Grassroots

Grassroots

Connecting the Boston Foundation with key programs and innovative leaders, many who have had relevant lived experience

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Overview

The Grassroots cross-cutting strategy works to connect the Boston Foundation with key programs and innovative leaders, many who have had relevant lived experience. Through this strategy, the Boston Foundation strives to deepen our understanding of Greater Boston’s communities and residents, especially those that have been historically excluded.

Our Strategy

Providing grassroots leaders with the resources they need to further develop their ideas and form connections with one another, within and across Greater Boston neighborhoods.

Responding to change at the “neighborhood level” with the intention of supporting ideas from organizations, residents, and communities that have been historically excluded.

Supporting and engaging in a series of “courageous conversations” that strengthen connections and foster mutual understanding.

Strategy in Detail

The 2019-2020 Boston Neighborhood Fellows

Activating leaders

Our vision for this strategy is to provide grassroots leaders with the resources they need to further develop their ideas and form connections with one another, within and across Greater Boston neighborhoods.

The Boston Neighborhood Fellows (BNF) program provides recognition, professional development, and direct financial support to individuals who work within community service in the Greater Boston Area. The program also seeks to expand the Fellows’ access to resources and support their growth in creativity, vision, and leadership. 


 

Seeding ideas

Our vision for this strategy is to respond to change at the “neighborhood level” with the intention of supporting ideas from organizations, residents, and communities that have been historically excluded.

Collaborate Boston 4

Collaborate Boston is an incentive-driven grant competition that elevates and supports the collaborative efforts that originate from our community-based leaders and organizations and that the Boston Foundation believes are critical to the growth of thriving people and vibrant places.

My Summer in the City (MSITC) seeks to explore meaningful employment opportunities for the most underrepresented populations of young people. MSITC has helped to ensure that a range of high-quality summer programs and activities are available to Boston’s youth and families throughout the summer months.


Deepening connections

Our vision for this strategy is to support and engage in a series of “courageous conversations” that strengthen connections and foster mutual understanding.

These conversations are held in neighborhoods, communities and homes throughout the Greater Boston area in order to collectively listen and share thoughts about the opportunities and challenges our communities face. These conversations also create conditions to identify opportunities for partnership and collaboration.

Grantee Spotlight: CPLAN -- Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network

CPLAN logo

The Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN) is a community based organization made up of a diverse group of passionate community advocates from the district, charter, parochial, and METCO schools in the City of Boston and gateway cities of Massachusetts. Since its founding in 2016, CPLAN has trained and supported over 1,000 parents to be better organizers and advocates. CPLAN also led to the creation of the first ever family engagement survey project designed to engage parents from public, charter, and parochial schools in Boston. Most recently, the Department of Early and Secondary Education appointed five CPLAN parent leaders to various statewide advisory boards, and CPLAN Executive Director Julia Mejia as the parent voice for the Statewide Accountability and Assessment Council.

Julia Mejia first approached The Grassroots Strategy for capacity building support for her newly formed network that focused on addressing inequities in the education system through parent-led activism. With a modest Grassroots grant and continued funding for professional development, Julia and others built a movement led by parents: 

“Thanks to the Grassroots division I have been able to build my capacity as a nonprofit leader. From attending professional development workshops and conferences to securing seed funding to sustain our growth.  As a result of their help we now have a logic model, solidified our theory of change and have the tools to help scale our work to reach more families.” – Julia Mejia, Executive Director, CPLAN

  Contact our team

For more information on the Boston Foundation's Grassroots work, please contact:

Jennifer Aronson
Associate Vice President for Programs
Email

Cairo Mendes
Program Associate, Grassroots
Email