Impact100 Essex awarded its fifth annual $100,000 Impact Grant to Butterfly Dreamz.

Through its Cocoon Club program, Butterfly Dreamz connects girls from marginalized communities to mentorship, scholarships and holistic leadership development, equipping girls to be confident leaders who disrupt the status quo, Impact100 Essex said in an announcement of the award.

The grant will help Butterfly Dreamz cover the costs of employing high school and college interns in Essex County who work with their staff to design the Cocoon Club, facilitate engaging programs and support their growing community, the release said.

“As a small, Black woman-led nonprofit, our access to large philanthropic gifts is often limited,” Joy Lindsay, Butterfly Dreamz Founder and CEO, said in the announcement. "The Impact100 Essex grant affirms our work and signals to other funders that we matter — that we too are deserving of large philanthropic investments and that there is a powerful network of over 100 women in Essex County who truly believe in our mission, my leadership, and most importantly, our girls.” 

“We are thrilled to fund a Black-led, woman-led, young organization providing community and opportunity to girls of color, empowering them to thrive,” Renee Reso, co-chair of the Impact100 Essex grants committee, said. “Joy’s energy, passion and dedication is inspiring! We’re excited to see how our funding amplifies her mission and reach.” 

In addition, for the first time, Impact100 Essex funded three $15,000 unrestricted equity gants available to BIPOC-led nonprofit organizations in Essex County. The recipients of these grants are Arts Ed Newark, Sierra House and Newark Science and Sustainability.

"By piloting these equity grants, Impact100 Essex is signaling its trust and value in grassroots nonprofits led by people of color in our county,” Mayuri Chandra, co-chair of the group's DEI action committee, said in the announcement. 

Impact100 Essex also awarded Inspiration Grants of $1,000 to semi-finalists Bridges, La Casa De Don Pedro, The Salvation Army, The Trust for Public Land, Write On Sports and Wynona's House.