Hester Street is one of a cohort of 11 national nonprofits and civic institutions partnering with the Surdna Foundation in a new initiative to advance racially just systems and structures at local scales. The $13 million investment, which is part of Surdna’s Thriving Cultures Initiative, will re-grant funds to support hundreds of projects that shift power to communities of color around the country. As part of this cohort, Hester Street will serve as a re-grantor for three years.

We are thrilled to partner with Surdna to re-grant these much-needed resources to organizations that work closely with their communities by integrating and promoting community building, community development, equity and arts and culture. This initiative is an exciting opportunity to celebrate, protect and advance racial and social justice through transformational projects developed with, by and for low-income communities of color in New York City, New York State and Puerto Rico.

Hester Street will focus on advancing three core objectives with our grantees:

— Collective impact in urgent social justice issue areas that leverage networks and place.

— Connecting the dots to measure local impact through value-based metrics that embed our mapping, data analysis and evaluation expertise. We will draw big picture conclusions around issue areas, tell the story of impacts and uncover strategies that move intentionally, creatively and collectively toward systems change.

— Amplifying the abundance of creativity within low-income communities of color to support social networks, neighborhood institutions, boundless creativity and resilience.

Our work through this initiative will continue to advance Hester Street’s goal of creating just, equitable and resilient neighborhoods and cities for all to thrive. For more information on the Surdna Foundation’s work visit surdna.org and stay tuned for updates from Hester Street throughout summer  2020 on this innovative philanthropy program.