Announcing the Launch of a New Initiative
With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Smart Growth America in collaboration with Equitable Cities, the New Urban Mobility Alliance, and America Walks launches this week the Community Connectors Program, a new initiative that supports and funds leaders in small and mid-sized communities—in and out of government—to repair the damage of divisive infrastructure. Grants are available for 15 teams from cities and towns across America to join together in a learning exchange and advance projects that reconnect communities separated or harmed by transportation infrastructure.
Removing divisive infrastructure is largely uncharted territory in the United States, but the need to fix the damage it has caused is imperative. Transportation infrastructure like dividing highways and dangerous arterial roads often separates and harms the communities living around them. This is particularly true for Black and brown communities, who are more likely to live near large roads and face the environmental, economic, and social harms they cause.
The Community Connectors Program aims to build local capacity to co-design projects with the most impacted communities so they directly benefit from new transportation infrastructure investments that repair damage. The lack of a roadmap for this type of work makes it difficult to easily replicate prior successes. The Community Connectors Program links local leaders to experts and other cities attempting to accomplish similar objectives in reconnecting communities.
The Community Connectors call for grant applications open on May 22 and are due before July 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m ET. Full application and eligibility details are available at Community Connectors Grant Application.
Want to learn more?
Join us at a webinar on June 6, 2023 at 2:00 pm ET to learn more about this technical assistance, capacity building, and grantmaking program and how your community can apply.
Who should be interested?
- Non-profit community based organizations, government agencies (including US territories), and tribes working to reconnect communities in jurisdictions with a population between ~50,000 and 500,000.
- The Community Connectors Program is intended to support low-income and/or disadvantaged communities where applying for federal funding or steering their state toward smarter and more equitable investments is challenging.
- The Community Connectors Program is seeking a diverse range of project types beyond highway removal or repair, including projects to make existing dangerous arterial roads safer, improve access to transit, and address accessibility barriers, among others.
Webinar participants should leave the webinar with increased understanding of the following:
- The objectives and aims of the Community Connectors Program and how they relate to existing state and federal transportation funding opportunities.
- Eligible activities for the Community Connectors Program’s capacity building and technical assistance grants.
- The types of projects and applicants eligible for the Community Connectors Program.
- The structure, application process, and key dates for the Community Connectors Program.
Watch Our Previous Webinar
Like all of our webinars, this will be recorded and available after the fact. But you’ll want to join us in real-time if you can for the opportunity to ask questions of our guests and live-tweet along with us. You’ll also receive ample resources and additional materials if you RSVP.