Hyde Square Task Force Awarded $400,000 Cummings Grant

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Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program.

The organization, based in Boston’s Latin Quarter in Jamaica Plain, was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process. HSTF will receive $400,000 over 10 years.

Hyde Square Task Force’s mission is to amplify the power, creativity, and voices of youth, connecting them to Afro-Latin culture and heritage so they can create a diverse, vibrant Latin Quarter and build a just, equitable Boston. In the coming year, HSTF will reach more than 600 children and youth through its Afro-Latin arts, education, and creative development programming.

Executive Director Celina Miranda shared what the grant means to the organization.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Cummings Foundation for awarding us with 10 years of support! This is a long-term investment in the success and wellbeing of the young people that we work with,” said Miranda.

Hyde Square Task Force will use the funds to support our College Success Program, which provides pre-college support to high school-aged youth, preparatory workshops for rising first-year college students, and ongoing coaching to college students to ensure that they can stay on track to earn a postsecondary degree or credential.

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.”

With the help of about 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

“Our volunteers bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” said Vyriotes. “Through this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide more than half the grants every year.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 45 different cities and towns.

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org. Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

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