Racial Justice and Eviction Prevention Dominant Themes in $15 Million in Grants Awarded by Trinity Church Wall Street

Trinity Church Wall Street has awarded more than $15 million to 100 grantees to support their work, with a focus on social-justice initiatives.

Most of the grants are going to organizations focused on fighting for racial justice in New York City. These groups are working on priorities from immigrant rights to Black-led community organizing to eviction prevention.

"While it was inspiring to see thousands of New Yorkers last year take to the streets united on the call for racial justice, it was also a reminder of all the organizations that have been doing this work for years," said the Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Priest-in-charge of Trinity Church Wall Street. "Trinity supports these nonprofits and hopes to further their work, especially as we respond to a racial reckoning and a looming eviction crisis."

These grants continue Trinity's commitment to focusing its funding in New York City, including its own neighborhood. Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility will use a $300,000 grant to partner with Trinity's neighbor, Leadership and Public Service High School (LPSHS).

Grappling with the effects of COVID on the small school's population of just 361 students, LPSHS is 60% Hispanic, 25% Black, and 8% Asian. Over 80% receive free or reduced-cost lunch. As students return, school leaders want to foster a more collaborative and equitable school where students feel they belong and can learn.

Freedom Agenda is receiving $150,000 to support its community organizing to ensure the closure of Rikers Island. Freedom Agenda is engaging people who have been directly impacted by criminalization to advocate to reduce the total jail capacity, improve conditions of confinement, and make direct investments in community-led public safety alternatives. 

"As a faith-based institution, we at Trinity understand decarceration is a moral imperative and we must end the brutal treatment of poor and underserved New Yorkers of color at the Rikers jails," said Susan Shah, Managing Director for Racial Justice at Trinity. "We support the work of advocates who are on the frontlines of the movement to close Rikers."

More than $4.5 million is going to organizations focused on housing and homelessness in New York City.

A $150,000 grant will allow Chhaya to establish the Housing Security Emergency Fund, which will combine direct financial assistance with case management and services to prevent evictions and foreclosures for low-to-moderate-income South Asian and Indo-Caribbean households. The Center for New York City Neighborhoods will use $100,000 to help landlords of small buildings stabilize their properties and keep their tenants in their homes.

"More than 300,000 renters are at risk of eviction and tens of thousands of homeowners are at risk of foreclosure. Even before the pandemic, 76,000 people in New York City were homeless on any given night," said Beatriz de la Torre, Managing Director, Housing and Homelessness at Trinity. "In these funding awards, Trinity's Housing and Homelessness initiative focused on keeping people in their homes and breaking the cycle of mass homelessness and instability in New York City that disproportionally impacts communities of color."

"As our city re-opens, the focus for Trinity's philanthropy is on a resilient and equitable recovery," said Neill Coleman, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Trinity Church Wall Street. "COVID magnified the inequities in our city and, now, we must ensure we rebuild differently and in transformational ways. From preventing evictions to advancing restorative justice to more housing options for the formerly incarcerated, we have a deep commitment to a more just and equitable recovery in these grants."

Tiani Jones
[email protected]

Source: Trinity Church Wall Street


Tags: charity, covid relief, episcopal, eviction moratorium, grants, housing, Juneteenth, New York, New York City, philanthropy, racial justice, religion, social justice

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