Five Brooklyn non-profits were honored Friday morning for their innovation, excellence and impact toward racial and social equity in the borough.

It was the third annualSpark Prize breakfast and fundraiser at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s beautiful Lepercq Space where the five newest winners of Brooklyn Community Foundation’s $100,000 Spark Prize— which has awarded $2.4 million in “no strings attached” general operating support to 20 winners and 60 finalists since 2016– had a chance to share their stories, challenges and triumphs with 300 guests.

Photo: BCF

This year’s winners were Brownsville Community Justice CenterChildren of PromiseThe Noel Pointer Foundation, the North Brooklyn Coalition and Sadie Nash Leadership Project.

BCF Executive Director Cecilia Clarke (l) embraces ALLINBKLYN Founder Eliza Winans Rossman
Photo: BCF

ALLINBKLYN Founder Eliza Winans Rossman also was honored for her record of charitable giving, mentorship and capacity building in Brooklyn. Since 2014, ALLINBKLYN’s 60 members have made 85 grants to 45 Brooklyn nonprofits, totaling $1.3 million, and this year the group is on track to give out an additional $300,000.

“Eliza epitomizes the power of community. We are so much more powerful when we work together as a community to spark change, and that is why we are so proud to honor her today,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation Executive Director Cecilia Clarke.

The breakfast, in a short amount of time, has become, perhaps, the most important non-profit events of the year, as the best of the brightest in Brooklyn are showcased amongst community, friends and philanthropists. Money raised at the breakfast put BCF past $50 million in total grantmaking since its founding in 2010!

Check out these photos of the Spark Prize breakfast honoring the winning organizations:

Sadie Nash accepts its award at the 2020 Spark Prize Breakfast Photo: BK Reader

“I am very honored to be here to accept this award on behalf of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. This organization played a huge role in the development of my character and the security of my future,” said Sadie Nash Leadership Project alumna Naomi Jones. “I’m hopeful that with the Spark Prize more young women, especially young black women, will have access to the Sadie Nash leadership Project.”

Brownsville Community Justice Center accepts its award at the 2020 Spark Prize Breakfast
Photo: BK Reader

“For our staff, the abyss of poverty and managing its symptoms and trauma produces anxiety, sleepless nights, frustration, fear, tears, arguments, pain, but with support from Brooklyn Community Foundation, we can no longer say this is a thankless job,” said Deron Johnston, project director of the Brownsville Community Justice Center. “So in return, thank you for helping BCJC conclude 2020’s Black History Month in such a memorable fashion.”

North Brooklyn Coalition accepts its award at the 2020 Spark Prize Breakfast Photo: BK Reader

“It is exhilarating and humbling to be in the company of so much good work and to be recognized alongside the amazing, impactful, equitable work of the other awardees,” said Patricia Ross, executive director of North Brooklyn Coalition. “The Spark Prize will allow us to continue supporting survivors while helping them cultivate leadership skills to ensure their voices are heard and amplified. For this we are extremely grateful.”

Noel Pointer Foundation accepts its award at the 2020 Spark Prize Breakfast
Photo: BK Reader

“If Noel could come back and see what we’ve done in the past 25 years, he would be grinning from ear to ear…” said Chinita Pointer, founder and CEO of The Noel Pointer Foundation. “Thank you so much for this Spark award and for being a part of this journey with us. We can’t wait to see what’s beyond the bend.”

Children of Promise accepts its award at the 2020 Spark Prize Breakfast
Photo: BK Reader

“Thank you Brooklyn Community Foundation for giving Children of Promise the funds and allowing us to utilize them in the way we see necessary,” said Sharon Content, founder and president of Children of Promise, NYC.


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