HNBA October Meeting and Uptown Grand Central

Hello Harlem Neighbors, we are canceling our October HNBA meeting but encourage you to consider joining CIVITAS in a fundraising evening, celebrating an unbelievable force in East Harlem: Uptown Grand Central and Carey King.

Join CIVITAS Tuesday, October 13th, 2020
Virtual Annual Benefit
6:30pm to 7:15pm

The CIVITAS Benefit Committee and the CIVITAS Board of Directors request the pleasure of your company for our Virtual Benefit celebrating 39 years of achievements by CIVITAS by honoring this year’s recipients of The August Heckscher Founder Award for Community Service and supporting our longtime neighborhood businesses.
RSVP Tickets

Here is the UGC story on their beginnings:
The New Harlem East Merchants Association (NHEMA) got its start in 2013 when mom-and-pop stores along East 125th Street were struggling to keep their doors open and repeatedly hearing: “We don’t shop on East 125th Street because it’s too dirty and we are accosted by people panhandling, and …”

Recognizing this problem, merchants on one block between Fifth and Madison avenues began to organize informally to improve the area. A mural was painted announcing themselves as “The New Harlem East.” Then, with brooms in hand, joined by 40 volunteers from the neighborhood, NHEMA members held their first street clean-up.

As more merchants and community members learned of the efforts, NHEMA grew and was able to receive grant funding and take on more ambitious projects. This included hiring ACE (the Association of Community Employment) to do street cleaning — an innovative strategy that brightens up the area and provides homeless individuals with a clear path off the streets. We also began to take on other projects such as connecting merchants and residents with discounts to area stores, beautifying the area with flowers and tree pits, organizing street festivals for East Harlem residents, launching a farm-fresh produce market, sponsoring holiday lights along the East 125th Street corridor, and in 2015, launching our Uptown Grand Central plaza program underneath the Metro-North viaduct at 125th Street & Park Avenue.

In 2016, we expanded to create Uptown Grand Central, a 501c3 nonprofit that works to support, strengthen and showcase all that is “grand” about our neighborhood, from small businesses to culture to greening to art. Our goal is to transform the East 125th Street corridor by putting advocacy into action.

Grant Opportunity

If you are interested in applying for this grant (detailed below) by October 20th, please let us know:

From: Sam Lawson <>
Date: Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 12:16 PM
Subject: Grant Opportunity: Strengthening Communities through Recovery


I am reaching out to let you know about a new grant that we have released. Please feel free to send to any organizations in Harlem that might be interested.

NYC Emergency Management is encouraging you to apply to the newly released Strengthening Communities through Recovery COVID-19 grant opportunity.  

Any interested community leader or community emergency networks that serves one of the below communities should apply.  A community emergency network is a group or coalition that consists of nonprofit, community, and faith-based organizations that are organized around an issue important to their community such as climate change, gun violence, housing, disability rights, among others.

The below communities have been identified by NYC Department of Health as disproportionally impacted by COVID-19.  Community leaders and community emergency networks that are selected will be supported to develop and maintain local emergency plans and implement recovery strategies that will help your community recover from COVID-19. 

Proposals and questions about the RFP process should be emailed to Abdul Washington at

This Small Purchase RFP is specifically seeking proposers serving in one of the following communities: 

Manhattan: East Harlem and Central Harlem; Lower East Side and Chinatown; Inwood and Washington Heights    Due: 10/20/20 at 5 PM

​(Basically the grant is for 40,000 dollars for an organization to create an emergency plan. 20,000 is for the organization and 20,000 is for a “consultant” to carry out the work. More information is in the attached document, and for further questions please reach out to our procurement staff:​​)


Sam Lawson

Community Engagement Specialist

NYC Emergency Management

Pronouns: He/Him/His