Our Equity in Action Grant program funds digital projects that focus on anti-racist practices and marginalized communities.

Illustration of lots of individual people

2023-2024 Grant Recipients

We’re very excited to announce the recipients for the 2023-2024 cycle of METRO’s Equity in Action grant program! 

  • Barnard College, Afro-Argentine Diaspora Oral History Project: 

    The Afro-Argentine Diaspora oral history project is designed to uncover the history of the Afro-Argentine diaspora community in Argentina and NYC. A common narrative promoted within Argentina and globally is that there are no Black people in Argentina. This narrative of erasure around the African roots of many elements of Argentine culture, including cuisine, music, dance, language, and lineage was historically reinforced through the education system, media, and official public history institutions. The Afro-Argentine Diaspora oral history project is led by Tatiana Bryant, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Research Services at Barnard College and Julia Cohen Ribeiro, an Argentine and Brazilian Afro-descendant Jewish Queer independent historian and filmmaker based in Buenos Aires. The Afro-Argentine Diaspora oral history project team is dedicated to documenting this vital history. If you’d like to contribute or have questions, etc, contact tbryant@barnard.edu.

  • Brooklyn Public Library, Borrowed and Banned Podcast Series: 

    Brooklyn Public Library seeks to create a podcast series entitled Borrowed & Banned that tells the story of America’s ideological war with its bookshelves. This important narrative will be told in the voices of teachers and librarians whose livelihoods are endangered when they speak up, the writers whose work has become a political battleground, and the young people caught in the middle.

    In this seven-episode podcast series, BPL will look at the past and the present of censorship in America, beginning with the Library’s impact on one school district in Oklahoma and a teacher’s protest that captured the nation’s attention. We will hear from the young activists who are making a difference in their communities, and share accurate, up-to-date information about the role of school boards and local government in advocating for or obstructing intellectual freedom.

    One episode of the podcast series Borrowed & Banned will be released each week, starting with Banned Books Week 2023 (October 1 – 7) and ending in late November. In addition to telling compelling stories about the freedom to read, each episode will end with a call to action, such as voting in local elections and supporting librarians and teachers. We hope the series will motivate listeners to take a stand against censorship and work toward a more democratic future for their communities, and our nation as a whole.

Program Mission & Grant Themes

The METRO Equity in Action Grant program aims to support member institutions by providing funding that assists with new and ongoing efforts to preserve our cultural history. We endeavor to fund digital projects that focus on anti-racist practices and marginalized communities. Rooted in community and collaboration, this program encourages meaningful initiatives which cultivate knowledge exchange, and a pipeline for discovery and access.

The METRO Equity in Action Grant program aims to support METRO member institutions by providing financial support to new or developing digital projects. We will prioritize holistic projects that involve a community engagement component and/or decision makers and stakeholders of color. Each project must address at least one of the following topics and themes:

  • Physical or digital collections that are social-movement based
  • Uncovering histories of racialized communities or histories of individuals who have experienced marginalization
  • Approaching digital collections work with an intersectional, anti-racist lens
  • Encouraging diversity and different perspectives in the field

We seek to support the labor performed by workers within the New York City and Westchester area.

Selection Process & Eligibility

Award grantees are selected by METRO Program Managers and the Equity in Action Advisory Council. Grantees are chosen by the strength of projects and how they relate to the themes mentioned above.

Project funding is intended to be used for goods and services directly related to the project activities and efforts of member institutions. We prioritize holistic projects that involve a community engagement component and/or decision makers and stakeholders of color.

To be eligible an institution must be a METRO member.

Please take a look at our program information sheet for more information about eligibility and application guidelines.

Project Examples

We are willing to accept projects that are new or those that are in process. We encourage applicants to be creative about their institutional needs. If there are any questions about project proposals, please contact Traci Mark (tmark@metro.org) and Allison Sherrick (alund@metro.org) with info@metro.org copied. Learn more about past grant recipients and their projects here, and see some project examples to spark ideas here.

Program Schedule

  • Monday, April 10th, 2023: Call for applications
  • Wednesday, May 10th, 2023: Information Session (link below)
  • Friday, June 9th, 2023: Deadline for submissions
  • Week of July 24th, 2023: All grant applicants are notified of their status
  • Monday, August 14th, 2023: Program starts
  • January 19th, 2024: Progress report and invoice due to METRO
  • Late May 2024: (Date TBD): Final online presentation 
  • Friday, June 7th, 2024: Program ends, final reports and invoices due to METRO

Advisory Council Members

An advisory council will work on the grants awarded in the 2023-2024 cycle to help us review grant guidelines and assisted us with making selections for grants to be funded.

  • Sarah Ann Adams - Metadata Specialist III at New York Public Library
  • Barrye Brown - Associate Curator of the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center, New York Public Library
  • Christine Calvo - Project Archivist at Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
  • Sumitra Duncan - Head of the Web Archiving Program at The Frick Collection 
  • Logan Heiman - Program Associate for the Higher Learning Program at the Mellon Foundation
  • Rakisha Kearns-White - Young Adult Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library
  • Chris Nicols - Film and Audiovisual Archivist at the New York City Municipal Archives
  • Alyssa Willis - Metadata Librarian at Hamilton College

METRO Program Managers

Please feel free to reach out to any of us if you have any questions or concerns.