Training and Assistance For Minority, Women (MWBEs) and Small Construction Trade Businesses to Work on the Manhattanville Campus Construction Project.October 31, 2013
West Harlem Development Corporation awards $1 million to 27 nonprofitsOctober 11, 2013
West Harlem Development Corporation awarded $1 million in grants to 27 organizations that will provide services to the community in the areas of education, arts and culture, health services, housing and economic development.
The grants will benefit thousands of residents living in the boundaries of Community District 9 and will fulfill WHDC’s mission to promote increased economic opportunities and quality of life to sustain a vibrant West Harlem community. The awards are WHDC’s second grant cycle in 2013.
WHDC announced the grants at its Second Grant Award Ceremony Thursday night at Our Children’s Foundation. The grants awarded represented five areas of community need:
- Education — 11 grants will enhance the learning of children and adults, including a science and math program that teaches robotics to middle- and high-schoolers.
- Arts and Culture — 7 grants will continue to fuel West Harlem’s heritage in the arts, including a program to inspire youth by exposing them to the works of renowned African-American artist Romare Bearden.
- Community Facilities — 4 grants will aid in the health and social well-being of the community, including a program that allows one home care worker to look after the needs of several seniors in one housing complex.
- Workforce and Economic Development — 4 grants will fund business development and job training and placement initiatives, including a program that trains residents to become pharmacy technicians.
- Housing — 1 grant that will fund free legal representation and protection against landlord harassment to residents of Single Room Occupancy and other low-income housing.
“These 27 grant recipients together bring a holistic approach to improving the quality of life in West Harlem,” said WHDC Executive Director Kofi A. Boateng. “The programs WHDC funded will help all residents from our littlest toddlers to our community’s venerable senior citizens.”
WHDC accented the diversity that defines West Harlem by funding one organization to establish a central hub to disseminate information and provide services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community while continuing to address youth violence by funding a tour of an anti-gun violence production to six West Harlem high schools.
“Our grant recipients represent organizations tackling prevalent issues while finding new ways to enhance the life of residents,” said WHDC Board Chairman Donald C. Notice.
This installment brings WHDC’s funding of community grants to $3 million to 110 nonprofits in 2013. WHDC gave out $2 million in March to 83 organizations, many of whom have leveraged those funds to garner more.
Four of WHDC’s first-round grant recipients provided musical entertainment at the ceremony: Harlem Chamber Players, Mama Foundation for the Arts’ Gospel for Teens Choir, Harlem Opera Theater and Impact Repertory Theater. Another inaugural recipient, Harlem Seeds, made healthy side dishes for the light dinner served while Project Y.E.A.H. supplied a large-scale mosaic.
After the Grant Award Ceremony, WHDC held a Public Meeting to discuss its successes and challenges during the past year as well as its future prospects. Afterward, Mr. Boateng took questions from the public.
In addition to the $3 million in grant awards, WHDC’s successes to date include:
- 900 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) positions funded for a total of $1.2 million
- 50 Summer Senior Employment Program positions funded in a pilot program
- An anti-violence rally that brought Grant Houses and Manhattanville together during a turbulent summer.
- A free and cutting-edge grant-writing workshop for 150 organizations to hone their skills
- The distribution of Columbia University’s 75 summer camp scholarships to local children for three years
- Positive conclusion to the Attorney General’s inquiry into the predecessor organization, WHLDC
- Transition from WHLDC to WHDC
- First-ever march in the African American Day Parade
- Meetings among first-round grantees to monitor activities and promote collaborations
WHDC’s Second Grant Award Ceremony and Public Meeting on Oct. 10September 26, 2013
WHDC in African American Day ParadeSeptember 19, 2013
The Marching Cobras Southern-style marching band’s performance exuberantly announced WHDC to the crowds every step of the parade. The band had parade-goers dancing along the length of the route, along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard from 111th Street to 136th Street.
West Harlem Development Corporation grant recipients marched with the band, representing Arts and Culture, Education, Community Facilities and Economic Development programs funded by WHDC. Representatives from WHDC-funded Summer Youth Employment and Summer Senior Employment programs also attended, carrying banners and signs.
Mama Foundation for the Arts’ Gospel For Teens Choir, which is also funded by WHDC, rounded out the contingent with angelic, yet booming, voices that did not need amplification above the noise of the crowd. The choir director made sure to punctuate their performance with gravity-defying backbends.
Our grant recipients not only enjoyed the parade, they took the opportunity to pass out flyers about their programs as part of their outreach efforts. WHDC was proud to be a participant and supporter of the 44th Annual African American Day Parade. For more photos, go to our Facebook page or our Photo Gallery.
WHDC to Announce Second Round of Grant Recipients in Late SeptemberSeptember 6, 2013
West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) will announce the second round of grant awards around the end of September. Please keep checking back for the latest news and information about the newest cycle.
Columbia University Announces Inaugural Group of Community ScholarsSeptember 5, 2013
Columbia University announced today the inaugural cohort of the Columbia Community Scholars Program. The program offers community-based scholars from Northern Manhattan access to a range of University services and resources in order to work toward the completion of an individually crafted project or to attain skill in an area of interest.
“The Community Scholars Program embodies Columbia’s commitment to making University resources available to the community in a meaningful way,” said Karen Jewett, Vice President for Columbia’s Office of Government and Community Affairs. “The program is structured to appeal to a variety of interests from the fiction writer working on her first novel to the local historian looking to explore an overlooked facet of New York history.”
The 2013 Columbia Community Scholars cohort is comprised of five independent scholars whose proposals were chosen from a very competitive field of applicants.
Mariama C. Keita is a fellow for the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS. Her research will work towards an analysis of the Republic of Guinea’s historical women’s movements.
Paula Kimper, whose TRUTH: An American Opera about Sojourner Truth was included in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival, will undertake research in women’s studies, Africana studies, music and history as she begins work on a new opera.
Vivian Nixon is the Executive Director of College and Community Fellowship, a not-for-profit organization that assists women with criminal records in accessing higher education. As a Columbia Community Scholar, she will hone her journalistic skills with a view to placing issue-based articles in popular publications and websites.
John Reddick serves as a curator and discussion leader for the Harlem Focus series at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt Design Center. He will continue his research into the music culture of Harlem’s Black and Jewish communities from 1890 to 1930, the results of which will become the focus of a book, a sheet music exhibition and a historical walking tour.
Steven A. Watkins is the founder of the Kinetic Universal User Renewable Visionary Environment (KUURVE), a sustainability development and technology firm providing a platform for ecofriendly urban development resources, renewable energy solutions, job training and education. Steven’s cross-curricular studies at Columbia will result in a report on smarter private and public energy management and sustainable environmental practices in Harlem and abroad.
Columbia University and the West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) welcomed the Scholars with a reception in Low Library on August 22. “An Ashanti proverb says you push up those who climb good trees so that they will bring down the ripe fruits to feed the community,” said Kofi A. Boateng, West Harlem Development Corporation Executive Director. “In that sense, we believe the carefully-selected initial class of five community scholars are each conducting meaningful research in their efforts to find good answers to our common issues.”
The Columbia Community Scholars Program is the latest initiative to come on line as part of the community benefits and amenities associated with the University’s Manhattanville campus expansion.
“On many levels my expanding research on Harlem’s Black & Jewish Music Culture 1890-1930 has revealed the community’s groundbreaking influence on 20 music, dance, theater, film and literature,” Reddick said. “With access to Columbia University’s academic resources, I hope to further explore and document this history in ways that inform and inspire Harlem residents, new and old, and seek to broaden the outsider’s knowledge of the community’s cultural history as well.”
Columbia University Union Construction Job Fair on Sept. 10August 30, 2013
WHDC Statement of Financial Reporting for Quarter Ending September 30, 2013
Click here to download the report.
3595 Broadway Construction Update for the Weeks of August 19 and August 26 (2013)August 26, 2013
Manhattanville Construction Update for the Weeks of August 19 and August 26 (2013)August 21, 2013
Click here to download the update.