50 Projects To Be Funded Through $1,000 On The Table Philly “Activate” Grants

Philadelphia, PA (Jan. 23, 2020) – Philadelphia Foundation has announced 50 projects selected for $1,000 “Activate” grants to help transform ideas generated during last year’s On the Table Philly into tangible initiatives that will improve the Greater Philadelphia region.

The recipients were selected from 87 organizations and individuals who applied following their participation in On the Table Philly conversations on Oct. 17, 2019. On that day, close to 6,000 people gathered around more than 460 tables to discuss what is key to community.

The On the Table Philly initiative has been hosted for the past three years by Philadelphia Foundation with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“We support these conversations and connections because they are how change happens,” said Philadelphia Foundation President & CEO Pedro A. Ramos. “The projects funded through these grants will support a variety of topics – census participation, small ongoing conversations, working with schools on gun violence, helping college students destigmatize mental health challenges – all of which were inspired by On the Table Philly.”

This year’s grants focused in general on civic participation. Twelve projects selected for funding will promote participation in the 2020 census.

“Being heard matters,” Ramos noted. “The census will direct the allocation of resources for job creation, housing, public safety and more. All these topics surfaced during On the Table Philly gatherings. The census grants ensure a deeper and broader voice from the region on behalf of the region.”

The census-related projects that were selected are:

  •  ACHIEVability – A “Building Blocks” peer mentoring network will train block captains about the census and provide materials so there can be an accurate and complete count in their neighborhoods.
  • Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture – The organization will partner with Moffet School and Kensington residents to organize community gatherings where information about the importance of the census will be shared with those among significantly under-reported populations.
  • COSACOSA Art At Large – Town halls will be hosted to reach out to veterans and other community residents at which census representatives will share its impact on social, cultural, political and economic issues.
  • Fairhill Neighbors – Promotion of the census will take place through one-on-one conversations, a social media campaign and a “Census Outreach Day” that will include using a drumline and loudspeakers to draw attention to participation.
  • Global Citizen – “Commit boxes” built during the 25th Greater Philadelphia MLK Day of Service will be used to gather “commit cards” from those promising to vote or to participate in the census. The cards will later be mailed back as reminders of the pledge.
  • Lancaster Ave. Business Association CDC – Workshops, door hangers, social media blitzes, contests and materials warning seniors of potential census scams will encourage West Philadelphia to be well represented in the count.
  • An On the Table Philly participant will host a series of lunch and learns about both the census and the possibility of a neighborhood town watch.
  • MAP Holistic CDC – A senior group will devote one of its monthly chat and chews to Philly Counts, and follow up with additional conversations on health, intergenerational connections, and nutritious snacks for students.
  • Philadelphia Freedom Schools Inc. – High school students involved in the Junior Servant Leader program will educate community members at their March gathering about ways to be a 2020 Census partner.
  • Providence Center – Teen Youth Advocates will conduct outreach about the census throughout the Fairhill neighborhood.
  • Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission – A Saturday Census Block Party in April will offer residents the opportunity to use the learning center to complete the census online, with volunteer help available for those using the paper form.
  • Thompson Mediaman Communications – Through partnerships with community organizations, including the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists and Philly Counts, the African-American community will be encouraged to participate in the census through radio broadcasts and community events.

Also to be funded are:

  • Act of Kindness Through Services, Inc. – Blankets, portable heaters and the sealing of windows and doors will be provided to help keep seniors warm.
  • Anti-Racist Parent Discussion Group at Meredith School – An outdoor family and community wellness day in April will include kite building, litter pickup and participatory dance and music to bring the neighborhood together.
  • Asia Adams Save OUR Children Foundation – Students will continue their On the Table Philly conversation and create positive messaging about healthy relationships to share on social and traditional media.
  • Bethel AME Church of Ardmore – The church’s refrigeration capacity will be upgraded to support a twice monthly night pantry that provides fresh produce for those among the hidden pockets of poverty on the Main Line.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Chester – Youth and adults in the Chester-Upland School District will have On the Table Philly-style gatherings where teens can discuss choices and consequences among their peers in a safe space.
  • CeaseFire PA – Partnering with schools, the organization will host student discussions on gun violence culminating in participation in Temple University Hospital’s Cradle to Grave trauma-informed violence prevention program.
  • Children’s Literacy Initiative – Reading kits will be purchased for kindergartners through second-graders to build literacy skills and read-aloud sessions with parents and community leaders will be scheduled.
  • Cobbs Creek Recreation Center Advisory Committee – Artconomics – an art venue to assist the homeless through various art mediums and to help them sell their art work – will be launched.
  • DVLF – Perspectives on how to best serve the LGBTQ+ community will be gathered through a series of meetings. The conversations will include contributors to the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, grantees, organizations that are service providers and other stakeholders.
  • Edge Community Development Group – Supplies for the cleanup of trash dumping in alleyways and safety upgrades to homes such as improved lighting and smoke detectors will be distributed.
  • Germantown Residents for Economic Alternatives Together (GREAT) – A pilot project of volunteers will help older neighbors stay in their homes by linking them to resources, including the gifts of skill and experience other neighbors have to offer.
  • Global Philadelphia Association – Planning will take place for a National Historic Landmark “Open House” Day in Philadelphia, to be held on April 18, the International Day for Monuments and Sites.
  • Green Tree Community Health Foundation – A resource fair — “Healthy Aging in the Northwest” – will connect seniors with organizations that address aging in place, healthy aging and that serve isolated elderly neighbors.
  • HACE CDC – A Pop Up Lounge event will allow those experiencing homelessness to “shop” for free hygiene necessities, gently-used clothing and winter gear and to experience treatments including haircuts, facials and manicures from volunteers.
  • I Belong – A day-long series of workshops will connect immigrants to community resources.
  • I’m FREE – Formerly incarcerated women will decorate and stuff duffle bags for youth in foster care.
  • Inclusive Services for All – West Philadelphia workshops will provide at-risk youth with training in job readiness “soft skills” such as resume building, interview preparation and time management.
  • Mayfair Business Improvement District – The Northeast Philadelphia organization will start a student entrepreneurship program to teach the next generation how to start a business and then select ten students for after school jobs in commerce.
  • MBKCares Initiative – Monthly roundtables will focus on mental health, suicide prevention and other topics impacting the quality of life for community members.
  • Media Fellowship House – Delaware County workshops will teach financial literacy best practices to young people in under-served communities.
  • Mt. Airy Learning Tree – An intergenerational, interfaith event will include community house-to-house singing ending at a gathering featuring food and group dances.
  • NW Philly Climate Action Network – Outreach efforts in Northwest Philadelphia will educate residents about climate change so they can make informed decisions about the actions they can take.
  • Olney Culture Lab of Culture Trust Greater PhiladelphiaOn the Table Philly-style discussions will explore how arts and culture can help serve the linguistically diverse Olney community.
  • One Bright Ray Community High School – To build senior culture at the alternative school, culminating celebrations will be planned at community venues.
  • Peculiar Treasure Outreach Ministries – To bridge generations and teach performance skills, teens will develop and present puppet shows to senior citizens.
  • Reading Terminal Market Corp. – Community leaders will be invited to network and use the market’s public space to build connections among neighborhood associations.
  • Riverfront North Partnership – A “Be Your Best Burg” event in Bridesburg will build strengthen community bonds and welcome those new to the community.
  •  Sankofa Healing Studio – Abandoned tires will be cleaned, painted and repurposed into planters to create green spaces and foster community interaction.
  • The Baldwin School – Girls who have experienced privilege and under-served girls will be brought together to pull back the curtain on poverty shaming and develop positive connections.
  • The Equity Project – Kensington youth will a create a safe public youth space at The Equity Project where they can come together, participate in activities related to their diverse needs and interests and work to make a difference in the civic life of the community.
  • UC Green – Tree plantings in West/Southwest Philadelphia will engage residents of neighborhoods affected by gun violence.
  • USA250 – Residents will be invited to join in discussions about the upcoming 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in order to consider possibilities for 2026 commemorations that would be impactful to them and their communities.
  • UUH Outreach Program – An event for professional caregivers working with older adults will include development of a self-care kit of effective techniques to share with the greater caregiving community.
  • YWCA Tri-County Area – A rally will raise awareness about the effects of gun violence in Montgomery County and honor its victims.

Four individuals will receive funding for projects.

  • An On the Table Philly participant will host a series of winter Sunday suppers in the Kingsessing neighborhood to discuss shared solutions to common neighborhood challenges.
  • An On the Table Philly participant who is a certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer will teach YMCA staff members and community members how to recognize signs of mental distress in youth, evaluate whether a youth is in crisis and help youth obtain mental health care.
  • An On the Table Philly host will convene workshops with speakers to help families financially prepare for the death of a loved one, including how to cover funeral expenses and estate planning such as preparing a will.
  • An On the Table Philly participant will spearhead progressive dinners in West Mt. Airy to connect new neighbors with long-time residents to broaden participation in a monthly neighborhood group that builds community involvement.

About Philadelphia Foundation
Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit philafound.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. It invests in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Its goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which it believes are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.

About On the Table
Philadelphia Foundation is one of 11 community foundations across the U.S. participating in On the Table in 2019. The conversations are part of a national initiative funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. On the Table replicates an annual civic engagement initiative of the same name developed by The Chicago Community Trust in 2014. Support for On the Table advances Knight Foundation’s work to help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of civic engagement. Knight Foundation believes that successful communities are equitable, inclusive and participatory.