A Community-led Recovery

ARPA Funds in Central Falls, RI

Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (ARPA), a historic opportunity to build back our communities and economy after the COVID-19 pandemic while having the potential to address the deeply embedded inequities in access and voice in our democracy.

The DBE coalition launched an RFP to distribute funds to organizations using participatory democracy practices to allocate ARPA funds in their community. Each awardee received $10,000 to carry out their work, in addition to shared learning and capacity-building opportunities. 



After a successful participatory budgeting (PB) project with students in a semester-long class at Central Falls High School in 2019, In the Summer of 2021, a group of parent and student leaders in the Central Falls School District started a PB initiative called VOCES CON PODER (Voices with Power) to engage all students and parents in the District to decide how to allocate $100,000 in COVID-19 relief funds to prepare for a successful 2021-22 school year.

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