WASHINGTON, D.C.—New York Life and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities today announced the launch of a new grant program to support children, adults, families, and communities experiencing trauma resulting from natural disaster or community-wide tragedy. The partnership will serve as the first-ever disaster-focused grant for the New York Life Foundation, the charitable arm of the company.
The program, Building Resilience in the Face of Disaster, will fund and administer efforts among nonprofit community-based organizations providing long-term trauma and grief support to those in geographic areas impacted by major weather-related disasters in 20171, including Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma and the California Wildfires as well as some of the deadliest mass shootings that have occurred in the last year and a half2, including Las Vegas, NV, Sutherland Springs, TX, and Parkland, FL. New York Life will work in partnership with the Change in Mind Institute at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to administer the program.
"Unfortunately, a rising number of communities across America are confronting upheaval and grief in the aftermath of tragedy-whether natural or human-made," said Heather Nesle, vice president of corporate responsibility at New York Life and President of the New York Life Foundation. "We see this grant program as a natural extension of our company’s long-term commitment to be there for people when they need us most-including when the unexpected strikes."
"Research has shown that traumatic events, such as hurricanes, floods, or mass gun violence, can harm children's physical and mental health, as well as their sense of safety and security," noted Susan N. Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance. "Building resilience in the face of these disasters using the latest advances in neurosciences and trauma-informed practices, will help promote the overall health and well-being of children, families, and communities."
Types of organizations expected to apply to the program include community centers, affordable housing programs, early childhood education and care programs, youth and family programs, behavioral faith programs, and others within and outside of the Alliance's strategic action network. Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to successfully and effectively implement the grant program and have experience with trauma-informed care and/or grief services and support. Each successful grantee will receive awards of up to $50,000, and a total of $750,000 in support will be awarded. July 13 is the deadline to submit proposals.
"Understandably, typical disaster response efforts focus on meeting immediate needs of affected individuals. But as a result, they may neglect the deeply felt losses that follow from the disaster or trauma—the 'secondary losses'—which are so important to address in order to restore long-term social-emotional health,” said Nesle.
The grant program will be led by Jennifer Jones, director of the Change in Mind Institute, which was launched at the end of 2017. Jones served for the last three years as the director of child and family systems innovation at the Alliance. In this role, she led the Change in Mind initiative, an international learning laboratory of 15 sites focused on infusing, aligning, and accelerating brain science research into social sector agency practice, policy, and systems.
New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life's family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments*** provides institutional asset management. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life's website at www.newyorklife.com for more information.
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is a strategic action network of thousands of committed social sector leaders who through their excellence, distinction, and influence are working to achieve a healthy and equitable society. We aggregate the very best sector knowledge and serve as an incubator for learning and innovation to generate new solutions to the toughest problems. We accelerate change through dynamic leadership development and collective actions to ensure policies and systems provide equal access and opportunity for all people in our nation to reach their fullest potential through improvements in health and well-being, educational success, economic opportunity, and safety and security. Go to alliance1.org for more information.
In January of 2018, the Alliance and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) released a groundbreaking report that offers an important cross-sector call to action to address the challenges facing human services community-based organizations (CBOs), which play a vital role in the human services ecosystem, comprised of the nonprofit sector, government agencies, and the philanthropic sector. A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America was commissioned by the Alliance and APHSA and was conducted and written by Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Capital Partners. The report was supported by a national advisory council whose members came from non-profit human services, government, the private sector, and academia. Funding for the project was provided by The Kresge Foundation and the Ballmer Group, with additional support from the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, Mutual of America, Selective Insurance Company of America, and the US Chamber of Commerce.
The Change in Mind Institute at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities aims to increase the common understanding of the core story of brain development and intensify this knowledge into the social and public sectors. We believe through continuous innovation and alignment of practice and policy with knowledge, research, and evidence on how the brain develops, we will enhance the skills and capacities we all need to be healthy, happy, and contributing citizens. The Change in Mind Institute operates as a hub for disseminating knowledge, provides training and technical assistance on the integration of brain science research, and engages in cross-sector innovation on the transformation of organizations, sectors, and systems as they adapt to the new applications of the science.
* Based on revenue as reported by "Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)," Fortune magazine, 6/12/17. For methodology, please see http://fortune.com/fortune500/
** Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 8/01/17.
*** New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.