The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation today announced the distribution of more than $48,000 through its Bridging Divides, Healing Communities grant program. The program is a new initiative "to support community-building activities aimed at strengthening relationships and trust at the local level, especially among people who hold different points of view or come from different backgrounds."
Peter Taylor, president of Berkshire Taconic, made this comment about the program and the grants awarded: "At a time marked by extreme polarization, often rooted in assertions of white privilege, we can take action in our towns and cities to promote trust and reconciliation in an effort to help counter the forces and events that are instilling distrust, bigotry, and hate. We are inspired by the creative and inclusive ideas from grantees who want to confront issues like racism, the stigma of homelessness and mental illness, and eroding trust between police and communities."
"seek to bring people together for the purposes of exploring shared interests, addressing a problem through dialogue and action, or considering an issue through a range of perspectives." The following are the grant recipients in Columbia County and the project descriptions, as quoted from the press release.
Art Omi $2,500 for "The Community Voices Virtual Tour," a series of short videos to feature youth and adults of different, ages and abilities as they gain insight into the creative process and experience onsite artworks that address immigration, land acknowledgment, racism and accessibility.
Claverack Free Library $1,145 to create "The Immigrant Experience: Remembered and Imagined," a youth-led project to investigate personal and familial immigration experiences through various forms of expressions, culminating in a free public performance.
Free Columbia $2,450 for a series of six facilitated discussions among diverse residents of Philmont to share individual experiences of and perspectives on systemic racism and social injustice, building on a successful initial session last summer.
Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood $2,200 to expand on and engage Hudson residents in the work of the Police Reconciliation and Advisory Commission, through which civic and business stakeholders are examining topics such as trust between police and citizens, incidents of misconduct or brutality, and police response to mental health and substance use issues.
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