Brooklyn Center Community Schools is working to encourage a cohort of professionals to elevate the justice work relevant to the district's mission and vision. The Equity Team believes that scholarly and equitable insights from a variety of sources contribute to an understanding of education as a human endeavor and projects generated from these grants have the ability to address some of the current issues we face.
In February 2022, the team announced a new pilot program to support the curation of sustainable justice-centered work in our district, called the Equity Micro Grant Initiative! Through a $2,000 Department Grant, the Equity Department will be awarding four $500 grants to project proposals that advance equity work in generative and sustainable ways.
This opportunity supports projects that bring original and unique ideas to informal and formal education: Classroom pedagogies, experiential learning, research, creative arts workshops, and anything else you can imagine.
The staff application window on the staff intranet closed on Friday, March 11. The Equity Team will review applications and notify the grant recipients on Friday, March 25. The Equity Team plans to host a Digital Showcase of the equity projects in May 2022.
I’m interested in applying, but I don’t know where to start!
Reach out to any of the folks in the equity department! We’re happy to guide you through this process. Our emails are below:
Nuhu Sims - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Oto - email@example.com
Tom Parks - firstname.lastname@example.org
Asha Omar - email@example.com
Who can apply?
Anyone who works in the district – licensed or unlicensed staff. If you have an idea, we’d love to hear it!
Can I apply with my colleagues?
Absolutely! The grant will go to each project. How many people you decide to collaborate with is up to you.
What can the money be used for?
It is mostly up to you! It can defray the costs of materials you need for your project, pay for experiential learning, or anything else you can think of. District policies about funding do apply, so, for example, using it to pay for tuition will not be permitted. To access funds please submit your request to the equity department and we will purchase what you are in need of.
What kinds of projects are you looking for?
We are looking for projects that inspire either through specific actions or dreaming of ways our district can work toward becoming a justice-centered organization. This can take on as many forms as our imaginations will allow, so our driving questions will be centered in your aims for your project, why your project is important to our community, and what issues you see your project addressing. Our professional seminar on March 1st will dig deeper into this (we highly encourage anyone serious about applying to attend).
How long will the project be?
In short, we ask that you be prepared to present at our inaugural grant showcase at the end of the school year (approximately two months). However, if your project takes longer, that is something we are happy to talk with you about.
Wait…a showcase? What’s that?
We want to create a space to see the brilliance within our adult community! This is a required event and we will do our best to ensure that this event works in the calendars for all applicants who are accepted.
What else do I need to know if I’m awarded the grant?
You will be asked to participate in a seminar with other recipients of the grant to build a cohort that supports one another through the process. You will also be offered the opportunity to be mentored by any of the members of the equity department that may be able to help navigate conceptual/technical/logistical concerns as they arise in your project.
Why can’t you just give the money to everyone for their equity projects they’re already doing?
Great question. While the logistics of that are more in the realm of QComp (feel free to chat with your union reps about it), for now we wanted to see what energy is out there. We believe that cultivating critical relationships will help build a grass-roots approach to equity throughout the district.
If I apply and am not accepted, what happens?
You’ll receive a notification from the reviewers with specific feedback that you can use to re-apply in future rounds of the grant.
Wait, will there be more of these grants?
That’s the goal! To sustain work that goes beyond the confines of our roles in the community, we have to create space for people to grow. Our hope is that even if you don’t receive one of these grants, our feedback will position your work effectively for a future round.