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

Illustration of lots of individual people


We’re very excited to announce the second cycle of METRO’s Equity in Action grant program! Successful grant applications that include one METRO member institution will receive up to $15,000. Successful grant applications that include a METRO member institution and a partnering institution will be awarded up to $20,000.

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 partnerships between organizations in order to cultivate a mutual knowledge exchange that empowers both parties and creates a pipeline for 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.

Program Options

Please take a look at our Program Information Sheet for a more in depth description of eligibility, requirements, and program schedule.

Option 1: Individual METRO member institution 

  • This option is available to METRO member institutions. The application must include only one member institution. Up to $15,000 in project funding is available for successful applicants.

Option 2: Partnerships: A METRO member institution partners with another institution

  • A METRO member institution will partner with a second institution. Up to $20,000 in funding is available for projects that include two organizations. 

The lead organization applying for funding must be a METRO member. We welcome partnerships with organizations outside the METRO service area, though we will prioritize partnerships with organizations in New York City and Westchester County.


There are two options to choose from for this year’s grant program. To be eligible at least one institution must be a METRO member. Please take a look at our program information sheet for more information about eligibility and application guidelines.

If you’re interested in joining us, find more information about how to become a METRO member and yearly dues here. You can also reach out to Anne Karle-Zenith (annekz@metro.org) to get the membership process started.

Information Sessions and Webinars

Equity in Action Grant: What We’ve Learned So Far
Tuesday, September 21, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

During this webinar, Traci Mark (Program Manager- Equity, Archives and Media Preservation) and Davis Erin Anderson (Assistant Director for Programs and Partnerships) will explore what they learned from the previous grant cycle. This session is meant to answer questions and demystify the process of what happens behind the scenes. We’ll be discussing:

  • What we’re looking for in potential grantees
  • The types of projects we funded last year
  • Lessons learned during the first cycle of Equity in Action

Traci and Davis will also be speaking with former Equity in Action grant recipient Melissa Gasparotto from New York Public Library about their experience working with METRO and applying for the grant. 

Register here

Equity in Action Grant: Information Session
Tuesday, September 28, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This webinar will be facilitated by METRO’s Equity in Action Grant Program Manager Traci Mark. Traci will review the main components of the grant process, including:

  • The program’s information sheet
  • The grant application form
  • The selection rubric used by the program’s advisory council

There will be a Q & A period at the end of the session. Please be sure to review our grant documentation before you arrive and bring any questions you might have about our Equity in Action grant program.

Register here

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) with info@metro.org copied. Here are some project examples to spark ideas: 

  • Web archiving:
    • Beginning or continuing a web archiving project that deals with racialized communities
  • Oral histories:
    • Creating or helping to create an oral history project that collects stories from underrepresented groups
  • Metadata/description: 
    • Re-cataloguing a collection through an anti-racist framework
    • Re-cataloguing a collection that more authentically reflects subjects/individuals representing a marginalized community
  • Digital curation:
    • Building or creating an online exhibit or digital collection that brings forward historical perspectives of racialized people
  • Digitization projects:
    • Beginning or continuing a digitization project focusing on marginalized communities, hidden histories of racialized groups, and/or prominent figures in racial justice work
  • Digital Humanities projects:
    • Creating digital editions, archives, maps, visualizations, and exhibitions related to hidden histories of historically underrepresented people
    • Using digital media to foster a better understanding of current and historical forces related to racialized groups 
    • Creating, using, or analyzing digital tools for research into hidden histories of marginalized communities

How To Apply

You can find our application form here. You will be required to fill out or attach a project proposal, timeline, and budget. For institutions that will be working on site, please plan to include information on how your institution endeavors to keep program participants safe in the event of a return of COVID-19 precautions.

Our deadline for submission is FridayNovember 5th, 2021. Awarded grantees will be notified by FridayJanuary 7th, 2022. 

You can find more information on our program information sheet.

Selection Process

Award grantees will be selected by METRO Program Managers and the Equity in Action Advisory Council. Grantees will be 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 will prioritize holistic projects that involve a community engagement component and/or decision makers and stakeholders of color.


  • Monday, August 30th, 2021: Call for applications
  • Friday, November 5th, 2021: Deadline for submissions
  • Friday, January 7th, 2022: Selected institutions will be notified 
  • Tuesday, February 1st, 2022: Program starts
  • Friday, June 10th, 2022: Progress report and invoice due to METRO
  • Week of October 24th, 2022: Final online presentation
  • Tuesday, November 1st, 2022: Program ends, final reports and invoices due to METRO


Advisory Council Members

Our advisory council will be helping us review grant guidelines and will also assist us with making selections for grants to be funded.

Our advisory council includes:

  • Kate Adler, Director of Library Services at Metropolitan College of New York
  • Meral Agish, Community Coordinator at Queens Memory 
  • Juliyen Davis, Transdisciplinary Design Specialist
  • Emily Drabinski, Interim Chief Librarian at Mina Rees Library, The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Tessa Killian, Executive Director, Southeastern New York Library Resources Council
  • Obden Mondésir, Associate Director of the Barnard Archives
  • Cynthia Tobar, Assistant Professor/Head of Archives at Bronx Community College
  • Sharell Walker, Assistant Professor/Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Borough of Manhattan Community College

METRO Program Managers

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