HARLEM COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER
During the height of the pandemic, it was a dire time for all. People were confused and afraid. But it was also a time of encouragement, reaching out to loved ones, creating content to pass the time, and coming together in ways that could move the world forward. In response to the pandemic came the birth of the Bronx Rising Initiative. It provides and distributes critical resources across the Bronx.
The Bronx Rising Initiative was founded in 2020 by Tomas Ramos and backed by the Oyate Group, a non -profit organization. At the time, Tomas was running for congress but had a desire to help local hospitals and his community instead. The Bronx Rising initiative is impacting the community through different phases. Phase 1 is healthcare, phase 2 is hunger, phase 3 is small businesses, and phase 4 is youth development.
Since the start of this initiative, they have vaccinated thousands of seniors, secured millions of dollars for Bronx healthcare organizations, secured grant funding for small businesses, and started a scholarship fund for high school seniors in the Bronx. With the success of this organization’s COVID efforts, they have expanded into Uptown, developing Uptown Rising initiative, which is the second step in the mission of BRI. Uptown Rising Initiative provides and distributes critical resources to under-resourced neighborhoods in upper Manhattan. The organization serves to close gaps in access to healthcare, alleviate hunger, invest in the growth of small businesses, and inspire youth to better themselves and their neighborhoods to transform the underserved communities of Washington Heights and Harlem.
With the expansion of Uptown Rising Initiative, they plan to launch a youth development program with public schools and make themselves present in the communities to listen and hear the concerns that residents are voicing. They will continue to educate the community on healthcare, vaccines, and any other misconceptions.
What steps will Uptown Rising Initiative take in educating upper Manhattan about access to healthcare, alleviating poverty and development overall?
“Being available and partnering with people. As we transition into Uptown, we want folks to understand we’re not a Bronx-oriented organization. What we’re aspiring for is to give resources to everyone across New York City,” shared Jason Autar, Chief Operating Officer of Bronx Rising Initiative.
On November 30th, Uptown Rising Initiative kicked off its efforts with a COVID-19 street-bound vaccination event in partnership with New York State Senator Robert Jackson in Washington Heights. Robert Jackson said in a statement, “Our city has been met with crisis after crisis, making clear the need for unparalleled and collaborative efforts that offer forward-thinking and innovative responses. I’m excited to partner up with Uptown Rising Initiative, a promising program that will provide much-needed assistance to working-class communities like the ones I represent. We need to continue encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and find creative ways to achieve that goal; with this COVID-19 street-based vaccination event, we are taking an important step to increase vaccine accessibility to all our Northern Manhattan neighbors. Many thanks to Uptown Rising Initiative; I look forward to continuing the good work highlighting what the forces of humanity, solidarity, and service can do amid challenging times for our communities.”
Uptown Rising Initiative will have another street-bound vaccination, and flu shot event on December 16th between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm in Harlem, located on Broadway & 144th street in front of Lucerna Barbershop. For more information, visit www.bronxrisinginitiative.com