Morningside Center Receives $2 Million Grant from MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving

CONTACT:  Laura McClure, Communications Director
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

RELEASE DATE: March 19, 2024
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New York, NY:  Today, MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving initiative announced that it has awarded Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility a $2 million grant to support the organization, which works to build community, foster social and emotional skills, and advance racial equity in public schools and after-school programs.

We are deeply honored to have received this significant gift. We also hold gratitude for all the foundations and individuals who have sustained us through the years and for the thousands of educators and schools who have placed their trust in Morningside by partnering with us.

“This grant comes at a time of great challenges for students, staff, and families in schools across New York City and the country,” said Morningside Center’s Executive Director, Cassie Schwerner. “This award strengthens our capacity to build a school culture where both adults and young people can do their best teaching and learning, where joy and community and belonging are centered. It sets the stage for our work to grow and expand in the future.” Tala Manassah, Morningside’s Deputy Executive Director, notes that the grant is a “moving affirmation of the power of education and well-resourced schools to facilitate the creation of a more just society where every person is valued and honored.”

The grant comes in response to Yield Giving’s “Open Call” for “community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources.”  The Open Callreceived 6,353 applications and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each. But according to Yield Giving, “In light of the incredible work of these organizations…the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount.”  The Open Call was managed in partnership with Lever for Change, a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  

"In a world teeming with potential and talent, the Open Call has given us an opportunity to identify, uplift, and empower transformative organizations that often remain unseen,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. More information on the Yield Giving Open Call and other initiatives can be found at