Spark Prize

VOCAL-NY

Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) is a Brooklyn-based, statewide network building a movement led by low-income people of color to end the AIDS epidemic, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and homelessness. Founded in 1999 as a progressive AIDS housing network at a time when the epidemic was increasingly concentrated in low-income communities of color, VOCAL-NY was formed to shift attention toward root causes, like homelessness and incarceration.

Red Hook Community Justice Center

Launched in 2000, the Red Hook Community Justice Center works to strengthen Red Hook and surrounding areas by reducing crime and the use of incarceration, improving public trust in justice, and collaborating with the community to solve local problems. At the Justice Center, a single judge hears cases that ordinarily would go to three different courts: civil, family, and criminal. Whenever possible, cases are resolved through a restorative, problem-solving approach that seeks to repair harm and address the underlying issues that bring individuals into the justice system.

Girls for Gender Equity

Based in Brooklyn since its founding in 2002, Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is an intergenerational organization committed to the physical, psychological, social, and economic development of girls and women. GGE develops the advocacy skills of over 200 young people annually to eradicate structural, state, racial, and sexual violence and criminalization.

The Campaign Against Hunger

Founded in 1998 in Bedford Stuyvesant, today (TCAH) aims to empower its neighbors across Brooklyn to lead healthier, more productive and self-sufficient lives by increasing their access to nutritious food and related resources. The organization’s food pantry provides 3 million meals annually while acting as a hub for benefits access and food justice programming—including a wellness club for seniors, an intergenerational healthy dining initiative for families, and a free summer kids program.

Weeksville Heritage Center

Weeksville Heritage Center upholds the legacy of one of the largest free Black communities in pre-Civil War America, using historic preservation, education, the arts, and a social justice lens to keep this unique chapter of American history relevant and resonant for contemporary audiences, particularly Black residents in Central Brooklyn.

Groundswell Community Mural Project

Groundswell Community Mural Project was founded in 1996 to bring together artists, youth, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change. Its projects beautify neighborhoods, engage youth in societal and personal transformation, and give expression to ideas and perspectives that are underrepresented in the public dialogue. Each year, Groundswell engages over 450 youth, led by trained teaching artists, and in partnership with community partner organizations and city agencies, in the presentation of afterschool, summer, school-based, and community commissioned programs.

Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC)

Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC) is a Black-led, membership-based organization of primarily low-to-moderate income Central Brooklyn residents founded in 2011. BMC builds power and self-determination in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights’ Black communities by nurturing local leadership, waging campaigns, and winning concrete improvements in people’s lives.

Black Women's Blueprint

Black Women's Blueprint was founded in Brooklyn in 2008, and is a lifeline for survivors of gender-based violence, and provides birth education and maternal health support. The organization’s Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline report and institute has pioneered a campaign to desilo these movements and affirm the link between trauma healing and maternal health.

Arab American Association of New York (AAANY)

Arab American Association of New York (AAANY) was founded in 2001 by Arab immigrant and Arab American leaders in Bay Ridge to advocate for the community in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Today, AAANY serves Brooklyn’s Arab immigrant, refugee, and Muslim communities, helping over 6,000 beneficiaries annually through its women’s empowerment and adult literacy programs, immigration legal assistance, mental health and domestic violence support services, and youth programming.

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