Equitable Public Space Organizing Examples

The Equitable Public Space Fund is a new, special fund at Bread & Roses Community Fund made possible through a partnership with the William Penn Foundation. Bread & Roses has a long history of supporting organizations focused on equitable public space use. The following organizations have received Bread & Roses grants to support organizing for equitable public space; we provide these as examples of the kind of organizing the Equitable Public Space Fund seeks to fund.

Immigration Justice Fund and Opportunity Fund grantee Asian Americans United is an Asian-led organization that builds community through social justice advocacy, leadership development, and reclaiming culture in immigrant communities. Asian Americans United has been active in working with the Philadelphia Bar Association and others to ensure that development of the large parcel of land at 800 Vine Street includes input from Chinatown community members and meets needs such as green-space and community gathering space.

Racial & Economic Justice Fund grantee Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land lobbied for giving communities control of vacant land in their neighborhoods, and successfully urged City Council to form the Philadelphia Land Bank in 2014. Following the implementation of the land bank, the coalition of 50 community groups continues to monitor the implementation to ensure that communities have a voice in how local properties are redeveloped.

Black-Led, Black-Centered Organizing Fund and Racial & Economic Justice Fund grantee Soil Generation is a Black and Brown-led coalition of gardeners, farmers, and grassroots groups building power and relationships to regain collective control of land and food. Soil Generation protested a City Hall amendment that would have put 20% of the city’s public gardens at risk, thereby helping to ensure that people of color regain community control of these public spaces.

Black-Led, Black-Centered Organizing Fund and Racial & Economic Justice Fund grantee Urban Creators is a North Philadelphia-based collaborative that uses food, art, celebration, and political education as tools to foster self-determination, resilience, and racial and economic justice in frontline communities. Urban Creators’ campaign to save Life Do Grow Farm is part of a growing movement to preserve farms, gardens, and other public spaces in Black & Brown neighborhoods across Philadelphia.

Immigration Justice Fund and Racial & Economic Justice Fund grantee Vietlead uses intergenerational farming, youth leadership, health navigation, healing, policy advocacy, and civic engagement to develop solutions to improve health, increase sovereignty, and develop Vietnamese and Southeast Asian Leadership. Vietlead established Our Roots Youth Development program to promote positive habits and political awareness, and also the Resilient Roots Garden at 29th and Cramer Streets in Camden.

Black-led, Black-centered Organizing Fund and Opportunity Fund grantee Wholistic.art produces art events, community design charrettes, youth programs, and community-centered public art installations in North Philadelphia. In 2018, Wholistic.art facilitated the #politicourselves Creative Placemaker Assemblies. The series brought community members together to imagine the future of public spaces in Philadelphia. #politicourselves built community power and voice in city planning.