Announcing the 2023 Dr. Frank E. Boston Black Justice Fund Grant Recipients

HealthSpark Foundation is pleased to share that $125,000 in grant funds have been awarded to nine organizations through the latest round of the Dr. Frank E. Boston Black Justice Fund. Since its inception in 2020, the Fund has now provided a total of $251,100 in grant funds to 16 organizations.

Organizations awarded funds in this round are addressing a range of issues relevant to building power within Black communities across the county. This includes projects that address voter mobilization, apprenticeship with in-demand trade occupations, mentorship and leadership development in young people, trauma and wellness support, and college preparedness, among other issues.

"The organizations awarded funds during this round are bringing energy, inspiration, and ingenuity to some of our communities' most pressing challenges," says Emma Hertz, President, CEO of HealthSpark. "Their approaches to building power are deeply rooted in their own experiences and that of their neighbors and families- and HealthSpark is incredibly honored to partner on solutions that center those experiences."

The Dr. Frank E. Boston Black Justice Fund addresses the historical exclusion of Black leaders and Black community-serving organizations from tackling the challenges and opportunities facing Montgomery County residents.

In honor of its namesake Dr. Frank E. Boston, a Black medical doctor and social entrepreneur who created a hospital and ambulance corps in Lansdale nearly a century ago, the Fund invests in emerging Black leaders in Montgomery County, supports positive storytelling of Black communities across the County, and builds community infrastructure and power in Black communities to advance justice and liberation for all County residents.

The grantmaking process sought out projects from Black-led and Black-serving organizations that included strong community decision-making processes and input. Organizations with smaller operating budgets and with self-identified Black leadership were also prioritized for awards. These priorities were put in place in order to ensure that grant resources were directed towards organizations that historically have had difficulty raising funds.

The grant process was managed by a group of Black leaders in a variety of fields and areas of the county, collectively called the Community Action Team. The Community Action Team provided outreach and engagement support during the application period, reviewed grant applications, and determined the grant awards. The Community Action Team members during this round included Dr. Karen Hudson, Mark Jones, Karel Johnson, Hakim Jones, Tyrone Manning, and Brandon Stiff. HealthSpark is incredibly grateful for their leadership and insights throughout this process.

“The time is always right to do what is right,” shared Mark Jones, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A celebratory event is scheduled for May 31, 2023 at 5:30pm at the George Washington Carver Community Center in Norristown, PA. All are welcome to attend. More information is available here.

The full list of Dr. Frank E. Boston Black Justice Fund 2023 grantees is below:

  • Akea's Heart Inc, $15,000.00. “Therapy Over Revenge”: To provide quality therapeutic services to children of color in Montgomery County.
  • Be ReZilient, Healing Through The Arts, $15,000.00. “Be ReZilient Healing Through The Arts Summer Initiatives”: To start a ReZilient Ladies Program, in partnership with other organizations, to create a dynamic experience for participants. The program will begin as a summer initiative and continue as an after-school and summer enrichment program.
  • Bethel AME Church of Ardmore, $15,000.00. “Growing Food Sovereignty and Resilience at the Bethel Community Garden & Ardmore Victory Gardens”: Growing Food Sovereignty and Resilience at the Bethel Community Garden & Ardmore Victory Gardens.
  • Collegiate Bridge Inc., $15,000.00. “College Readiness Parent Institute”: To support the launch the College Readiness Parent Institute for low income, first-generation, parents in Norristown, building on the initial funding from the Dr. Frank E. Boston Black Justice Fund award in 2022.
  • Girls First, $10,000.00. “After-School Program for Elementary School Students”: To support the nonprofit, tuition-free social and emotional learning program for girls located in Norristown, Pennsylvania.  The program incorporates elements of arts exploration, daily nourishment, movement and breathing, STEAM activities, and academic support alongside positive mentorship to help create lasting change for families in the region.
  • I Choose To Win, $15,000.00. "In life, I WIN" Campaign: Storytelling of Montco Black Woman-owned Biz from Trials to Triumph”
  • Making a Difference Economically Inc, $15,000.00. “Making a Difference Economically, Inc (MADE)--Capacity Building and Program Development”: To increase organizational capacity building and improve, grow, streamline and connect trade-skills programming--MADE for the Trades--to include more local industries/employers, certified apprenticeship programs and community resources that promote the economic growth of Pottstown residents in the face of changing economic and real estate development in the community.
  • No Longer Bound Development Center Inc., $15,000.00. “No Longer Bound Development Center Inc.”: To support the costs of the necessary materials for three programs: youth leadership, women’s mentoring, and healthcare education, with a specific focus on the youth leadership program and to support and pay the staff who facilitate the programs.
  • PA Youth Vote, $10,000.00. “PA Youth Vote (PYV)”: Additional funding from the Black Justice Fund to further develop student interest, support teacher engagement, and advocate over the next year for new school board policies promoting young voter programming – continuing to build a network of young voting activists throughout Montgomery County.