African American News


February 22, 2022 | Vision Newspaper |

Funds will underwrite the nonprofit’s efforts to amplify content by Black filmmakers on environmental justice and climate change

BPM Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz

NEW YORK — The New York Community Trust (NYCT) has awarded $223,000 to Black Public Media (BPM) to help Black documentary filmmakers create films about climate change and environmental justice. The Trust, a grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City and its suburbs, recently announced the funding, which will allow BPM to support creatives documenting how Black communities are impacted by and combating the effects of environmental crises taking place across the globe.

BPM is a Harlem-based national media arts nonprofit dedicated to creating and producing media content about the Black experience. With the NYCT trust funding, BPM will provide grants, networking, technical assistance, and promotional support to Black independent, emerging, and mid-career directors whose projects explore how issues like industrial pollution and natural disasters affect Black communities.

“Black neighborhoods across the nation often bear the brunt of environmental decisions made by powerful people and are rocked by the resulting devastation, yet Black voices are rarely a part of the conversation,” said Leslie Fields-Cruz, BPM executive director. “With the assistance of the New York Community Trust, we will now be able to center the stories of those most affected and we are very thankful for their support.”

“While documentaries sometimes tell the stories of the effects of climate change and other environmental threats on Black people, it is rare that Black filmmakers have the resources and other supports necessary to tell those stories,” said Salem Tsegaye, New York Community Trust program officer for arts and culture. “We’re pleased to help Black Public Media cultivate environmental filmmaking from Black perspectives.”

BPM will announce a request for project proposals at a later date.

For more information on the New York Community Trust, visit it on or follow it @NYCommunityTrust on Facebook or Twitter. For more information on Black Public Media, visit, or follow it @BlackPublicMedia on Facebook and Instagram and at @BLKPublicMedia on Twitter.

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