Twenty-five grassroots organizations across Boston, including nine in Dorchester, have received a total of $100,000 in grants from the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Advancement (BMA), which was launched by Mayor Michelle Wu earlier this year with the aim of improving outcomes and diminishing systemic barriers for Black men in the city of Boston.
“Our office is just stepping into the gaps and supporting the critical work that’s being done on the neighborhood level,” said Frank Farrow, the BMA’a office’s executive director.
The nonprofit organizations range in scope from those providing mental health support and athletic activities to artistic spaces, career resources, and financial literacy.
Each organization will receive up to $7,500 to help fund their operations and expand the capacity of their programs. The grant funding comes from the budget of My Brother’s Keeper, a nationwide program created by the Obama administration to support boys and young men of color.
Four of the Dorchester-based organizations provide athletic activities and sports. One Love Sports Academy in Fields Corner supports Black youth and their families through sports leagues and classes, as well as community building and financial literacy programs. Deke’s Boxing Power and Fitness six-week camp in Fields Corner teaches students the basics of boxing. Boston Raiders Youth Football has been teaching football to kids aged 5 to 14 since 1974, and this grant will help them continue to do so. NxT Era Panthers also offers services through sports, along with mentorship and literacy.
Other organizations receiving grants include Origin Nile Publishing in Grove Hall, which will use its funding to support the artist collective organizing events in Dorchester meant to inspire youth to read, write, and artistically express themselves, and A Different Path, which supports young Black men looking to pursue a career in real estate.
Additionally, Know Thyself is an educational program focused on self-identity and Black history, which will be run out of Lena Park Community Development Corporation, and Team New England and Brothers Building (Codman Square) each focus on mental health and well-being.
Team New England’s funds will assist youth mentees, and help develop a weekly, professionally supported mental health program. Brothers Building will conduct summer forums to support the health and well-being of Black men in the community.
BMA’s Farrow is most excited about “the fact that we were able to support 25 small organizations that are doing amazing work on the ground, that don’t normally get the support, but are making a great impact in our community and are servicing a high volume of young people.”
Most importantly, he said, “this is not going to be a one and done. We plan to stay in contact and continue to support these organizations.”