December 2020 – FAB Meeting #32

FAB Meeting #32 12/11/2020


  • UB Backbone Staff (Kassa Belay, Athenia Rodney, David Harrington, Danielle Augustine, Dionne Grayman, Briona Clark)

  • 20 FAB Members


  • General Updates

  • Introduction to EY Anti-racism Task-Force, potential partnership with FAB on Small Business Grant

  • 2nd FAB Fellowship – job description and candidate selection


  • Athenia began this month’s meeting with Fight the Power: Remix 2020 and a year-end review of 2020

    • January

      •  Learning Landscapes launch

    • February

      • Trump’s acquittal and the first death by covid in the USA

    • March

      • Athenia becomes the first FAB Fellow, the Covid resource guide, everything moves online, and kids are helping at home

    • April

      •  school lunch at home, Cuomo and Deblasio debate school opening, balancing work and homeschooling becomes increasingly difficult, and super parent burn-out kicks in

    • May

      • the first Verzuz battle, the FAB supports Racs, we discuss support circles and self-care, and kids get creative at home

    • June

      •  Bike season, Corona Care contest was started by UB, protests against anti-black racism, visit from borough president Eric Adams, and graduations

    • July

      • Virtual dinner potluck and birthdays

    • August

      • Young prince turns 5, Ruth takes her daughter to college, and the last session at Racs

    • September

      • Back to school

    • October

      • Presidential election debates, the census ends, and quarantine halloween

    • November

      • Election day, FAB members start a business, We Run Brownsville, 4 weeks of food delivery, EI Ambassador interviews

    • December

      • Robin Hood Heroes is announced and gives a new narrative, holiday book drive, celebrating Brownsville Heroes

News and Updates

  • This month’s PAT Meeting: December 2020 Review

    • We shared updates about completed and ongoing projects

      • Family Co-op and Food Home Delivery

    • Early Intervention Ambassador prep

      • Informational Interviews have begun being planned with the PAT

    • Pandemic recovery in Brownsville

      • Looking back for lessons learned

      • Recovery recommendations for the Leadership Council

  • FAB Participatory Budgeting: Home delivery

    • Project concept proposed by FAB member David Alexis and approved by FAB and UB backbone to provide home delivery of goods and food to Brownsville area residents

      • 4 days of successful home deliveries over 4 weeks of PPE and food

      • Total 1,680 boxes received from Red Rabbit, 420 per week

      • Less than 5% of residents did not get their boxes because of missed deliveries

    • There is still a huge need in the community and we are seeking out other partnerships to see if they can continue deliveries

    • UB is looking into surveying this group of families for how we might be able to support them in the future

  • Family Co-op: Session 2 began December 5th!

    • 30 families have registered for Session 2, including 10 new families. 16 families are on our waiting list

    • Each session is 8 weeks, Session 2 is ending on February 13th

      • Session 3: February 27 – April 24

      • Session 4: May 1 – June 19

    • Registration for Session 3 will open in mid-January

  • FAB Stipends – $

    • Payments for activities from Nov 13 – Dec 11

      • Will not include anything next week

    • A link to review our records will be sent via WhatsApp and an email following this meeting. Please check our records for your participation linked here:

    • Please let the Backbone staff know about any changes by Tuesday, December 14th

Backbone Updates

  • Athenia Rodney as Community Engagement Associate: was invited for an interview with BK Reader

  • EI Ambassador position offer: Aileen Gonzalez

    • This position was offered as Part time with a transition to Full time

  • Interim meetings next week

    • Learning Landscapes II: Monday, December 14th from 12:30 -1:30pm

    • EY/Small Business Grant: Thursday, December 17th from 3 – 4:30pm

  • Date Change: The next FAB meeting will be on Friday, January 15th

  • Learning Landscapes 2

    • This project creates activity cards for kids that can be easily placed throughout the home or taken on-the-go

    • MarliBoxes can be paired with activities

    • UB held a roundtable with 13 FAB members on Wed. , 9/2. The next roundtable will be on Monday, December 14th 12:30 – 1:30pm

    • We will invite PAT members to be “Trusted Messengers”

    • UB is partnering with the Brooklyn Public Library to fuse our curriculum with their CTLE course

Discussion Topics

Participatory Planning Project II: Covid relief small business support

  • UB Participatory Budgeting Project II Review

    • Small Business Support: Sirius Offer

      • UB was approached by the Sirus Fund for a project that would offer $50,000 targeted at providing relief to business(es) that:

  1. The FAB identifies as vital to the community

  2. Whose continued existence is threatened by the economic dislocations caused by COVID-19

  3. For which there is a will and path to survival

  • An additional $5,000 was offered for FAB Professional Development/Technical Assistance

  • UB Stipulations

  1. Require that the selected business(es) have a focus on serving families with young children, thus aligning with UB’s early childhood mission

  2. Require that the selected business fully participate in projects designed to coach small businesses for success

  • Next Steps

    • Planning with EY team for business coaching with FAB + Grantee(s)

  • Intro to EY Anti-Racism Task Force

    • UB was joined  this meeting by members of EY’s consulting team, including supporters of our home food delivery project, so that the FAB can decide if EY should be brought on to assist the FAB with the Small Business Support Project.

    • About EY

      • EY is a professional services firm with almost 300,000 professionals across Assurance, Consulting, Strategy and Transactions, and Tax with a focus on finance consulting.

    • EY’s commitment to racial equity

      • EY is committed to standing together against racism through action to drive change in society, including on policy matters and with our vendors and clients

      • Black leadership within EY has developed a plan to respond to and invest in communities resulting in a commitment from the entire firm and the following  firm-wide initiatives

        • Expanding EY Entrepreneurs Access Network that connects Black and Latinx entrepreneurs to peers, sponsors, capital, and customers.

        • Investing $3 million in organizations committed to fighting social injustices, including inappropriate use of force in law enforcement, incarceration of Black males, healthcare disparities and economic inequalities in the Black community

        • Contributing a total of $4 million collectively to four Historically Back Colleges and Universities to help increase the number of Black and African American people in professional services

      • EY’s Consulting Anti-racism Task Force

        • A group of EY employees who volunteer with nonprofits that focus on mentoring students such as iMentor, College MAP, and NFTE

        • Provides pro-bono services with non-profits such as United for Brownsville

        • Fundraise for nonprofits that focus on providing immediate COVID relief to vulnerable communities

  • EY’s and UB’s Previous Partnership: UB Home Delivery Project

  • EY served as an advisor on the recent Food and PPE Delivery Project

    • Created and refine a multi-layered process map

    • Identified challenges and contingency plans

    • Gathered and finalized customer information (address, phone number, etc.) providing a final customer list each week

    • Evaluated different text message communications and created an instruction manual for drivers

    • Measured satisfaction by creating and distributing a satisfaction survey and creating a dashboard to visualize results from the satisfaction survey

  • EY/UB expectations for new partnership

    • Workshop Expectations

      • Objective: EY is to guide the FAB in discussing the essential components of Phase 1 of the Small Business Relief Project, consisting of creating a grant, marketing the opportunity, and selecting a recipient

      • Topics of Discussion:

        • Goals and expectations

        • Grant application process and structure

        • Criteria & selection

        • Marketing strategy

        • Tools & technology

        • Project Management: Timeline, Roles and Responsibility (Backbone, EY, FAB and potential partnership with other organizations)

      • Output: The Backbone team, FAB, and EY fully understand the goals, needs, and constraints of Phase 1 Small Business Relief Project in order to create the following:

        • A project plan that includes a timeline and roles & responsibilities

        • A structure for the grant application process

        • Grant application

        • A selection criteria

    • Feedback and Questions for EY

      • The backbone staff noted that EY was a very useful partner in supporting the delivery project

      • David A. emphasized the importance of the collective impact model and thought that the workshop was a good way to incorporate the FAB into the drafting process

      • Georgina asked what the ethnic makeup is of the EY team

      • Markques, Senior Manager at EY: EY is working on internal processes to develop the junior team of color to increase the diversity of the senior leadership team, which is not very diverse, but the company as a whole is somewhat racially diverse

    • Georgina asks if the team has experience working in majority Black and brown neighborhoods

      • Markques, Senior Manager at EY – shared that he comes from a community with a similar racial makeup to Brownville and another senior manager at EY is the founder of the Bronx Community Foundation which created a million dollar grant process for local businesses

  • Debrief from EY Anti-racism Task Force

    • Initial Impressions

      • The backbone staff had a positive experience and shared that EY was a very useful partner in supporting the delivery project but acknowlwedges that there is room for growth in the EY team for UB to inform the anti-racist policies of EY and other international consulting firms

      • Partnering with EY also adds value to UB in the eyes of new funders

      • UB and EY have a dual opportunity to learn from each other where EY provides financial and operational consulting and the FAB provides the community and cultural expertise necessary to tailor this project to Brownsville

      • FAB members could also benefit from the small business coaching aspect of the partnership

    • Questions for general partnership with EY

      • What is the EY team members’ community involvement outside of work?

      • What are they curious specifically about Brownsville?

      • Will EY be involved with other UB projects such as Learning Landscapes and the Family Co-op? What level of participation or contribution can UB expect from EY in the future?

      • What is the track record of EY’s Anti-racism task force in Brownsville and in general?

      • Over what period of time is EY’s $3 million investment into social justice organizations and $4 million contribution to HBCUs?

    • Questions/Suggestions for next week’s Interim Meeting with EY

      • FAB members could participate in small business coaching

    • Decision: Should we continue with EY?

      • A poll was launched asking if UB should continue with the EY partnership

      • The result was a unanimous yes

FAB Fellow #2

  • FAB Fellowship Application

    • Submit your responses to the questions via email to [email protected] with the subject line “FAB Fellowship Application” no later than Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

  • UB hopes to choose the next FAB fellow in January

Next Steps

  • Review December FAB attendance here:

  • Upcoming FAB meeting

    • 2nd Learning Landscapes II roundtable – materials review ($)

      • 12/14 from 12:30 – 1:30pm

    • FAB/ EY Intros & Business Selection Criteria review and development ($)

      • 12/17 from 3 – 4:30pm

  • Submit Applications!

End of Year Reflection

  • What are your hopes for 2021? Both personal and for your colleagues on the FAB or for UB?

    • Continued togetherness

    • No more Covid


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