Brooklyn Community Foundation envisions a fair and just Brooklyn, built on dignity and respect, where all residents have the opportunity to participate and prosper. To achieve this vision, we place racial justice at the center of all we do and focus on removing structural barriers that diminish opportunities and positive outcomes for young people, especially youth of color.
Principal to our Theory of Change, the Foundation believes in increasing the agency of youth to increase equity of opportunity and outcomes for Brooklyn’s young people. We believe young people are most likely to achieve success if they have opportunities to complete their education, do not become part of the criminal justice system, and are encouraged to serve their communities and develop leadership skills. To that end, the Invest in Youth grantmaking program supports Brooklyn-serving nonprofit organizations that are working with youth, ages 16-24, toward enabling their social and economic success by:
- Expanding opportunities for transformational youth development and authentic leadership
- Increasing educational and economic opportunities for court-involved youth
- Reducing school suspensions and preventing youth involvement in the criminal justice system
- Empowering immigrant youth to create and access necessary resources and services
Grants will be made in three areas of focus:
- Youth Development & Leadership: We support community-based organizations that offer transformational programming to youth. These programs position youth as long-term leaders in their communities and give them the tools to challenge institutional barriers that limit opportunities and potential. We focus on continuous investments in neighborhoods where quality programs are rare or non-existent.
- Youth Justice: We support both advocacy and direct-service organizations that address the far-reaching effects of young people’s encounters with the criminal justice system, transforming these encounters into authentic opportunities for growth and development. We focus on investing in school discipline reforms, alternatives to arrest, and educational and workforce programs for court-involved youth.
- Immigrant Youth & Families: We support organizations that help immigrant youth in Brooklyn build their capacity to be bold leaders in order to advocate for themselves and organize for change in their communities. We focus on investing in political education and coalition building, legal and language services, and policy change.
-Excerpted from Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Invest in Youth Grant Program description