Independence Public Media Foundation Announces $800,000 in 2023 Community Voices Grants

three protesters holding signs that read "Save Chinatown" and "No Arena"

PHILADELPHIA, August 15, 2023—The Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF) announced its 2023 Community Voices Fund grants, totaling $800,000 awarded to 24 organizations and projects.

These grants will support underrepresented communities across the Greater Philadelphia region build their power by documenting, sharing, and preserving their experiences and stories, as well as strengthening their information networks. 

“We envision a world where local communities have the freedom to create, own and distribute their own media narratives—and be part of a vibrant media ecosystem. It is critical for us to listen to our community partners as they determine the storytelling and the resources needed most in this moment,” said IPMF Program Officer, Nuala Cabral.

Eight community members with deep relationships and expertise in the fund’s focus areas reviewed all the proposals and made final decisions. The community members came recommended by the following organizations: Movement Alliance Project, Scribe Video Center, PhillyCAM, Asian Arts Initiative, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, We Are the Seeds, and an organization that has chosen to remain anonymous.

The panel’s decisions were final, without influence from IPMF staff and board. This community-led approach aligns with the Foundation’s commitment to share power with communities that have traditionally been excluded from philanthropy while also being impacted by harmful and racist media narratives. 

“Reviewing proposals about the exceptional community work happening in and around Philadelphia was energizing. Decision making was intense, and often included difficult conversations, but working through these processes with a community peer based panel was equitable and meaningful,” said a community member recommended by We Are the Seeds.

Discover More About the Community-Led Decision-Making Process in IPMF Program Officer Nuala Cabral’s Essay

The panelists prioritized organizations and projects led by communities of color with an emphasis on community-led storytelling, archives for building community power, community-centered news and journalism, and media for narrative shift and movement building. Examples of grant recipients include:

  • Asian Americans United ($35,000) — to amplify the message, to both non-English- and English-speaking communities, that Philadelphia’s Chinatown residents and their livelihoods are not commodities to be bought and sold by real estate developers.
  • IDEA Center for the Arts ($35,000) — to change the negative media narrative about the local news desert of Camden, New Jersey, and replace it with an integrated, robust media-making program that includes community journalism, radio, podcasting and events amplifying positive stories about Camden residents, community leaders, nonprofits, and businesses.
  • Peoples Media Record ($40,000) — to create a year-long media literacy workshop where Philadelphia youth organizers learn who holds power over the media we consume and how media shapes the narratives we tell about ourselves and others, with the goal of reimagining the roles that narrative, memory, and archival preservation play in service of our collective liberation.

“I'm proud of the work our panel did to build alignment on supporting projects that contribute to media justice and deciding to fund as many of those projects as possible. With such a strong pool of applicants there were many more that we still wished we could support,” said a community member recommended by Movement Alliance Project. “The community-led panel process afforded a rare window into the challenging decisions required in grant-making and I hope this is just a first step to more grant-making opportunities like this one for the Philadelphia region.”

IPMF launched the Community Voices Fund in 2020 to amplify and center experiences and stories, particularly from vulnerable communities, to inform how the region must respond to the pervasive structural inequalities exposed by the COVID pandemic. 

The Community Voices Fund has since expanded to support a range of media organizations and media-making projects in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Click here for the list of 2023 Community Voices Grant Recipients

Click here to explore our grants database

For more information, contact Enni Aigbomian,


About Independence Public Media Foundation
Formerly known as WYBE Channel 35, Independence Public Media Foundation was founded in 2018 when WYBE sold its broadcast license as part of the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadcast Incentive Auction and received a one-time payment of $131.5 million. With these funds, IPMF supports Black-led, Indigenous-led, and people-of-color led media organizations and media making projects that help communities build their narrative power for equity and justice.

Enni Aigbomian

Enni Aigbomian

Enni uses storytelling and visual media to advocate for disenfranchised communities in the U.S. and abroad. Her work focuses on the African diaspora and Indigenous communities in the Americas, as well as the socio-economic rights of women and children. A communicator for social change, Enni has collaborated with international community media and nonprofits such as World Young Women’s Christian Association, Fundación CEDESOCIAL, Vokaribe Radio, and HOPE Worldwide, Bolivia.

Enni has worked with Philadelphia community media and nonprofits such as the American Friends Service Committee, FunTimes Magazine, and Philatinos Radio. She also served as the first head of communications at Read by 4th, Philadelphia’s grade-level reading campaign managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia. She sits on the board of Shelterforce Magazine, an independent publication that covers the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization.

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