Allegany Insider
Organizational Updates
Trinity Health Statement on Racism
Allegany Franciscan Ministries is proud to be a part of Trinity Health, one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health recently issued a statement declaring systemic racism is a public health crisis. The statement acknowledges racism in the health care delivery and financing system and results in health inequities for people of color. Trinity Health has committed to eliminating systemic racism through:

  • advocating for racial justice
  • ensuring equitable compensation and talent management processes
  • reinforcing culture of inclusion
  • diversifying suppliers.

Board News
From left to right: Emery Ivery, Katrina Wright and Laura Plotner
Allegany Franciscan Ministries' Board of Directors recently participated in a three-day, virtual retreat and planning session. The first two days were facilitated by consultant Gregory Nielsen ( The Allegany board and staff team learned about roles and responsibilities and best practices in governance. After reviewing expectations and practices of high functioning boards, board members completed a self-assessment and reviewed results together. We were pleased but not surprised that Allegany’s board is healthy and deeply engaged. Later, the board and staff team worked on developing a new vision statement for Allegany Franciscan Ministries, aligning with our mission to serve together in the spirit of the Gospel as a compassionate and transforming healing presence within our communities, and our values of Integrity, Justice, Stewardship, Safety, Reverence, and Commitment to Those Who are Poor. To continue its learning and leadership, the board will join staff and volunteer committee members in December for workshops on “Systemic Racism and Our Equity Work”.
In addition, Board leadership for 2021 was recently approved. We are pleased to announce Emery Ivery will continue to serve as the Chairperson, Katrina Wright will serve as the Vice Chair and Laura Plotner as Secretary. 
Staff News
Allegany Franciscan Ministries' staff continue as a distributed workforce through at least June 30, 2021. We are blessed with how well our staff team is managing responsibilities and coping with all the challenges during the pandemic. The staff team is committed to ensuring our grant partners have the support they need, as well as providing encouragement and support to each other. Weekly Zoom meetings have been our visual and emotional connection with one another, supporting our healthy organizational culture.
Brittney Frazier Selected for 2021 Connecting Leaders Fellowship
We are thrilled to share the news that Brittney Frazier, Allegany's Public Health Program Specialist, has been named a 2021 Connecting Leaders Fellow with ABFE, a Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities. The fellowship is a year-long experience designed to sharpen the skills and strengthen the leadership capacity of foundation staff, donors, and trustees who are committed to assisting Black committees through philanthropy.

Fellows are a critical link to ensuring an equitable distribution of resources are funneled towards anti-Black racism and are a part of the required change to make grantmaking more equitable. Learn more about the Connecting Leaders Fellowship here.
Common Good Initiative
The Fellowship for the Common Good Celebrates Its Third Cohort
By Lauren Siegel and Lucas Diaz

Perseverance, strength, and resilience are all concepts that have been redefined in 2020. The third Fellowship for the Common Good cohort has wholeheartedly and bravely shown us all three characteristics this year. In the midst of shifting to a virtual format and cancelling fellowship travel plans, fellows faced the losses of loved ones and devastating community hardships close to home. Despite these overwhelming troubles, the fellows leveraged their leadership lessons in stride and faced the world head-on, making positive change in their communities and families. Week after week, they lifted each other up through the challenges and sadness. Over the past seven months, fellows showed up for their communities, for each other, and for themselves, powered by hope, love, and trust in silver linings.

After seven months of virtual capacity building sessions and coaching, it was time for one such silver lining. Allegany Franciscan Ministries hosted a celebratory (virtual) graduation ceremony for fellows, their friends, families, leadership coaches, and biggest fans to celebrate the dedication and accomplishments of the third Fellowship cohort.
Lincoln Park
The Protecting the Village Campaign was launched in Lincoln Park this fall by TCoast Studios. The purpose is to share free, local community resources with residents, business leaders, churches and faith-based organizations. Key components include: support for small businesses, relationship-building with faith community leaders, creation of communication platforms (i.e. radio show, newsletter and website), collaboration with Souls to the Polls, and initiation of a face mask challenge. Protecting the Village has an office on Avenue D where businesses and nonprofits can access training on grant readiness as well as Zoom technology. The Campaign has supported public health by distributing over 300 masks and bottles of hand sanitizer to faith communities and 1000 masks to Souls to the Polls for voting events. There are numerous ways to get information and connect to Protecting the Village. Visit Links to the multiple social media channels can be found on this web page.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a long-lasting impact on all community partners, including schools. Like most schools nationwide, Miami-Dade School District began the year with virtual learning only, which presented immediate barriers for families in Overtown. In preparation, our partners began to identify families who lacked adequate technology and equipment, such as computers, reliable Wi-Fi connections, and/or quiet spaces in their homes. They also encountered families with parents who had to return to their jobs or risk being unemployed, who could not afford childcare or a safe place for their school-aged children to participate in virtual class. To address these needs, the Overtown Council for the Common Good agreed to support "learning pods" in strategic locations. These educational pods have transformed vacant spaces in community-based organizations to create supportive and supervised learning environments, with a student teacher ratio recommended by the CDC, no more than one adult to every ten youth. In addition, all learning pods provide the necessary sanitary procedures and personal protective equipment to keep children and staff healthy and safe. The Common Good Initiative has provided critical funding to Lotus House (an Overtown-based housing facility for homeless families) and YWCA. Both organizations have coordinated trained educational support staff and the necessary technology and space to collectively support as many as 100 children, from kindergarten to high school, in online learning. By offering these alternative learning environments, parents can work to sustain their families and children, while knowing that their children are safely engaged in educational courses.

In late August, a new and improved Wimauma Boys & Girls Club at Bethune Park opened. The expansion added 3,000 square feet to the existing building which will allow the club to serve more youth. The new building will also house a Hillsborough County Sheriff Substation which will allow opportunities for youth and the police to engage together in positive ways. The Wimauma Club offers a computer lab, teen room and serving area and is open for after school for students attending both brick and mortar schools as well as eLearning students. After-school programs include a meal program, academic enrichment and homework assistance, mentoring, anti-bullying and cyber safety, fitness programs, arts and crafts, photography and teen programs.
Review priorities, strategies and investments for each Common Good Initiative community by clicking on the community links:
Grant Programs
Voter Outreach
Guided by our values of Reverence, Stewardship, Integrity, Justice, and Commitment to those who are Poor, Allegany Franciscan Ministries supports Voter Registration, Voter Education, and Get Out The Vote efforts. In the 12 months leading up to the November 2020 elections, Allegany awarded $148,000 in grants to 12 organizations that reached out to specific communities and populations in Florida, particularly focusing on low-propensity voters and those individuals who may feel their voice has not been heard. View list of funded partners.
Tau Grants
Allegany Franciscan Ministries’ FY21 Tau Grants for Cycle 1 recently closed. This cycle, 116 applications were submitted and 18 organizations were awarded funding supporting communities in all three regions. Funds will be used for capacity building efforts for organizations or programs that align with our mission and address at least one of the social determinants of health. Priority was given to organizations or programs with a need for Technology Equipment and/or Software and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training/Social Justice Training

Addressing social determinants of health is important for reducing longstanding disparities in health and health care and achieving equitable health outcomes for marginalized groups. Health inequities often stem from structural racism or the historical disenfranchisement and discrimination of particularly marginalized groups, including racial and ethnic minorities, low-income populations, and members of the LGBTQ community. These groups have historically been barred from obtaining resources that are needed to be healthy, and are disproportionately exposed to a combination of health risks.

Applications for Cycle 2 will be available in January 2021.  
ACOR Grants
ACOR Grants support local community projects and provide operating support to nonprofit organizations that extend the vision of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. A direct affiliation with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, Franciscan Sisters of Allegany Associates or Trinity Health is required.

We had an increased interest in our ACOR Grant Program this fall. A total of 22 eligible applications will be reviewed by our ACOR Grant Committee in early November. Applications came from eight states and four countries where Franciscan Sisters of Allegany have ministries. Grant decisions will be announced by mid-November.

A spring ACOR Grant cycle will be offered with a deadline of April 1, 2021.
FY21 Update:
$1.3M approved for Tau & St. Clare Grants
COVID-19 Resources
Free Meals for Children 18 and Under
The United States Department of Agriculture recently extended funding to all districts across the nation through the 2020-2021 school year to ensure students receive meals during the pandemic at no cost to families or the school district. All children 18 and under are eligible. Students attending brick and mortar school will receive meals at school. Students enrolled in e-learning can pick up meals at designated school sites. Contact your local school district to find the locations of grab-and go meal sites.
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