The Innovation Fund announces three City grantees from the Spring 2023 cycle

The logos of the Youth Care Team and The OVA are pictured in a composition image. The Youth Care Team logo is yellow, green and blue and The OVA logo is purple and black.

The Innovation Fund has awarded three City projects with funding for its Spring 2023 cycle, including two projects run by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health: Youth Care Team and The OVA. The Innovation Fund is an internal City grant opportunity funded by the Philadelphia City Fund and managed by the Innovation Management Team in the City’s Office of Innovation & Technology. The Innovation Fund hosts two grant cycles per year and exists to help launch pilot initiatives that have the potential to improve the services and functions of municipal government.

Each cycle, a competitive application process takes place, and final funding decisions are made by the Philadelphia City Fund’s Board of Directors. The Innovation Fund had a total of $50,000 to award for this cycle.

About the projects

Youth Care Team, Maternal, Child, and Family Health Division, Department of Public Health: “Sexual Health Education Materials” ($14,250)

The Youth Care Team (YCT) will create sexual health education materials that are racially diverse and trans-affirming, and disseminate to city health centers, local healthcare organizations, local youth-serving organizations, and the school district’s Student Health Services at no cost to them. YCT intends to hire a local artist who holds one or more of the target identities (LGBTQ+, Black, person of color, youth/young adult) to create detailed anatomy illustrations of non-white bodies that use trans-inclusive language, as well as other digital illustrations of bodies and body parts that represent the diversity of youth in Philadelphia. The YCT’s youth-led coalition, Revolution4Youth, has continued to report a glaring lack of representation of black and brown bodies and trans bodies in sexual health education materials, and this project will help make racially diverse and trans-affirming sexual health education materials available and accessible to youth and providers in Philadelphia.

OVA Implementation Team, Maternal, Child, and Family Health Division, Department of Public Health: “OVA Community Investment Mini Grants” ($20,000)

Organized Voices for Action (OVA) is a multi-sector action team that includes representatives from the City’s Department of Public Health, MCFH Division. The goal of the OVA is to implement and support innovative citywide interventions that specifically address the leading contributors to maternal mortality in Philadelphia, as identified Philadelphia’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee. This project will launch a mini-grant program to support community-based organizations (CBOs) led by individuals who tap into their skills, passion, and often shared lived experience to work with families and tackle issues around the Black maternal health crisis. These small-scale grants ($1,000 – $2,500) will help Black-led and Black-serving CBOs to cover business expenses, such as conference fees; training and certification; and services geared towards strategic planning and professional and organizational development. These grants aim to fill a funding gap that CBOs currently experience, which may help them to grow their capacity, address pressing maternal health needs, and provide support for their organization’s sustainability.

Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities: “Sensory Inclusion Project” ($15,750)

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, in partnership with KultureCity, will lead Philadelphia to become the first certified Sensory Inclusive City in the world. The KultureCity® Sensory Inclusive™ Certification Program has made significant progress on an international scale towards equitable engagement for individuals with sensory needs. This project will be the first municipal effort to train an entire city workforce and certify Philadelphia as the first certified Sensory Inclusive City, along with supplying mobile sensory inclusive spaces and tools that City departments can use for events and meetings upon request.

Learn more about the Innovation Fund.

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