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Philadelphia, PA (Jan. 23, 2020)Philadelphia Foundation has announced 50 projects selected for $1,000 “Activate” grants to help transform ideas generated during last year’s On the Table Philly into tangible initiatives that will improve the Greater Philadelphia region.

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The recipients were selected from 87 organizations and individuals who applied following their participation in On the Table Philly conversations on Oct. 17, 2019. On that day, close to 6,000 people gathered around more than 460 tables to discuss what is key to community.

The On the Table Philly initiative has been hosted for the past three years by Philadelphia Foundation with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“We support these conversations and connections because they are how change happens,” said Philadelphia Foundation President & CEO Pedro A. Ramos. “The projects funded through these grants will support a variety of topics – census participation, small ongoing conversations, working with schools on gun violence, helping college students destigmatize mental health challenges – all of which were inspired by On the Table Philly.”

This year’s grants focused in general on civic participation. Twelve projects selected for funding will promote participation in the 2020 census.

“Being heard matters,” Ramos noted. “The census will direct the allocation of resources for job creation, housing, public safety and more. All these topics surfaced during On the Table Philly gatherings. The census grants ensure a deeper and broader voice from the region on behalf of the region.”

The census-related projects that were selected are:

  •  ACHIEVability – A “Building Blocks” peer mentoring network will train block captains about the census and provide materials so there can be an accurate and complete count in their neighborhoods.
  • Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture – The organization will partner with Moffet School and Kensington residents to organize community gatherings where information about the importance of the census will be shared with those among significantly under-reported populations.
  • COSACOSA Art At Large – Town halls will be hosted to reach out to veterans and other community residents at which census representatives will share its impact on social, cultural, political and economic issues.
  • Fairhill Neighbors – Promotion of the census will take place through one-on-one conversations, a social media campaign and a “Census Outreach Day” that will include using a drumline and loudspeakers to draw attention to participation.
  • Global Citizen – “Commit boxes” built during the 25th Greater Philadelphia MLK Day of Service will be used to gather “commit cards” from those promising to vote or to participate in the census. The cards will later be mailed back as reminders of the pledge.
  • Lancaster Ave. Business Association CDC – Workshops, door hangers, social media blitzes, contests and materials warning seniors of potential census scams will encourage West Philadelphia to be well represented in the count.
  • An On the Table Philly participant will host a series of lunch and learns about both the census and the possibility of a neighborhood town watch.
  • MAP Holistic CDC – A senior group will devote one of its monthly chat and chews to Philly Counts, and follow up with additional conversations on health, intergenerational connections, and nutritious snacks for students.
  • Philadelphia Freedom Schools Inc. – High school students involved in the Junior Servant Leader program will educate community members at their March gathering about ways to be a 2020 Census partner.
  • Providence Center – Teen Youth Advocates will conduct outreach about the census throughout the Fairhill neighborhood.
  • Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission – A Saturday Census Block Party in April will offer residents the opportunity to use the learning center to complete the census online, with volunteer help available for those using the paper form.
  • Thompson Mediaman Communications – Through partnerships with community organizations, including the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists and Philly Counts, the African-American community will be encouraged to participate in the census through radio broadcasts and community events.

Click here to read the full Philadelphia Foundation announcement via

About Philadelphia Foundation
Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. It invests in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Its goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which it believes are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

About On the Table
Philadelphia Foundation is one of 11 community foundations across the U.S. participating in On the Table in 2019. The conversations are part of a national initiative funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. On the Table replicates an annual civic engagement initiative of the same name developed by The Chicago Community Trust in 2014. Support for On the Table advances Knight Foundation’s work to help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of civic engagement. Knight Foundation believes that successful communities are equitable, inclusive and participatory.

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