Emergency grants in response to Trump administration policies are flowing fast, right now—from grantmakers ranging in size and with different missions. Foundations across the country are coming up with funds to support immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, and other vulnerable minorities who stand to suffer from policy changes.
It's not surprising to see the Brooklyn Community Foundation in this mix.
Just last month, we took a look at BCF's race-focused youth strategy, a major cornerstone of its work. But justice takes many forms with this funder. It recently launched an Immigrant Rights Fund and awarded almost $100,000 to support the responses of eight local nonprofits addressing Trump’s ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries and refugees.
BCF’s President and CEO, Cecilia Clarke, said in a press release:
In times like these, we are prouder than ever to call Brooklyn home. This Executive Order on immigration has been met with overwhelming resistance across Brooklyn’s communities, thanks in large part to the powerful organizing work of immigrant-led nonprofits. Through our Immigrant Rights Fund, we are supporting a diverse cohort of organizations who are working together at the intersection of immigrant rights, religious liberty, racial justice, and gender equality. We call on all Brooklynites to stand with our immigrant communities today, to preserve our borough’s strength and inclusiveness.
Overall, the purpose of BCF’s Immigrant Rights Fund is to support organizations in Brooklyn that are led by immigrants and defending the rights and safety of immigrants in the community.
Immediate Response Grants went to the following local groups, and were awarded in the amount of $10,000 each: Arab American Association of New York, Arab American Family Support Center, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Brooklyn Defender Services, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), Make the Road New York, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
Meanwhile, a $25,000 grant went to the New York Immigrant Coalition for city-wide collaboration and a response plan involving everything from legal services to capacity building and media campaigns.
The foundation explained why the issue of immigration is so important in Brooklyn, and thus to BCF:
The Trump Administration’s adverse and restrictive position on immigration poses a substantial threat to Brooklyn’s economic strength, as well as the stability of families and communities. Brooklyn is home to nearly 950,000 foreign-born residents—nearly 40 percent of the borough’s population—and almost half of all Brooklyn businesses are immigrant-owned. There are upwards of 300,000 Muslims in Brooklyn. Arab immigrants are one of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in New York City. Recent figures indicate that over 40 percent of new Arab immigrants in New York City have settled in Brooklyn neighborhoods.
BCF has raised at least $700,000 for the Immigrant Rights Fund so far, and welcomes new donations.
BCF also recently announced a new Action Fund, which aims to support civil resistance and organizing efforts with grants up to $2,000. Examples of efforts the foundation favors include community building, public education, action planning, and event logistics.
Also, throughout the rest of the year and on a rolling basis, BCF will accept Sustained Response letters of inquiry from local immigrant-serving organizations working in the fields of organizing, mental health services, community safety, and legal services. Local groups can learn more about and apply for these grants, which range from $10,000 to $25,000, on the Current Grant Opportunities page.