BRICK Education Network (BEN) will received $2 million from the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) to provide COVID-19 relief in communities of color.

BEN is one of a small number of non-profit organizations in cities across the country chosen by the HCZ to share in a $50 million COVID-19 relief and recovery fund, of which $26 million has been committed through The Audacious Project at TED, which is funded by the Skoll Foundation, Virgin Unite, The Valhalla Charitable Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies among others.

One of six cities across the nation selected, BEN is the only partner organization in the tri-state area and Northeast region. The HCZ provided the initial $2 million with the goal of securing an additional $2 million to further provide COVID-19 related aid.

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“BEN is humbled and honored to be selected by the Harlem’s Children’s Zone,” said Dominique Lee, founder and CEO of BEN. 

“We directly serve over 1,800 students and their families in our schools and indirectly serve over 2,000 kids and families through neighborhood-based programming," Lee said. "The support from HCZ and The Audacious Project will allow us to continue doing the critical Covid relief work Newark’s South Ward residents desperately need now more than ever.”

Harlem Children’s Zone CEO Kwame Owusu-Kesse said the organization was excited to partner with BEN to ensure that communities in Newark are equipped with vital resources and information to tackle COVID.

“BRICK Education Network’s clear vision of unlocking the limitless potential of our young people by removing barriers to success resonates with me given the work we do in Harlem," Owusu-Kesse said "COVID-19 poses one of the greatest threats to communities of color all across the nation."

Also assisting BEN in scaling its efforts are a distinguished group of national partners including the NAACP, StriveTogether, and PolicyLink. Together, they will leverage their collective reputations as community advocates and organizers to raise awareness and identify solutions to the racial disparities magnified during this unprecedented time.