Empowering our Communities

The Public Housing Community Fund supports the New York City Housing Authority with programming that uplifts NYCHA 's residents. As Board Chair, Joanne Wilson is revitalizing the board, leveraging support, and extending the impact of programming. The Community Fund invests in programs focused on community health, financial empowerment, leadership development, and workforce training. Examples of programming include the Swim Safety Corps and Green Space Connections.

Watch Joanne and Alex Zablocki talk about the future of the Community Fund

Gotham Gives is a founding funder of this initiative at Medgar Evers College (MEC), part of the CUNY system. MEC is one of the only colleges in the country that has developed curricula to prepare its students and community members for success in cannabis-related careers. Minor degree courses include: Chemistry, Botany & Cultivation, Business & Entrepreneurship, and Health. The program has now been integrated into its regular course offerings.

Gotham Gives is partnering with STRIVE, a career development organization, to deliver Fresh Start so adults leaving incarceration can find lasting careers with real growth opportunities. STRIVE’s holistic training model helps students address employment barriers and offers support for housing, food insecurity, child care, and mental health issues.

Watch podcast with Roy Castro and Joanne

Partnering With:

The Jed Foundation is a leader in supporting and improving mental health in youth. JED combines deep subject matter expertise with local, school- and community-based knowledge. Gotham Gives is partnering with JED for the rapid implementation of a public health initiative to protect the emotional health and well-being of New York City’s high school students. The program is currently being implemented in NYC School District 79.

Read More

Gotham Gives is supporting four of Hospitality Pathways' cohorts to recruit, train and place budtenders in cannabis businesses. The cannabis curriculum provides students with a Green Flower Dispensary Associate Certification and a Sell-SMaRT Responsible Vendor Certification. They also learn about the culture of hospitality, professionalism, time management, and conflict resolution. This program targets populations that do not have ready access to this high level of training, including those living in NYCHA communities.

Investing in Knowledge

In 2015, Fred Wilson launched Computer Science for All (CS4All), a 10-year public/private initiative to bring computer science education to every New York City public school, representing 1.1 million students, with an emphasis on female, black and Latinx students. At the end of last school year, CS4All had trained 2,400 teachers from 900 schools, and more than 220,000 students received instruction in computer science.

Read More

Gotham Gives hosted the NYC Computer Science Opportunity Fair, NYC's largest annual college and career inspiration event for public high school students studying computer science on March 26, 2024. Over 1800 students attended the Fair and engaged with a variety of tech companies, interacted with computer science organizations, and learned about educational opportunities at colleges and universities. In addition to the booths hosted by companies, schools and organizations, there were special zones for Music and Tech, and Web 3 as well as the AI-powered Dream Machine.

Partnering With:

Gotham Gives has invested in this ambitious 4-year project to support the City University of New York (CUNY) integrate computing into teacher preparation programs in all of its education schools. The goal is to prepare future educators to equitably and meaningfully integrate computing and digital literacies into public school classrooms. The program also provides scholarships to in-service teachers to pursue micro-credentials and NYS certification in Computer Science. This initiatives aligns with Gotham Gives' efforts to improve the quality of computer science education in NYC, and ensure that it is available to all students.

In 2020, Gotham Gives piloted a program with Hunter College for CS4All teachers to get state certification in computer science to create a representative pool of NYS Certified teachers who can deliver high-quality instruction to NYC public school students. The graduates of this program were among the first accredited Computer Science teachers in New York State. The work being done by the CITE program (above) expands on this goal.

Read More

Partnering With:

Expanding Cultural Opportunities

The High Line is an innovative public space on the reclaimed elevated rail line on NYC's West Side of Manhattan. It is both a park and an outdoor art gallery that creates a unique experience and unusual perspective that is open to all. As a board member, Joanne Wilson has guided the High Line since its inception, including maintaining a focus on community connections, and continues to champion the organization's expansions.

The Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC) opened in downtown NYC in Fall 2023. Gotham Gives supported both the capital campaign and program development. Its innovative programming features topics about communities of color and works by artists of color as well as numerous commissioned pieces. The PAC idirectly engages with NYC's diverse neighborhoods to encourage involvement and attendance. Free performances are offered in a public space, a front porch for New York City!

Watch Podcast with Bill Rauch

The Shed offers performing arts, visual arts, and pop culture exhibits that push boundaries, and actively seeks work from emerging artists of color. Fred Wilson chairs the Board's Technology Committee and was instrumental in the installation of public multi-media screens that showcase cutting-edge art.