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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: People, Parks, and Power

Deadline: November 4, 2021

Urban parks and green spaces—playgrounds, pocket parks, outdoor recreation facilities, open spaces, trails, gardens, and green infrastructure—are crucial for community health and well-being, a fact made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite widespread appreciation for the health and environmental benefits of urban parks and green spaces, evidence shows persistent inequities in access, availability, quality of facilities, and programming, by race, place, and income. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is working to build a Culture of Health where everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.

People, Parks, and Power: A National Initiative for Green Space, Health Equity, and Racial Justice (P3) is grounded in the premise that urban parks are essential community infrastructure that should serve every neighborhood in a fair, just, and safe manner, without displacing longtime residents or community-serving businesses. P3 will support community-based organizations and base-building groups working in urban, low-income communities of color across the United States to increase park equity through local policy and systems change. The geographic focus of the P3 initiative is urban areas—with a particular interest in small and midsized cities (under 500,000 population).

African Americans, Latinos, and people living in low-income urban areas across the U.S. have disproportionately been denied the health, social, and environmental benefits of vital public spaces—inequities born from historical and current day policies, systems, and norms. RWJF strongly encourage community-based organizations to apply, especially those led by people of color working to build community power at the citywide, countywide, or districtwide level. Until the policies, institutional practices, power dynamics, and problematic narratives that produced these inequities in the first place are transformed, park inequities will persist or worsen. Therefore, the “north star” of the P3 initiative is upstream policy and systems change, not planning, building, or operating individual, on-the-ground projects. RWJF is interested in funding a spectrum of eligible organizations across the U.S. that either are in later or early stages of policy advocacy and systems change efforts to advance park equity.

Amount: Up to 14 awards that range up to $500,000 (up to $250,000 each year) will be made. The project duration is two-years.

* Public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or non-functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations.
* Organizations that are fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) entity that meet all other eligibility criteria are eligible.
* Coalitions are eligible if the lead applicant organization meets all other eligibility criteria. Universities or academic institutions are not eligible to be the lead applicant, but they may serve as a coalition partner to the lead applicant.
* Organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

Link: https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/funding-opportunities/2021/people-parks-and-power-a-national-initiative-for-green-space-health-equity-and-racial-justice.html

Note: An optional online webinar will be held on September 29, 2021 (registration required).

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