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January 25, 2021
Funds to Fight Racism, Impacts of Pandemic; Theater Shuts Down

December 1, 2020 — Twenty Massachusetts nonprofits get $1M to fight racism. YWCA Central Massachusetts gets $50K to support pandemic response. New Century Theatre closes after nearly three decades.

Twenty Massachusetts Nonprofits Get $1M to Fight Racism

The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, an antiracism effort founded by a coalition of Black and Brown executives, this week announced it granted a total of $1 million to 20 Massachusetts nonprofits to support their efforts to fight systemic racism and racial inequity in the state.

The grantees, each of whom will get $50,000, will use the funds to address education, health care, mental health services, and criminal justice policies and practices “that unfairly target and harm Black and Brown people,” according to the fund, the Boston Business Journal (BBJ) reported.

“If we don’t do anything to help these organizations and these communities, the gap between the haves and the have-nots will widen,” said Damian Wilmot, a member of the fund’s executive committee, according to the BBJ.

Receiving the funds were the following:

  • African Community Education, Worcester
  • Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Becoming A Man (a program of Youth Guidance), Boston
  • Boston Ujima Project (a project of the Center for Economic Democracy), Boston
  • Brockton Interfaith Community, Brockton
  • Chelsea Collaborative/La Colaborativa, Chelsea
  • Compass Working Capital, Boston
  • Data 4 Black Lives, statewide
  • EdLaw Project (a project of the Youth Advocacy Foundation), statewide
  • Elevated Thought, Lawrence
  • Family Health Center of Worcester, Worcester
  • GCode House, Boston
  • Higher Ground, Boston
  • Lawrence Community Works, Lawrence
  • Lawyers for Civil Rights, statewide
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, Springfield
  • NAACP Boston Branch
  • Pa’lante, Holyoke
  • Strive Boston, Justice Resource Initiative, Boston
  • Youth on Board (a project of YouthBuild USA), Boston

YWCA Central Massachusetts Gets $50K

The YWCA Central Massachusetts, a Worcester-based nonprofit that works to eliminate racism and empower women, recently $50,000 from the New York Life Foundation that will be used to support programs that provide gift cards for food and cleaning supplies to residents in the Worcester area responding to the coronavirus pandemic, according to

The Y was one of 35 nonprofit organizations across the country to receive a $50,000 grant from the foundation’s Love Take Action program.

“We are grateful for the New York Life Foundation’s investment in our organization and for Julianne Hertel, a New York Life agent, for recognizing Robyn Kennedy for her work in the community during COVID19, which brought about this grant, and will change many lives for the better,” YWCA Executive Director Linda Cavaioli was quoted.

New Century Theatre Closes after Nearly Three Decades

The New Century Theatre, a Northampton nonprofit, recently announced it will close, a victim of the coronavirus pandemic, after 28 years of operations.

Sam Rush, co-founder of the theater, noted that “2020 has been a challenging year for all of us and for the arts in particular. The inability to present live theatre during the last nine months, due to the pandemic, and the realistic likelihood that it will be at least another six months before we will be able to gather safely has forced New Century Theatre to permanently cease operations.”

He added, “Everyone who has ever been involved in our shows, onstage and off, has put their hearts and souls into our summer productions. I will be forever grateful for their hard work and dedication. I thank each of you for your patronage year after year.”

The Mass Cultural Council earlier this month said cultural nonprofits across Massachusetts have lost $483.5 million in revenue due to cancellations, closures, and related policies stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

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