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Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness invests $215,000 to promote culturally-centered strategies to promote mental health

Dec 11, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11th, 2019 

(Philadelphia, PA) – The Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness, a participatory grantmaking initiative that aims to promote mental health among immigrant communities, is pleased to announce a $215,000 investment in three implementation grantees for its second grant cycle. Each program represents a collaboration that use disruptive strategies to advance behavioral health for immigrant and refugee communities in Philadelphia.

The Chinese Immigrant Family Wellness Program, a partnership of Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation and Pennsylvania Hospital’s Hall Mercer Outpatient Mental Health. This initiative introduces mental and emotional wellness as a key “pillar of health” and aims to reduce stigmas and support connection and community in Philadelphia’s Chinatown.

The Intercultural Wellness Program, a partnership of Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and African Family Health Organization (AFAHO) develops community leadership to support mental health and wellbeing. This initiative trains immigrant leaders to center existing cultural practices and build collective programming to bring learnings back to their communities.

Tabadul: Reflecting on Our Immigrant Experiences through the Arts, a partnership of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture and Northeast High School uses a process of art-making to engage students and families at Northeast High School so they can process trauma, build community, and improve overall well-being.

In its second grant cycle, the Fund granted $215,000 to a cohort of programs that use disruptive strategies to advance behavioral health for immigrant and refugee communities in Philadelphia. This builds on the $30,000 that the Fund invested in six programs to participate in a rigorous 12-week planning period which included program planning and evaluation training and consultation for grantees.

The grantees were selected through a participatory grantmaking process, designed to alter traditional philanthropic giving by elevating voices of individuals who are not typically at the decision-making table. A Decision Making Group, comprised of representatives from community-based, immigrant-serving organizations, reviewed the applications and allocated grant dollars from a pooled fund.

“The grantmaking process brought together the best ideas, experiences and visions of the committee members, with an unwavering commitment to represent the voices of immigrant community members,” says Cathi Tillman, Executive Director of La Puerta Abierta and a member of both the Community Advisory Board and Decision Making Group. “Our collaboration was driven by the input and feedback of the community itself.  Thus, participatory grantmaking is truly moving community engagement from vision to reality.”

Decision Making Group members were nominated by the Community Fund’s Community Advisory Board, whose member organizations include ACANA, AFAHO, HIAS PA, La Puerta Abierta, Nationalities Service Center, Puentes de Salud, Southeast by Southeast (a Mural Arts program), SEAMAAC, and Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. By asking service providers and community organizations to not only inform a funding process but to actually drive it, the Community Fund shifts the power dynamic in the funder-grantee relationship.

These grantees, along with other key stakeholders from across the Greater Philadelphia will also have the opportunity to take part in a Community of Practice. The Community of Practice will convene individuals from organizations that serve immigrants and refugees with the goal to share best practices and make recommendations for broader systems change. Funders will also be encouraged to participate.

The Community Fund for Immigrant Wellness is supported by the Scattergood Foundation, City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and Patricia Kind Family Foundation. The work of the Fund is facilitated by the Scattergood Foundation.

For more information, please contact Caitlin O’Brien, Director of Learning and Community Impact, at cobrien@scattergoodfoundation.org.

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The Scattergood Foundation believes major disruption is needed to build a stronger, more effective, compassionate, and inclusive health care system – one that improves well-being and quality of life as much as it treats illness and disease. At the Foundation, we THINK, DO, and SUPPORT in order to establish a new paradigm for behavioral health, which values the unique spark and basic dignity in every human.