The Inclusion Initiative grant program worked with seven networks in its first phase to plan strategies that address poverty in communities of color. In addition to providing funding and technical assistance to the networks, Third Sector New England seeks to create an ongoing dialogue about the systemic issues that perpetuate poverty in our region. Sign up for our Grant Program newsletter to get the latest updates and news from the Inclusion Initiative.
Each network was awarded $28,500 to begin planning their anti-poverty programs and cross-sector partnerships. The planning grants were developed through June 2015. Learn about the current grantee networks here.
Meet the Planning Phase Grantee Networks
Boston Tenant Coalition
The Boston Tenant Coalition’s vision to bring together a cohort of groups that are in agreement that the key to public housing leadership, unity and successful organizing is to bring people together to analyze the root causes of their poverty related hardships, and form democratic structures that focus on changing systems to be community led and beneficial to all community members –not just those in positions of authority in Tenant Task Forces or elsewhere in Boston Public Housing.
Network Partners: Lead Organization - Boston Tenant Coalition, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, South Street Housing Development Tenant Task Force, Commonwealth Tenants Association
Immigrant Youth Leadership and Solidarity Initiative
The Immigrant Youth Leadership and Solidarity Initiative network is focused on cultivating immigrant youth leadership in social change efforts. Their mission is to develop and then sustain structures and activities that continually promote immigrant youth leadership moving forward. Each group will nourish its own youth leadership efforts via the network. The network will provide the space for reflection, training, peer learning, relationship-building and solidarity across ethnic groups and neighborhoods.
They hope to develop and sustain a network structure where youth across ethnic groups are regularly meeting, sharing their struggles, victories, and stories. We believe that holding this space for youth over time will be the cornerstone of sustaining our leadership efforts. The passion that emerges from youth who discover their shared identities, learn from each other, recognize that each have truths to contribute to the struggle for jtice needs to be nurtured and sustained to involve youth over time in the social justice struggle.
P.O.W.E.R. Network (People Owning Wider Economic Resources)
Central Falls, R.I.
The P.O.W.E.R Network’s vision is to significantly contribute to the eradication of poverty in the Central Falls, RI community by incubating and providing ongoing support to a diversity of worker owned co-operative businesses who will commit to the principles of co-operative governance, which includes democratic control by the workers and concern for community,
Their network envisions eradicating poverty in their community by building the power of workers themselves to control their economic destiny through a Co-operative Business Incubator program. They envision creating an economic model led by impacted members of our community that respects the dignity of all workers, draws on workers’ own strengths and skills, and puts people above profits. A growing network of co-operative businesses founded in these values will provide living wage, quality jobs to those who are most vulnerable to income inequality, changing the economic power dynamic that had previously kept them poor.
Mattapan United’s vision is to improve the quality of life in Mattapan for all residents and to continue to foster Mattapan as a diverse neighborhood of opportunity—where children thrive, families are more happy then stressed, and economic prosperity is available to all.
Mattapan United is uniquely focused on the structural issues that impact poverty. Because of their neighborhood focus, they have the ability to understand poverty in the Mattapan community and to understand the solutions needed in their particular context.
Standing Together to End Poverty and Undo Profiling (STEP UP Network)
STEP Up’s network’s vision is to shift away from a dynamic in which a small group of professional advocates frames the issue for a hostile public by applauding police intentions while accepting the broader strategy of overpolicing poor communities of color. Instead, they envision creating public dialogue that radiates outward from the communities most affected by racial profiling – neighborhoods where young people, former prisoners, the parents and children of those profiled, arrested, and deported, have first hand knowledge to share about the severe and lasting economic effects of the current system.
STEP Up Network hopes to build a solid infrastructure led by and accountable to the communities most affected by the economic impacts of racial profiling, win a city and statewide policy that end the cycle of economic destruction caused by racially biased policing and shift the debate on racial profiling in Rhode Island to encompass its economic effects on individuals, families, and neighborhood economies.
Network Partners: Lead Organization - Olneyville Neighborhood Association, Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), American Friends Service Committee, Southeastern New England (AFSC - SENE), Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM)
Roxbury Food Justice Hub
The Roxbury Food Justice Hub’s vision is to develop the Roxbury Food Justice Hub as both a physical space and a network of collaborative partners. The Roxbury Food Justice Hub will serve as a centering force and headquarters for Boston’s urban food movement, enabling unprecedented collaboration, leadership development, and consolidation of resources to address Boston’s food challenges. It will house both work and community space, including the headquarters of several food and food justice community organizations and businesses, and meeting space for other related community groups.
Their goals are to get the Roxbury Food Justice Hub up and running as both a high-functioning collaborative work space and a much-needed community convening space for Boston’s urban food movement. During this immediate period, they want to work with their network and the wider group of partners to refine the long-term vision for what the Roxbury Food Justice Hub will be and then to identify immediate needs that the Hub can feasibly meet during its initial period of operation
The Barbershop Health Network
The vision of the Barbershop Health Network is to improve population health by systematically eliminating institutional racism and the pathology of oppression/discrimination by promoting equitable access to, and use of, health promoting resources in the community, and significantly reducing the structural and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities.
The Barbershop Health Network invests in men of color as partners and leaders with valuable information that will arrive at the solution to the problem. Through engaging men of color in a meaningful way and empowering them with opportunities to be gainfully employed and equipped to provide leadership in addressing underlying causes of poor health---inequality, racial segregation and concentrated poverty we move towards “eradicating poverty”
Network Partners: Lead Organization – Central MA Area Health Education Center, Mosaic Cultural Complex, Red Tab Consulting, Tru Image Barbershop, G’s Cuttin Up, Worcester Finest Barbershop, 1000 Watts Barbershop, Henrock’s Barbershop, Pro Cutz Barbershop, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester Division of Public Health