March News: One Year of the Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund and More

March 26, 2021

Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund Featured on PBS MetroFocus 

Our VP of Programs and Partnerships Marcella Tillett joined WNET's MetroFocus for a conversation on vaccine access and hesitancy, and healthcare equity in communities of color. In the second phase of our Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund, we have committed $250,000 for community-based organizations to provide medically accurate and culturally appropriate information, support, and navigation on treatments and prevention, including vaccines.


Plus: Get to know more about Marcella in Crain's New York Gotham Gigs

RSVP: New Spring Webinar Series!

Change Starts Here: Brooklyn Insights 2020

Monday, April 5th | 12:30 - 1:30PM

In Fall 2020 we launched Phase 2 of our Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund, beginning with Brooklyn Insights 2020, an extensive community engagement process to inform an additional $3M in grants. Join our VP of Programs and Partnerships Marcella Tillett, our Community Engagement Consultant Renee K. Smith, and Brooklyn Insights 2020 participants as we share the findings of these community discussions, including community-led solutions to barriers of systemic inequity. 

One Year of the Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund


With your help our Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund has become the single largest community-funded effort in the Foundation’s history, but this work is far from over.

Informed by the findings of our Brooklyn Insights 2020 community engagement process, we are making $3 million in new commitments to address ongoing urgent needs, as well as a deep investment in structural change to address the policies and conditions that exacerbated the pandemic’s impact.

We are pleased to share with you a preview of our Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund Phase 2 next steps:

  • Community Health Outreach and Vaccination Support: We have committed $250,000 for culturally relevant, medically accurate information, outreach and navigation—including vaccines—provided by trusted community-based organizations.
  • Continued Support for Urgent Needs: We are also providing $250,000 in continued support for urgent needs in the community districts most impacted by the pandemic, including anti-Asian bias and violence, food security, and lost wages.
  • Investment in Structural Change: Real change doesn’t happen overnight and that’s why we are investing $2.5 million over five years for community-led advocacy and organizing to advance our collective vision for a fair and just Brooklyn.

We know change starts here, and it starts with you.

Please consider making a donation today to invest in a better future for Brooklyn. 

Cecilia Clarke to Depart This Summer

Last week, our President and CEO Cecilia Clarke announced that she will be stepping down from her position this summer as she embarks on a new personal and professional chapter: attending graduate school for social work.

"Leading the Brooklyn Community Foundation for the past eight years has been profoundly fulfilling, allowing me to bring all my experience to bear in serving my beloved borough.

I am filled with pride, knowing we have accomplished everything—and more—that I set out to do when I arrived at the Foundation. The organization is thriving, with a clear mission defined by strong values and driven by an unwavering commitment to racial justice."


To find the Foundation’s next President and CEO, the Board has formed a Search Committee, which will oversee a robust and inclusive process. The search will be conducted by an outside firm, and will include a high level of engagement and consultation with our staff and all of our stakeholders, including the community that we serve. We know this will be a dream opportunity for many, and we look forward to announcing full details on this process once finalized.