Boston Foundation Funds Collaboration In Inaugural Contest

Of the 70 applications they received, just two collaborative programs were named the winners of The Boston Foundation’s inaugural Collaborate Boston challenge earlier this month. (See Boston Foundation: Boston Area Grants).

Black and Latino Boys at the STEM of Success and the Codman Square Brotherhood Project both received $50,000 awards to develop to their work in improving the lives of minority boys and young men from three low-income Boston neighborhoods.

The newly minted Collaborate Boston program is an award-driven competition that rewards collaborative efforts to build community in the Greater Boston area. Since being established last year, the foundation plans to contribute $100,000 each year in grants and technical assistance for "collaborations focused on achieving specific outcomes" for communities and their members.

Each year, the contest will focus on a different group of people or community. In addition, several of the collaborations will be new partnerships, according to the foundation.

"Collaborate Boston brought together dozens of groups and got them to think of innovative, collaborative solutions to one of the most vexing challenges our city faces," Foundation President Paul S. Grogan said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing them begin to work together to turn their visions into real efforts to make a difference for black and brown boys and young men in our neighborhoods."

The two winners are unique collaborations between a variety of organizations focused on specific causes, and collaboration certainly plays a part in many of the foundation's funding initiatives. (Read The Boston Foundation education program director, Elizabeth Pauley's IP profile).

For instance, Black and Latino Boys at the STEM of Success is the work of three Boston organizations. The project will develop robotics teams at various elementary and middle schools in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan, the three neighborhoods of focus in the contest. With the funds, the partners plan to hire teachers, recruit volunteers, and develop other aspects of the program.

The other winner, The Codman Square Brotherhood Project, is a collaboration between the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Boston Project Ministries, Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts, the Dorchester Arts Collaborative, and the Boston Police Department District B-3.

The goal of the program is to create a "brotherhood" of African American and Latino young men, primarily ages 10–14, in the Codman Square/Four Corners neighborhood. To accomplish that, the program will provide job training and career development, as well as other education and community-building opportunities.

"Collaborate Boston brought together dozens of groups and got them to think of innovative, collaborative solutions to one of the most vexing challenges our city faces," Grogan said in the statement.

In the spirit of collaboration, the foundation has made all 70 of the Collaborate Boston applications available online. You can view them online.