, this creative space has become more important than ever as a way for youth to stay engaged, connected, and to amplify their voices across their broader community. This grant will also support the launch of BPA's Media Futures program, a paid workforce and apprenticeship program supporting BIPOC youth pursuing careers in film and media - through hands-on training, industry certifications, work experience, and professional mentorship.”

“For CEO, the community grantmaking process was an intentional shift from our traditional approach to philanthropy to one which centers the lived experience of those most impacted,” said Mitchell Little, executive director of CEO. “We believe this shift is necessary on a much broader scale to achieve an equitable recovery across all neighborhoods. We sincerely thank the members of the Community Grantmaking Committee for their time and energy, the Bread & Roses staff, and all the outstanding organizations that applied.”

“At Bread & Roses, we know that the best solutions to problems come from the people most affected by the issues being addressed, and these grants are a testament to that. The 30 community-based grantees are generating their own grassroots strategies to work towards equitable recovery. I’m grateful to the 15 members on the Community Grantmaking Committee who shared their expertise as members of these communities and donated their time to participate in this community-driven grantmaking process,” said Casey Cook, executive director of Bread & Roses Community Fund.

Eligible organizations had to be Philadelphia-based, have annual operating expenses under $3 million, and be providing services in high-need areas of the city. Organizations may use funds to support payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, or other operating expenses; and to provide and organize mutual aid projects. This program is funded by a Community Services Block Grant through CEO.

Applications are now being accepted for the second round of the Fund. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 1 at 11:59 PM EST. All applications must be submitted through an online application portal. More information is available at


About the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO)
CEO provides leadership on issues of economic justice by advancing racial equity and inclusive growth to ensure that all Philadelphians can share in the city’s prosperous future. As the Community Action Agency (CAA) for the City of Philadelphia, CEO awards Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds to more than 20 programs that serve thousands of low-income residents each year. More information is available at

About Bread & Roses Community Fund
Bread & Roses Community Fund is the leading funder of grassroots organizing for racial, social, and economic justice in the Philadelphia area. Bread & Roses brings together a community of donors, community organizers, and other allies of movements for change around a shared goal of radically transforming individuals and society. Every year, Bread & Roses raises from the community every dollar that they give out, and the community decides where those grants go. Learn more at