ECM Awards 300K in Grants to 18 Organizations and 6 Parishes

On December 15, 2015 ECM presented $300,000 in grants to 18 organizations and 6 parishes at the 4th Annual Grantee Reception.

ECM has been working diligently to build relationships between all of our grantees who are working for justice in our world. This was the first time we were able to invite both our parish and Burgess Urban Fund grantees to our annual award luncheon. Our Wider Community Partnership grants are awarded in the spring so they were not in attendance.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Burgess Urban Fund was established in 1975 to support grassroots organizations in the Commonwealth working to engage communities to lead, organize and reach those affected by social injustice.  The Fund recognizes that community organizing is an important process that develops power and capacity in solidarity with those in need.

Our most recent grant program, Parish grants, was founded 4 years ago. They are based in the idea that Episcopal Churches can, indeed should, engage in the work of social and economic justice in their own communities. These grants are intended to promote parish engagement with the community that works to end the systems that lead to poverty in our communities.

The following 18 organizations received these grants as part of the Burgess Urban Fund. 

Agencia ALPHA, Boston – Utilizing guiding values based on their Christian faith, an organization educating and serving the immigrant community of Boston by providing social programs and working to advocate for policy changes that will improve the quality of life of all immigrants.

Asian American Resource Workshop, Jamaica Plain – A multigenerational, member-based nonprofit that works for social justice through programming in arts & culture, leadership development, and community activism. AARW works to serve Asian American’s of all ages within Greater Boston, but has a primary focus on low-income, English-speaking young adults. 

Brazilian Women’s Group, Brighton – Supporting and empowering the development of women in the Brazilian community in greater Boston. Focus on immigration issues, workers rights, and community development

Brockton Interfaith Community, Brockton – Based in Brockton, MA organizing members of the community to achieve power for positive change, reaching across ethnic, racial and religious lines.

Coalition for Social Justice, Fall River – Founded in 1994 CSJ works to bring together struggling, low-income working people to fight for economic justice in the main urban centers of Southeastern MA, Fall River, New Bedford and Brockton.

Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts, Fall River –  Working to create a more just local economy by building bridges to resources, networks and cooperative action for low incomes members of our community, specifically focused on improving the quality of and access to public transportation in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Dominican Development Center, Jamaica Plain –  Developing and empowering Dominican immigrants as well as immigrants representing all Latin American and Caribbean communities to achieve social justice by promoting and organizing around current laws, legal procedures, education, immigration reform, and human rights among others.

Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation: Youth Force, Dorchester – Training local teens to be community leaders and community organizers, who in turn train other teens to be leaders and organizers.

Essex County Community Organization, Lynn – Guided by the democratic principle that all people have the right to make decisions about important issues affecting them, ECCO works to fulfill this belief by using community organizing principles of leadership development and public action for social justice. ECCO organizes around a variety of issues affecting low and middle families and people of color, including economic security, criminal justice reform, and immigrant rights.

Ex-Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement, Worcester – Ex- prisoners working with allies, friends and families together to create resources and opportunities for those who have paid their debt to society.

Lynn United for Change, Lynn – Working to make a difference in the lives of individuals while also helping to build the social movements that can win systemic change, also providing Lynn residents with the direct support, advice, and information needed in order to effectively address their own individual problems, while also becoming active participants in collective efforts to address the root causes of social inequities.

Merrimack Valley Project, Lawrence – A regional power organization created by faith communities and labor groups back in 1989, working to address job loss, foreclosures and the decline of public services in their area, through leadership development and community organizing strategies.

Student Immigrant Movement, Boston – A statewide immigrant youth-led organization identifying, recruiting and developing leaders who are invested in improving their communities through relational building, leadership development and electoral organizing.

United Neighbors of Fitchburg, Fitchburg – An organization working to promote and maintain a spirit of community among Fitchburg’s diverse peoples and neighborhoods, by fostering equitable economic, educational, health, cultural social and recreational opportunities. 

WATCH, Waltham – A CDC working towards a more just community in the Waltham area by promoting affordable housing, providing leadership development and empowering residents through civic engagement. 

Women Encouraging Empowerment, Revere – Working to educate, protect and advance the rights of immigrants, refugees, and low-income women and their families through organizing, leadership development and service delivery.

Worcester Interfaith, Worcester – A broad-based, city-wide coalition of 21 member organizations that work together to achieve concrete improvements in the area of youth, education & economic development for the city’s most vulnerable residents — specifically, low-income, minority & newcomer populations.

Youth on Board, Boston – A project forging partnerships between youth and adults to create positive educational communities in which young people are valued, engaged and heard, working to bring the student voice and engagement to the forefront of the educational movement on a national level.

The following 6 parishes received these grants as part of ECM’s Annual Parish grant program.

Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans – This grant is to help hire a Director of Evangelism to spread the Good News of the Food 4 Kids program, which served more than 30,000 meals in 2015. ECM will also be partnering with the Church of the Holy Spirit to tell the story of how this program not only serves the hungry, but also promotes justice on the Cape by calling to attention hidden poverty.

Common Cathedral, Boston – Common Cathedral’s core mission is to honor the dignity of housed and unhoused people on the street. Through common art, City Reach, Bible Study, and its own board of directors common cathedral provides paid and unpaid leadership opportunities to its community. In 2015 they assumed leadership over the Boston Warm drop in shelters. 

Emmanuel Church in the City of Boston – received their grant last spring.

Grace Chapel, Brockton – Alongside its ministry to children and youth, Grace Chapel has attracted a community of women, many of whom are single mothers, new immigrants and victims of trauma. This grant is for the establishment of a community of mutual support and empowerment that will include both healing and leadership development.

Nuevo Amanecer, East Boston – A Lutheran church plant modeled after the Liberation Theology concept of base communities. The congregation is a partnership between a Lutheran pastor and an Episcopal priest. It seeks to create a community that will work for justice in East Boston and provide support to the activist community that is already established there.

St. Stephen’s, Boston – St. Stephen’s Youth is focused on the wellbeing of the several neighborhoods in the South End and Lower Roxbury. This grant is to continue our support of the Building Leaders, Organizing Schools and Communities (BLOCs) program, which equips adults and teens to be civic leaders.