FFL, ChallengeNOLA coalition named finalist in $90 million SPARCC grant competition

Lousiana’s

SPARCC is a three-year, $90 million initiative that challenges the six final cities to create more just outcomes for all residents while focusing on three key areas of need: racial equity, climate resiliency and health. The ChallengeNOLA coalition represented New Orleans as one of 10 cities in the U.S. invited to compete in the first stage of the competition which narrowed the field to eight cities. The final results will be announced in December.

ChallengeNOLA — a coalition of New Orleans nonprofit, municipal, neighborhood, advocacy groups and residents — in partnership with Foundation for Louisiana (FFL), has been named as a finalist for a national grant that could lead to a multi-million dollar award for capital investments and program funding for collaborative initiatives in the New Orleans area.

The grant competition — Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge, or SPARCC — is sponsored by the National Resources Defense Council, Enterprise Community Partners and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Ford Foundation and The Kresge Foundation. SPARCC is a three-year, $90 million initiative that challenges the six final cities to create more just outcomes for all residents while focusing on three key areas of need: racial equity, climate resiliency and health.

“This opportunity reflects the significant work of the community to collaborate on a variety of levels around the issues of equity and justice. I am impressed by the level of commitment by the stakeholders,” said FFL Board Chair Pamela J. Jenkins. “FFL has been honored to provide the context for the community to thrive in this learning environment.”

The ChallengeNOLA coalition represented New Orleans as one of 10 cities in the U.S. invited to compete in the first stage of the competition which narrowed the field to eight cities. The final results will be announced in December.

“This work represents an exciting opportunity for FFL and the ChallengeNOLA table to expand on the work we’ve been doing by increasing collaboration on high-opportunity initiatives,” said Flozell Daniels Jr., FFL’s President and CEO. “By investing in placemaking projects through a racial equity lens that strengthens our culture of health and climate resilience, we expect new opportunities and benefits for communities across the city.”

In its proposal for the SPARCC grant, ChallengeNOLA showed how investment could help create new economic opportunities, better links to transit, reduction of blight and development of affordable housing with a focus on three key development opportunities currently underway in the New Orleans region: the Cultural Innovation District & Marketplace in the Claiborne Corridor, the LaSalle Cultural District in Central City and the Gentilly Resilience District.

“In the new New Orleans, we view equity as a growth strategy that will lead to a stronger, more resilient and more prosperous city for all of our residents,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Today, New Orleans is once again an ascendant city that is growing, innovating and creating the jobs for our future. But it is well-documented that all of our residents do not enjoy the same resources and opportunities because of economic, racial and geographic disparities. This inequity threatens our city’s ability to grow to its full capacity. That is why we have partnered with Foundation for Louisiana to address these challenges. Securing the SPARCC grant could help us to ensure that new investments in transit, infrastructure, climate resilience and health will benefit New Orleanians of all races and incomes.”

ChallengeNOLA is a collaborative table of networks, organizations and individuals including: HousingNOLA, the Network for Economic Opportunity, The Data Center, Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans Department of Health, BreakOUT!, the LGBT Community Center, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, the Mardi Gras Indian Council, Women With A Vision, Greater Tremé Consortium, UNO-CHART, Global Green USA, Enterprise Community Partners, Alliance for Affordable Energy, Center for Community Progress, Blights Out, GNO Water Collaborative, Hub NOLA and Green Coast Enterprises. More organizations have been identified as potential partners.

Watch the video portion of ChallengeNOLA’s grant proposal here.