Spark Prize

Red Hook Initiative

Founded in 2002 as a program of a local hospital in response to the severity of health and social issues in Red Hook, RHI has become a neighborhood stronghold and nationally recognized model for youth and community development, providing safe and enriching opportunities for young people ages 11- 24 primarily living in the Red Hook Houses—New York City’s largest NYCHA housing development.

Griot Circle

Founded in 1996 by a group of LGBTQ elders of color living in Brooklyn to address the systemic racial, social, and economic injustices that LGBTQ elders of color experience, GRIOT Circle now offers culturally-sensitive, innovative programming to over 400 members throughout the year,

exalt

Since its founding in 2006 in Brooklyn, exalt has worked with over 1200 youth ages 15-19 who have been involved in the criminal justice system. exalt equips youth with tools and experiences to avoid further criminal justice system involvement through structured classes for tangible skill development, individualized support to navigate the education and justice systems, placement in paid internships, and an alumni network of resources.

Center for Law and Social Justice

Founded in Brooklyn in 1985 as a community service unit of Medgar Evers College to serve as an institutional response to pervasive racial injustices, the Center for Law and Social Justice continues pushing for meaningful policy changes to stem the institutionalization of police brutality and systemic racism across New York City. In addition to promoting alternative community policing solutions, it is a leading advocate for the protection and integrity of voting rights and for racial equity in public education.

Cave Canem

Founded in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of black poets, Cave Canem has grown from a gathering of 26 poets to become an influential movement and artistic incubator based in Brooklyn with a high-achieving international fellowship of over 425, and a local workshop community of over 900 poets.

Neighbors Together

A dynamic soup kitchen, social service provider, and community center committed to ending hunger and poverty in Ocean Hill, Brownsville, and Bedford Stuyvesant since 1982. It provides empowerment and community action programming to organize community members to advocate for policy change, in addition to serving 80,000 meals annually out of its community café.

MoCADA

A “museum without walls” that serves the African Diasporan community through art exhibitions, education, and community programs to promote African diasporan art, racial equity, and social justice in Brooklyn. Founded in 1999, this year it is expanding from 2,000 sq. ft. to a new 20,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Fort Greene.

Make the Road New York

An immigrant-led organization that develops grassroots leadership to mobilize Latino and working class communities. It provides legal services, education, and employment access to achieve policy change. MRNY is dedicated to building community power and racial equity in Bushwick, where it was founded in 1997. It now has over 20,000 members and 200 staff working across New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

Common Justice

A restorative justice program of the Vera Institute of Justice that works with responsible parties and those harmed by violent crime in Brooklyn. Founded in 2008, Common Justice is the first and only alternative to incarceration program for violent crimes in the adult courts in the United States. It works with 16 to 24-year-olds to address the criminal justice system’s over-reliance on incarceration, to halt cycles of violence, and to meet the needs of victims of crime. To date, fewer than 8% of its participants have been terminated from the program for committing a new crime.

Audre Lorde Project

An inter-generational organizing center for LGBT people of color that promotes community wellness and progressive social and economic justice in New York City. Founded in Brooklyn in 1996, ALP works with over 8,000 members on issues including creating safety models against police brutality and hate crimes, as well as training small businesses, community organizations, and neighborhood leaders on de-escalation and safety strategies.