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Two Brooklyn Nonprofits Receive $250K to Address Wealth Divide

The Laundromat Project and COOP Careers will each be awarded a grant to support their respective initiatives from MetLife Foundation.
The Laundromat Project. Photo: Provided/Laundromat Project.

Two Brooklyn-based nonprofits have been selected as recipients of MetLife Foundation’s Accelerating Commitment to Equity Innovation Fund.

The Laundromat Project, an arts organization that aims to develop Brooklyn artists and neighbors as agents of change in their own communities, and COOP Careers, an organization that helps New Yorkers overcome underemployment through digital skills and peer connections, were picked for the funding initiative, which will award each nonprofit with a $250,000 grant.

MetLife Foundation says that the purpose of the ACE Innovation Fund is to support nonprofits across the U.S. with addressing income and wealth inequality in their respective communities.

The Laundromat Project and COOP Careers were chosen for the program based on their proposals, which had to center on one of the focus areas of the ACE Innovation Fund — such as financial security, small business growth and job creation, narrative change, affordable housing and community revitalization, among others.

According to a release, The Laundromat Project will use its grant funding to “accelerate programs that build stronger community connections, promote cultural preservation, and facilitate generational wealth building for longtime residents of Brooklyn.”

COOP Careers will utilize its grant money to create a social capital-building program at Brooklyn College, which will reportedly “match cohorts of underemployed college graduates with alumni coaches for support in building professional skills and networks.”

“We are living in a dynamic environment that requires us to address the most pressing issues of today head-on while advancing our work for the future,” said Tia Hodges, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. 

"Our vision for the ACE Innovation Fund is to address the growing income and wealth divide and instill confidence for the future by investing in the visionary, bold, and forward-looking solutions of today’s leaders and nonprofits.”

Along with the initial grants, the Brooklyn nonprofits will also take part in a cohort that will measure the impacts and outcomes of their respective endeavors, with an opportunity to receive up to $150,000 in follow-on funding, according to MetLife Foundation.