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In This Issue
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Grassroots organizations, strong at their core, are vital to our communities.  Creating and growing these sustainable community organizations is our top priority at The Lenny Zakim Fund, and your partnership in this effort plays a vital role.  LZF financial grants are the necessary first step in the process, providing LZF the opportunity to inspire, enable, and offer our community grassroots organizations the tools and training they need to ensure their success.


In this issue we recognize the value that LZF Institutes, seminars, pro bono legal assistance, and coaching provides to our grantee community.  We take inspiration from the accomplishments of LZF's remarkable grant recipients, and highlight a few below, such as the effective and innovative work of Lowell's Juvenile Court Restorative Justice program.

Enjoy these beautiful, yet fleeting summer days, and thank you so much for your support - our donors and volunteers, and of course, our grant all make this great work possible!


With much appreciation,

Susan's Signature
Susan Rothman, Board Chair

The Lenny Zakim Fund Takes Grassroots Organizations Beyond the Grant
You and LZF Provide Valuable Services to Grantees
Photo Credit: Caroline Talbot Photography | Caroline Talbot, 2014
If you ask a grantee what it is that they've received from the Lenny Zakim Fund, you will hear words like community, empowerment, and skills development. There is so much more to be gained through the LZF partnership in addition to the grants. Just since February, there have been over ten seminars and a full day Institute past and present grantees. These are opportunities for our grantees to learn from professionals and peers and discuss the struggles faced by non-profits. It's because of your support that these seminars are a possibility and the grantees have much to share on the benefits of participation.
"The education has been key to our growth and success"

Looking at the LZF website, you might see seminar titles boasting topics from "Building Organizational Capacity" to "Planning Your Budget" and a full day of learning with nationally recognized experts Simone Joyaux and Tom Ahern. All of this helps, as Margie Saphier King of Partakers Inc. puts it, "...grantees to get their houses in order. These skills help develop strong sustainable infrastructure for the organizations." 

Mary Kennedy of Dreamfar High School Marathon believes you can't deny the importance of such trainings for small grassroots organizations: "When you're small it's easy to focus 100% on the programs... but then you realize we won't have a program if we can't prioritize all these other things."

Gorui Banerjee remembers when her organization, Saheli Inc., first joined LZF; "we had a very loose-y goosey board structure of nine good people on it who just did what needed to get done." After attending a board development seminar with Simone Joyaux, Gouri and the board defined their roles; "We got together and said this is what the board is supposed to do." And the outcome?  Attendance and accountability on the board has improved. It's hard to overstate how significant some of these seminars can be to small non-profits.
"It's unique and unlike other funders. The contribution is great obviously- but beyond that, you don't get that anywhere else"
-Arthur Bembury, Partakers Inc. 


There is a world of nurturing,  community and care surrounding the Lenny Zakim Fund. As Margie Saphier King says, The Lenny Zakim Fund is "helping us be the best we can be."

$31,750 in Summer Youth Grants Because of You! 

Each summer, LZF makes special grants to support youth programming that enriches lives, creates jobs, an keeps young people safe from violence. This year, with your support, we distributed $31,750 in grants that will go to support over 500 youth in and around Boston. 

  • Beantown Society
    unites youth in Boston across race, class, culture, and neighborhood to end youth violence. They offer youth run after school programs, workshops, projects and events based on youth interests and provide a space for youth to express themselves, receive one-on-one support, and become leaders in their community.
  • All Dorchester Sports League 
    offers sports, fitness/nutrition and education programs for youth, primarily in Dorchester, that emphasize the life skills, academic focus, healthy and active lifestyles required to succeed in community life and become successful adults.
  • Boston Explorers combines the best of summer camp-creative, spontaneous play and hands-on activities-with the sights and sounds of the city. Campers ages 8-14 are on the move, visiting historic sites, natural spaces, buildings and waterways.
  • Each year LZF joins other Boston funders in the Youth Violence Prevention Funders learning Collaborative to make grants that creat jobs. Our grant to GOTCHA provides meaningful employment to Boston teens who live in the most under-served neighborhoods.
  • Coaching for Change works with colleges, high schools, elementary schools, and other non-profit partners to motivate struggling students.They provide high school students with out of school time apprenticeships that put them on a pathway to graduate from high school on time and integrate physical activity, academic support, and mentoring to improve students learning outcomes.
  • Mission Hill Youth Collaborative's One Step Ahead Program engages extremely high risk youth in a job readiness/employment program. Each participant gets placed in a job, works 8-10 hours a week, and then spends 1 hour a week with MHYC staff to do job prep/training.
  • Through the energetic and successful efforts of the LZF Young Leaders, we made a very special grant to
    Our Place Theater's Camp Joyful Noise - an extraordinary theater program in the heart of Roxbury.
Prioritizing Prevention - Spotlight on JCRJD
Opportunity for Growth and Understanding for Youth Offenders with Juvenile Court Restorative Justice Diversion

"The [restorative justice] program had a big impact on my life in many ways. It helped me grow up and take responsibility for my actions and now I think about the consequences of what I do."

Juvenile Court Restorative Justice Diversion works with first time youth offenders in Lowell where "zero tolerance" school policies and high rates of poverty have attributed to growing numbers of juvenile court cases. Founder and executive director, Erin Freeborn, built her program around the legal maxim that states "justice is better when it prevents rather than punishes".

JCRJD, in collaboration with the juvenile court system, gives first time offenders an alternate path to justice while avoiding formal charges and a criminal record. To do this, the responsible party, their community, and the impacted party discuss the incident in a mediation process--allowing youth to take responsibility for their actions and make amends. Raekwon and Robert credit the program, which "took time to understand us", for giving them an opportunity to express themselves and earn second chances. After Reparation Agreements, youth train to act as mentors throughout the restorative justice process in order to contribute to the community.

Young people, like Raekwon, who have participated testify that the process creates a better understanding of what went wrong and led to the incident, creating a stronger relationship between action and consequence. With your support and the LZF, JCRJD continues to improve the Lowell area by recognizing the interconnectedness of all people and including silenced voices in the judiciary processes.

Get to know all of our new and returning organizations by visiting:
Shout Outs and Congratulations!
LZF Grantees and Community Members do some pretty amazing things. Check out some of the highlights below!
  • Wonderful Collaboration - LZF grant recipients, Waypoint Adventures and EPIC - Young Leaders with Abilitiesgot together for a day of team building through kayaking -
  • Citizen's for Safety's LIPSTICK ladies do incredibly innovative and important work with women to interrupt the flow of illegal guns. Click here to read about the recent training the provided to Mayor Walsh.
  • Board Member Deena Zakim was awarded the Dean's Public Citizenship Award from Suffolk University Law School.Each year this is awarded to recognize and reward students who exemplify the aspiration and the spirit of the Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Board Member Sofia Lingos was honored as one of Greek America's 40 under 40 and Mass Lawyers Weekly's Excellence in the Law in the Up and Coming Lawyer category. 
  • Beantown Society's Kendra Lara and Erika Rodriguez received TPI's Boston Neighborhood Fellows award. BNF is an awards program that provides recognition and direct financial support to individuals of creativity, vision and leadership who work in community service in Greater Boston. 
  • Three LZF Grantees Selected as Winners by the Social Innovation Forum! Coaching for ChangeDoc Wayne Youth Services, and Mill City Grows received the honor of winning as social innovators for the Youth in Gateway Cities, Breaking Down Barriers to Effective Mental Health, and Building Greener and Healthier Cities categories respectively. Over the next 2 years, these organizations will receive coaching and capacity building investments to grow their organization and programs.  

  • Brazilan Immigrant Center celebrates the passing of the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights in the Massachusetts Senate. This makes the bill of rights one step closer to becoming a law that ensures workers have basic labor protections such as clarity on what constitutes working time, freedom from sexual harassment, and protection from the abuses of trafficking and from retaliation for asserting wage violations.
  • Congratulations to Essex County Community Organizing, Brockton Interfaith Coalition, and all of the organizing groups in Raise Up Massachusetts for their success in raising Massachusetts minimum wage!
Meet Our Intern!
A New Friendly Face Around the Office


We are pleased to welcome Nathalie Lavoie to the office as our new intern. Nathalie is a rising junior at Boston College studying Biology and pursuing a minor in Medical Humanities with a concentration in Global/Public Health. On campus, she is involved in BC's chapter of GlobeMed and undergraduate research. 


A New Hampshire native, naturally she can be found outdoors reading, hiking, canoeing, or walking the dog. Nathalie is excited to join the Lenny Zakim Fund community to learn from and contribute to its incredible mission and projects. 

Community Events
Looking for something to do soon? How about  a farm fresh dinner, a golf tournament, or a Shakespeare play? Join our grantees at one of their many upcoming events! All events are listed on the Lenny Zakim Fund website, here
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