OTG Brooklyn, October 12 – 15, 2015: A Showcase of Best Practices and Intersectionality

The 2015 On the Ground gathering in Brooklyn is emerging as an event for creative exploration of how crowd-funding of short-term, small scale community improvement projects has connected people and ideas and provided leveraging for longer-term and larger investments.

What do community gardens and the Black Lives Matter movement have in common? For Shatia Strother in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, they are integral to each other.  And Arif Ullah, of the grassroots funder Citizens Committee of New York, sees that connection and helps to resource it, using a model that Citizens Committee has developed over years of supporting resident-led change.

This is just one example of the ways in which 2015’s OTG will provide the space for dialogue and learning around placemaking, grassroots grantmaking, resident-led change, and the importance of intersectionality when we view community work and funding through an equity lens. This exciting convergence of themes of justice along with bread-and-butter grantmaking issues—How do we better evaluate the impacts of resident-driven change? How do funders work with citizens to improve communities for everyone?—is made possible through the ground-breaking work of ioby (stands for “in our backyard,” flipping “nimby” on its head).

ioby is our host for 2015’s OTG, and they are assembling resident leaders and funders, community partners and allies, for a deep dive into their work in the Bed-Stuy, Gowanus, East Brooklyn and Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn.  ioby’s great contribution to grassroots grantmaking is their innovative use of online crowd-funding made stronger by fiscal sponsorship and community organizing. This is your opportunity to ask all your questions about how to strengthen resident-led change through this model.

Environmental sustainability, food justice, transit issues, placemaking and racial justice are some of the issues this work has called forth in the neighborhoods.  We’ll hear about how small projects are making big changes, along with an exploration of the challenges and successes of grassroots grantmaking, brought to us by OTG partners Brooklyn Community Fund, the Northstar Fund and the Citizens Committee of New York.

Come join us!  We have a cap of 100 for this year’s conference, and slots are filling up.  Click here to register, and click here for more information.  Or email me, Lisa Duran, at lisa@grassrootsgrantmakers.org.  I’d love to talk with you about any aspect of the OTG.

See you in October!


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