Foundation for Louisiana awards 2014 TOGETHER Initiative grants

Lousiana’s

Grants double last year's foundation investments in New Orleans' resident-driven policy change; will address affordable housing, cultural preservation/cultural economy, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, neighborhood safety and transportation.

New Orleans, LA (October 7, 2014) – Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) has awarded $246,225 in grant support for local efforts to improve quality-of-life through policy advocacy/change. Most of the projects will focus on the city’s Claiborne Avenue corridor and the cultural economy that is so much a part of the corridor’s history.

These grants represent the culmination of the Foundation’s 2014 TOGETHER initiative, an annual program that began in 2012 to connect resident leaders with training, networks and resources necessary to change policies and create greater equity and social justice for their communities. The 2014 TOGETHER Initiative has yielded twice the number of funded projects as last year and increased total funding awards by nearly $150,000 over the 2013 TOGETHER funding awards.

“Each of these transformational projects is testament to the power of community residents, who we firmly believe are the best sources of wisdom for creating communities in which all residents have an equal opportunity to thrive,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., CEO and president of Foundation for Louisiana.

The grantees serve as lead agencies for projects designed by working groups engaging a cross-section of participants: graduates of FFL’s 2013 and 2014 leadership academies, representatives of local non-profits, government, neighborhood associations, private industry and other interested community members. Over several months, each group developed an action plan that focused on making changes in one of six areas identified as resident priorities by the City of New Orleans’ Network for Economic Opportunity.

The six projects include:

  • Affordable housing – $35,000 – one-year grant to a partnership led by the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA) to create a blueprint for providing affordable rental and ownership housing in New Orleans for low- and moderate-income residents.
  • Cultural preservation/cultural economy – $35,000 – one-year grant to a partnership led by the Neo Jazz School of Music and Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans, in support of research to develop best practices and a fair trade code of ethics for culture bearers and the businesses that work with them, and advocacy for the passage of legislation that allows Louisiana artists greater protection of their images.
  • Economic Opportunity – $30,000 – 15-month grant to a partnership led by Central City Renaissance Alliance (CCRA) to research best practices and develop educational materials to train local businesses in how to implement worker-owned cooperative business models, and to support cooperative-friendly policies among city government and anchor institutions.
  • Environmental sustainability – $50,000 – 18-month grant to a partnership led by the New Orleans office of Global Green USA to engage Claiborne corridor residents in identifying flooding hotspots, utilizing “back-yard-level” strategies such as rain barrels and planter boxes to address flooding problems, and advocating for incentives to lower the cost of installing such strategies.
  • Neighborhood safety – $50,825 – two-year grant to a partnership led by the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana (JAC) to engage residents, safety-focused community organizations and the Independent Police Monitor’s Office in New Orleans in designing, advocating for and piloting a citizen-led committee that will increase police accountability to New Orleans residents.
  • Transportation – $45,400 – two-year grant to a partnership led by Bike Easy to train ten Claiborne Corridor residents as “Livable Claiborne Community Ambassadors” to increase their knowledge of how street design affects bicycle/pedestrian safety and engage other residents around perceptions of street safety challenges and feasible solutions.

Foundation for Louisiana’s TOGETHER initiative is supported through funding and other support from the Convergence Partnership, the City of New Orleans through its Network for Economic Opportunity, Ford Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Metropolitan Opportunities Initiative, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Surdna Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The mission of Foundation for Louisiana is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide.