Published On: March 22, 202222.8 min read502 words
Oyate Group Anniversary: Two Years of Empowering Each Other and Rising Together
When COVID-19 hit the U.S. in March 2020, New York quickly became the global epicenter of the pandemic. Each and every one of us experienced the effects of the pandemic, however, it was our most under-resourced communities that bore the brunt of our first wave. We knew we had to do something to mitigate long-term negative impacts.
The Oyate Group launched within weeks of COVID reaching our city. We started by tackling the issues of inequity that made the Bronx the hardest-hit borough, but our goal from day one has been to address and eliminate poverty across every borough.
Two years later, we’ve managed to accomplish so much of what we set out to do, thanks to you. As we approach our second anniversary, we want to share how your support, friendship, partnership and contributions have made an impact and take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come together.
In 2020 we…
Launched the Bronx Rising Initiative
Expanded ICU bed capacity in the Bronx by 35%
Provided over $200,000 in grants to local Bronx businesses
Offered over $100,000 in grants to organizations fighting food insecurity in the Bronx
Launched the Brandon Hendricks Scholarship offering $5,000 to five Bronx youth headed to college
So much more is yet to come. As we head into the third year of this pandemic, we’re seeing the long-term impacts on our communities, and new and different needs are emerging. But we’re also seeing how folks continue to show up to protect themselves and support each other.
We’ve already kicked off the year with a successful gun buyback in Washington Heights, where we collected 50 guns from the community, have hosted vaccine events in Washington Heights and in local Bronx schools and are on the way to opening our first-ever physical space in the Bronx.
Your crucial support has allowed us to not just address the effects of the pandemic but to begin to address the root causes of the many inequities we see in our communities. We look forward to working with you to continue to make our communities safer, healthier and happier in the coming year. When we empower each other, we rise together!
Looking for partners for community events and programming? We’d love to learn how we can support you.
In this week's episode, we speak with Aicha & Alexander Reyes from the Oyate Group out of New York City. Aicha & Alexander were both participants in the Beyond Rising program. Alexander now works for the Oyate Group helping students from the freshman high school level to freshman in college, like Aicha who is dealing with an undocumented status, to find resources, job skills, and opportunities. We hear from Aicha about how the program helped her find a summer job and resources for attending college to be a lawyer. As well as Alexander's experience when he went through the program and how Oyate Group wants to help even more students!