Community News

Nominate a Policy Activist and Advocates for Expanding Access, Equity and Opportunity in Education
February 5th, 2014

Tides 2014 JBL Awards (Tides is WHDC's fiscal sponsor)

Tides is proud to announce that nominations are open for the 2014 Jane Bagley Lehman Award for Public Advocacy. Each year the JBL Awards honor policy activists and advocates by recognizing work that demonstrates innovative approaches to social change and a deep commitment to the public interest. The issues and geographic areas in which we make awards vary from year to year. Named after Jane Bagley Lehman, one of the founders of Tides and board chair until her death in 1988, these awards honor the life and legacy of this unconventional philanthropist whose insatiable curiosity was matched by her willingness to take risks. Jane was inspired by the approaches and strategies of grassroots advocates and organizers and their willingness to challenge traditional assumptions. She also cared deeply that the results of these efforts were translated into public policy.

Expanding access, equity and opportunity in education

Since “A Nation at Risk,” through “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) and into the “Elementary and Secondary Education Act” (ESEA), our national conversation has centered on the importance of access to an excellent education for every child in America. It is uncontested that educational achievement is a leading indicator for an individual’s quality of life. Yet the challenges that confront our education system are far-reaching. These challenges include unequal access for diverse learners and underserved populations in K-12 education, through high school and college students graduating with inadequate mathematical, scientific, cross-cultural and linguistic skills needed to compete in the global workforce. These concerns are not new, but the ways in which we tackle these issues can be. The 2014 JBL Awards will recognize grassroots advocates who are working diligently to bring about educational equity. Eligible nominees are activists who are working at a state level and collaborating with others to:   The award recipients will be honored with up to $10,000 each.   Nominees will have organized and mobilized educational resources, stakeholders or personnel to affect statewide policy or education systems. They will be tireless advocates for educational equity and access. The nominee’s actions and attitude will be one that strives for accountability and excellence, all while promoting collaboration and inclusion.

Excluded Activities

The JBL Awards supports individual grassroots activists. We will not consider requests to fund organizations and institutions, lobbying, political or fraternal activities.    

Nominations are due no later than Tuesday, April 1 to

To learn more about the nomination process and more about the JBL Awards, please visit‎

Please forward this link to any colleagues, funder partners or leaders in the field who you think may be good nominators!

Training and Assistance For Minority, Women (MWBEs) and Small Construction Trade Businesses to Work on the Manhattanville Campus Construction Project.
October 31st, 2013

Columbia University Announces Inaugural Group of Community Scholars
September 5th, 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.”

Manhattan Legal Services Launches West Harlem Youth Legal Advocacy Project
July 31st, 2013

Please see flyer below for more information.

Teacher’s College Community School Fall 2013 2nd Grade Open Slots
July 31st, 2013

Teacher's College Community School Fall 2013 2nd Grade Open Slots
There are several openings for 2nd grade students at the Teachers College Community School for the coming school year. We encourage families in Community Board 9 to consider this excellent public school option. Please act right away if you are interested, as the spots will fill quickly. For more information and an application, email Ms. Eve Cardona at, or call her at 212-678-7421.

Harlem Community Arts Fund to help individual artists and organizations
January 30th, 2013

The Harlem Community Arts Fund (HCAF) will respond to proposals from eligible artists and arts organizations based in and providing services within Harlem (bounded by 110th and 155th Streets from the Hudson River to Fifth Avenue -- Community Districts 9 and 10 only). The HCAF, through the Harlem Arts Alliance,  is made possible with support from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Individual Artist Applicants click here for the online application and guidelines (Si necesita formularios en español, por favor llame 347-735-4280 ext. 253). Arts Organization Applicants click here for the online application and guidelines (Si necesita formularios en español, por favor llame 347-735-4280 ext. 253). Application Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 4 p.m. (online submissions only) Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of the following HCAF Information Seminars (You MUST RSVP with Harlem Arts Alliance via email):  

Teachers College Community School kindergarten application deadline approaching
January 29th, 2013

WHLDC wants to help spread the word about an upcoming deadline to enroll kindergarteners at Teachers College Community School [TCCS]. TCCS is now accepting applications for kindergarten for the 2013-14 school year. Priority is given to families in District 5 and 6. The application deadline is March 1, 2013. In February, TCCS will be holding parent information sessions: For more information, please click here.  

Cultural group accepting applications for free artist studio space
January 25th, 2013

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council is accepting applications for free studio space for emerging or under-recognized artists. The 9-month Workspace program will offer studio space in Lower Manhattan. The (firm) deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on Jan. 31. Please find eligibility information, the application and FAQ's here.

Applications Being Accepted for Free Summer Arts Institute for Middle and Highschoolers
December 19th, 2012

Students entering grades 8 through 12 in September can apply to attend the Summer Arts Institute, a free, four-week intensive arts program to be held at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School in July. Seven tracks of study are offered: dance, theater, vocal music, instrumental music (band), photography, film, and visual arts. An experienced staff of teachers and artists will guide students in developing their skills and creativity as they prepare for their next level of study. The program is designed for students at an intermediate or advanced level of study in their chosen art form. Please encourage your arts teachers to share this opportunity with their students. Admission to the program is by application and competitive audition. Students may apply to and audition for only one discipline. The deadline to apply is February 8, 2013. For more information and an application, click here.You may also contact Heather Powell at or 212-356-8573.

Paid Internships for High Schoolers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
December 19th, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers paid internships to students in grade 11 or 12 at a New York City high school that receives Title I funds.  Interns will get the inside scoop on a wide variety of Museum jobs in conservation, education, exhibition design, and more. They’ll also develop professional skills, explore the galleries, and assist an expert in one of the Museum’s departments. Students don’t need prior experience or specific knowledge to apply – just an interest in learning about museum careers and great works of art! For more information and to link to the online application, please click here. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2013. Contact Betsy Gibbons for more information.

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