Brooklyn Community Foundation Deploys $100,000 for ‘Immediate Response’ Grants to Immigrant Nonprofits

Foundation Launches New “Action Fund” to Support Civil Resistance

(Brooklyn, NY) – Today, Brooklyn Community Foundation announces nearly $100,000 in grants to support the critical response of 8 local nonprofits to the immediate challenges triggered by the Trump Administration’s Executive Order banning travelers from 7 Muslim-majority countries as well as new refugee admissions. The grants are deployed through the Foundation’s recently launched Immigrant Rights Fund.

These Immediate Response grants support Brooklyn’s immigrant-led organizations that are defending the liberties of immigrant individuals and families as well as promoting the safety and strength of our communities.

“In times like these, we are prouder than ever to call Brooklyn home. This Executive Order on immigration has been met with overwhelming resistance across Brooklyn’s communities, thanks in large part to the powerful organizing work of immigrant-led nonprofits,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke. “Through our Immigrant Rights Fund, we are supporting a diverse cohort of organizations who are working together at the intersection of immigrant rights, religious liberty, racial justice, and gender equality. We call on all Brooklynites to stand with our immigrant communities today, to preserve our borough’s strength and inclusiveness.”

Immigrant Rights Fund Immediate Response Grants (February 2017)

  • New York Immigrant Coalition ($25,000) for city-wide collaboration and the “This is Our New York” 6-point response plan, including outreach and education, legal services, combating hate crimes, advocacy and organizing, capacity building, and media campaigns
  • Arab American Association of New York ($10,000) for advocacy and organizing in Brooklyn’s Muslims communities
  • Arab American Family Support Center ($10,000) for outreach, social services, and leadership development in Brooklyn’s Muslims communities, particularly for Yemeni residents
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration ($10,000) for organizing and legal clinics and language support of Black Muslim immigrants
  • Brooklyn Defender Services ($10,000) for rapid legal defense for affected individuals  
  • DRUM, Desis Rising up and Moving ($10,000) for advocacy, organizing, and the “Hate Free Zone” initiative launched in Kensington, Brooklyn
  • Make the Road New York ($10,000) for advocacy and organizing across immigrant populations and support for multi-step “Our Plan to Resist Trump” initiative
  • Jews for Racial and Economic Justice ($10,000) for ally-building and trainings to create connections between anti-Islamophobia and anti-Semitism organizing

Ongoing Immigrant Rights Funding Opportunities

The Foundation is also announcing the establishment of an Action Fund to support ongoing civil resistance and organizing efforts—including community-building, public education, action planning, and event logistics—with grants up to $2,500.

For the duration of 2017, the Foundation will also be accepting letters of inquiry for Sustained Response grants on a rolling basis from immigrant-serving organizations to support organizing, mental health services, community safety, and legal services. These grants, awarded quarterly, will range from $10,000 to $25,000.

Details on the Action Fund and Sustained Response grants are provided at

Upcoming Event – “Defending Immigrant Rights” Panel at the Brooklyn Museum

On Thursday, February 9th from 6:30-8PM, Brooklyn Community Foundation invites the public to the Brooklyn Museum for “Defending Immigrant Rights: A Brooklyn Call to Action,” featuring a conversation with nonprofit leaders working on the frontlines of the fight for immigrant rights. Presented in partnership with the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, the panel will discuss the Executive Order’s impact on Brooklynites, as well as specific local resistance strategies and how allies can help.

The panel will include Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York, Lisa Schreibersdorf of Brooklyn Defender Services, Carl Lipscombe of Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Murad Awawdeh of The New York Immigration Coalition, and Nayim Islam of DRUM - Desis Rising Up and Moving. Kavita Pawria-Sanchez, Assistant Commissioner at the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, will provide remarks and Brooklyn Community Foundation President and CEO Cecilia Clarke will moderate. Event details at

About the Immigrant Rights Fund

Brooklyn Community Foundation created its Immigrant Rights Fund in late 2016 with the goal of deploying at least $1 million over the next four years to support the immediate and long-term needs of immigrant communities affected by exclusionary and destabilizing government policy changes, while strengthening collaboration among immigrant-serving nonprofits in the borough. So far, the Foundation has raised $700,000 for the Fund, and welcomes further contributions at

The Trump Administration’s adverse and restrictive position on immigration poses a substantial threat to Brooklyn’s economic strength as well as the stability of families and communities. Brooklyn is home to nearly 950,000 foreign-born residents—nearly 40% of the borough’s population—and almost half of all Brooklyn businesses are immigrant-owned. There are upwards of 300,000 Muslims in Brooklyn. Arab immigrants are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in New York City. Recent figures indicate that over 40% of new Arab immigrants in New York City have settled in Brooklyn neighborhoods.

The Foundation has created similar rapid-response funds in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 (Brooklyn Recovery Fund) and the Haiti Earthquake in 2010 (NYC Haitian Community Hope and Healing Fund). Additionally, the Foundation distributed more than $400,000 in grants to immigrant-led organizations in the borough through its Invest in Youth initiative in 2016. This month it will award Make the Road New York with its inaugural $100,000 Spark Prize at a celebratory breakfast on February 16th.


About Brooklyn Community Foundation

Brooklyn Community Foundation is on a mission to spark lasting social change, mobilizing people, capital, and expertise for a fair and just Brooklyn. It is the first and only public foundation solely dedicated to Brooklyn’s charitable community, working in partnership with generous donors and community leaders to bolster vital nonprofits, strengthen neighborhoods, increase opportunities for youth, and advance racial equity. Since its founding in 2009, the Foundation and its donors have provided over $25 million in grants to more than 300 nonprofits in Brooklyn and beyond. Learn more at