Five organizations were awarded $100,000 each for demonstrating creativity and impact in addressing critical challenges in the borough

Cecilia Clarke, president and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation, proudly displays check for $100,000 award
Photo: Jeyhoun Allebaugh

Brooklyn Community Foundation on Thursday, held its second annual awards celebration for the five recipients of this year’s Spark Prize, a $100,000 grant in general operating support for Brooklyn nonprofits that have demonstrated outstanding creativity and impact in advancing racial and social justice throughout the borough.

This year’s award recipients were Cave Canem Foundation, the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers CollegeExalt YouthGRIOT Circle, and Red Hook Initiative.

The event, which was held at the Palm House in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and was sponsored in part by TD Bank and National Grid. BCF Executive Director Cecilia Clarke hosted the celebration, and comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

Photo: Jeyhoun Allebaugh

The event also paid tribute New York City philanthropic leader Hildy J. Simmons. In addition to Simmons’s service on the board of directors at Brooklyn Community Foundation, Mary J. Hutchins Foundation, Jerome L. Greene Foundation, and the Romanian American Foundation, she was the managing director and head of the Global Foundations Group at JPMorgan Private Bank, overseeing the grantmaking of more than 40 foundations.

Cave Canem members celebrate! Photo: Jeyhoun Allebaugh

“We are thrilled that the Spark Prize and this event have become such an inspiring and uplifting celebration of Brooklyn nonprofits,” said Clarke. 

“There are so many incredible organizations and leaders across our borough that have worked tirelessly to make our communities stronger, more just, and more vibrant. We salute you and are honored to work alongside you and support you. Congratulations especially to this year’s Spark Prize winners and many thanks to the incomparable Hildy Simmons for her service to the Foundation and our city.”

Brooklyn Community Foundation, the first and only public foundation dedicated solely to Brooklyn’s charitable community, is on a mission to spark lasting social change by mobilizing people, capital and expertise for a fair and just Brooklyn.

To learn more about the Spark Prize and how your organization can apply, go here.

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