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United Way of Tarrant County and BRAVE/R Together Announce Partnership to Address Racial Inequities in 76104 ZIP Code

By November 22, 2021 No Comments

Grants up to $10,000 available for individuals, organizations to support important work

United Way of Tarrant County and BRAVE/R Together today announced a partnership for an equity inclusion project that focuses on the Morningside, Hillside and the Historic Southside neighborhoods in the 76104 Tarrant County ZIP code.

The BRAVE/R Together project is a collaboration of nonprofits, public officials, community leaders and the private sector working to support neighborhoods in 76104, to the east of I-35W, that experience disparities in education, healthcare, housing and unemployment.

“The proud history and legacy of Morningside, Hillside and the Historic Southside communities demands that we pay attention to these neighborhoods and provide them with equal opportunities to prosper,” said Leah King, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County. “Bringing together people is key to the success of the project. Through listening and learning, coupled with a strategic and data-driven approach, we can develop innovative solutions to rebuild and transform 76104 into vibrant neighborhoods.”

Key activities for the BRAVE/R Together project include an equity audit, convening leaders and residents for cohorts focused on racial inequities, building team capacity for community conversations, creating a community grant program, building data and training participants on how to use data to achieve equitable outcomes.

“The inequities in 76104 aren’t unique in our society; in fact, we can point to structural and systemic racism as the catalyst to the crumbling of Black and Brown communities across the country,” said Shawn Lassiter, founder of BRAVE/R Together. “What is unique are the people of 76104. The people in the community have a history of showing up for each other and refusing to wait on a person or group to save them. BRAVE/R Together has an opportunity to create an avenue to connect and align resources needed to dismantle those inequities and be unapologetic in our pursuit to restore the Black and Brown families in 76104.”

The BRAVE/R Together Community Grant

As part of the BRAVE/R Together project, grants of up to $10,000 are available to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations, grassroots entities and individuals working to address disparities in the Morningside, Hillside and the Historic Southside communities.  Funds can be used for various purposes, including specific projects, programming and capacity building, and will be tracked to ensure accountability in achieving the program’s goals and creating opportunity in the neighborhood.

The grants will be focused on the project’s four key areas:

  • Business/Employment: BRAVE/R Together is striving to build on the legacy Black and Brown entrepreneurs and business owners have developed in 76104 and provide well-paying jobs for the community.
  • Education: Grants will support educators and those advocating for children and families, with the goal of addressing inequities in the school system such as the need for affordable and accessible afterschool programs.
  • Healthcare: 76104 has the lowest life expectancy (66.7 years) in Texas despite being the home of Fort Worth’s Medical District. BRAVE/R Together seeks to improve health outcomes in the community via nutrition, mental health and physical well-being.
  • Housing: An affordable place to live is the foundation of community. These grant funds can be used to help residents establish roots and thrive in 76104 such as assisting families with finding affordable housing and financing.

Grant applications are available at www.bravertogether.org.  The deadline to apply for the grants is Dec. 3, 2021.

Project Ambassadors

The foundation of the BRAVE/R Together initiative is a group of community-based ambassadors who work alongside community leaders and leverage grassroots organizations, corporate partners, public officials and area residents to envision and fund innovative solutions. The ambassadors are at the forefront of addressing inequities in 76104. The 76104 Ambassadors have committed to focus on the four core inequities by convening other community leaders.

The BRAVE/R Together Ambassadors and the sectors they will serve are:

  • Wallace Bridges, Education/Housing
  • Michael Brooks, Healthcare
  • Mark Carter, Education
  • Nakia Cole, Business/Employment
  • Johnny Cook-Muhammad, Education
  • Dominique Cooke, Education
  • Roger Foggle, Business/Employment
  • Lachelle Goodrich, Healthcare/Housing
  • Jesse Herrera, Healthcare
  • Tony McGilveary, Healthcare
  • Angela Rainey, Healthcare
  • Katrina Rischer-Carpenter, Business/Employment
  • Dione Sims, Education
  • Carlos Walker, Education
  • Dante Williams, Business/Employment 

Project Phases

The project is divided into five phases:

  • Phase 1: Collaborate with community ambassadors to develop innovative solutions and align efforts around healthcare, education, housing and employment/ownership. Mobilize leaders and organizations to execute collective impact strategy.
  • Phase 2: Start community grant program for grassroots leaders and organizations. Conduct and document historical analysis for truth, healing and reconciliation.
  • Phase 3: Conduct an equity audit and develop an interactive data dashboard that identifies equity gaps and tracks progress.
  • Phase 4: Facilitate community events around racial healing, narrative change and advocacy for anti-racist policies and practices.
  • Phase 5: Develop monitoring, accountability and sustainability systems, and committees for long-term effective programming.

76104 Demographics

The 76104 ZIP code encompasses the Historic Southside, Hillside and Morningside neighborhoods where the BRAVE/R Together initiative is focused.  About 38 percent of residents are Black and 43 percent are Hispanic (representing a recent demographic shift).  According to census data, 45 percent of households (or more than 2,800) in the ZIP code earn less than $25,750 a year, which is the federal poverty level for a family of four.  About 1,200 of those households earned less than $10,000 a year.

In addition, life expectancy in 76104 neighborhoods is the lowest in the state of Texas. The average life expectancy is just under 67, which is 12 years younger than the national average. And this area is among the hardest hit in terms of the number of coronavirus cases per capita.

Funding Partners

Initial funders for the BRAVE/R Together are the Rainwater Foundation, Bank of America and the North Texas Community Foundation.

About United Way of Tarrant County

United Way of Tarrant County has worked to improve the lives of those in our communities since 1922. As a nonprofit leader, we bring together individuals, groups, donors and service providers to help solve some of the toughest social issues affecting Tarrant County. Each year, United Way of Tarrant County helps more than 300,000 people through its resources. United Way of Tarrant County has no fees on donor designations, with 100 percent of the donations going to the selected agency or cause. 

About BRAVE/R Together

The BRAVE/R Together project is a collaboration of nonprofits, public officials, community leaders and the private sector working to improve the neighborhoods in the 76104 ZIP code that have been harmed by systemic racism, leading to disparities in education, healthcare, housing and unemployment.

 

Contact:

Michelle Bleiberg

United Way of Tarrant County

214-683-9338

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