Barbara Smith Community School

Under the leadership of our director of programs, Aarati Kasturirangan, Bread & Roses staff consulted with our community members to re-build the Barbara Smith Community School, a Bread & Roses program designed to nourish and support  grassroots movements for change through training, technical assistance, and convening. We developed goals for the re-envisioned program based on the feedback we received.

As a result of Barbara Smith Community School programming, organizers and activists for racial and economic justice in the Philadelphia Region will:

  • Build skills to plan, execute, and sustain a constituent-led, direct action, organizing campaign.
  • Have the basic knowledge and skills required to raise funds needed to support organizing for real change.
  • Access peers committed to sharing skills and knowledge in support of movements for change. 
  • Gather across movements to reflect on the intersections of movements for change.
  • Access safe spaces to share feelings of frustration and anger, mourn together, and build shared dreams of hope and strength.

These goals will anchor our Barbara Smith Community School programming in the years to come. Here’s a glimpse at what’s coming:


Bread & Roses convenes groups across issue areas and across approached to encourage collaboration and coalitions that can tackle big picture issues.

Women of Equity

Women of Equity is  a peer-led support group for women of color working in the nonprofit sector who are formally or informally addressing diversity and inclusion efforts within their organizations.

Annual Townhalls: Exploring The Intersections Of Our Work

Bread & Roses works with many community partners and artists to put together the townhall and program series that breaks down silos and pulls communities together for real dialogue, creative expression, and connection. Read about our past townhalls here.

Capacity Building

Bread & Roses builds leadership and helps groups become sustainable and successful.

Grantwriting Workshop: Getting the money you need to do the work

This set of four workshops is designed to help community organizations make sense of their finances, find sources of funding, and write strong grant proposals.  Do you have grant writing skills to share with community organizations? Email Aarati for more info about how you can help.

Online Resources

In order to help activists share information, resources, and stay connected we are working on three online resources:




We are making our growing collection of books and DVDs on social justice, organizing, and philanthropy available to our community through our Bread & Roses Library.

There really is a lot going on at Bread & Roses Community Fund.  Will you help us nourish this amazing community of activists?  Donate today.

Who was Barbara Smith?

Barbara Smith was an activist and community leader from the Mantua section of West Philadelphia. Barbara’s commitment to others and to justice inspired her work throughout her life.

Learn more about Barbara Smith.