37208 Fund awards more than $60,000 in grants to Nashville residents

Nashville Freedom Schools.jpg
Posted at 9:13 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 08:53:37-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — More money is going to help people living in part of North Nashville.

The 37208 fund has so far distributed $60,500 to people doing extraordinary work in their community.

This privately-funded participatory grant-making model launched in late 2021. It's designed to assist people who live, work, and minister in 37208 by awarding grants to those making a difference in the ZIP code.

It was one of several recommendations of the Special Committee Report from January 2020 spearheaded by Metro Council Member Brandon Taylor. It looked at many challenges those living in the area were facing.

The report found the 37208 ZIP code has the highest percentage of incarceration in the country. The committee looked for ways to support reparations, reentry and preventing incarceration.

This report helped launched the 37208 Fund, which has already helped several people like Ashiya Swan.

"When people do receive that boost or that help or that support, what we're really doing is really helping them to be more of who they are," said Swan, who is the executive director of the Nashville Freedom Schools Partnership. "There are people that live here, and they love this area. They love this community and we're standing on a rich history in North Nashville as well."

Nashville Freedom Schools was developed by the Children’s Defense Fund. Swan said they provide summer academies and after-school programming specially designed for at-risk families of color. Tuition, curriculum, books and meals are free for families.

The nonprofit organization relies on contributions. So when Swan heard about the 37208 Fund, she said she immediately applied.

"The people really see the need when you apply to a grant like this and it makes you feel good when you're rewarded, because that hopefully means that they see us meeting that need," Swan said.

Nashville Freedom Schools was awarded a $10,000 grant, which helps buy more books and fund teaching internships.

"Part of that grant will go to funding books and curriculum for them. We also serve the ninth to 12th grade range in job readiness type program," Swan said. "They are junior interns, so they serve alongside our teaching interns for the summer. So a little bit will go to support them and the training that they received from the Children's Defense Fund, so it'll kind of spread across those three groups."

Corner to Corner, the North Nashville-centered organization dedicated to educational equity, economic equity, and spiritual growth, serves as the fiscal agent.

For more information about the 37208 Fund application, click here.