Making NY Fairer for Black Families: Grants back school, health, and housing reforms | The New York Community Trust
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November 6, 2019   |   By The New York Community Trust
Making NY Fairer for Black Families: Grants back school, health, and housing reforms
The Holmes Family

THE FAMILY HOME: Grow Brooklyn worked with the Holmes family to save their Staten Island house after Mrs. Holmes passed away. Photo by Minnow Park Photography

Compared to their white peers, black New Yorkers are more likely to receive poor maternal health care, get suspended or arrested at school, and face obstacles to inheriting wealth. Three examples of The Trust’s efforts to reduce these long-standing inequities are:

Building Wealth in Brooklyn

Intergenerational wealth is the single largest determinant of a family’s economic well-being, but in historically African-American neighborhoods, such as Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick, thousands of family heirs fail to inherit property.

For example: If a parent dies without a will and their home has a mortgage, a bank could foreclose on the home if there is no clear owner. Even if the heirs try to pay the mortgage, the bank may not accept their payment.

Grow Brooklyn will use a $97,000 grant to help Brooklynites pass family homes to the next generation. It will offer workshops to seniors on the need for end-of-life planning, help heirs secure assets when there is no will, and provide technical estate-planning assistance to legal service nonprofits.

Improving Maternal Health Care

In the U.S., black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. “Income, wealth, and education do not explain the difference in maternal morbidity,” says Irfan Hasan, The Trust’s program director for health and behavioral health.

With a $300,000 grant from The Trust, the Fund for Public Health in New York City will train clinicians and administrators at health care institutions on trauma, bias, and emergent issues in childbirth.

Making Schools Fair for Girls of Color

Young women of color are disproportionately getting arrested and suspended at school.

With $250,000 of support from The Trust over three years, Girls for Gender Equity created an advisory council composed of young women of color that suggests school discipline and policing policies to the City Council and monitors their implementation. The advisory council was able to secure funding for additional staff to reduce discrimination against girls in schools. This year, among other efforts, the council is working to reduce school-based sexual violence.

Better care for black women before, during, and after childbirth is critical to the City’s goal to reduce maternal morbidity. The Trust’s support on this important issue exemplifies a public-private partnership that New Yorkers can be proud of. ”

— Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Board Chair of the Fund for Public Health in NYC

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