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origin story

birdSEED: From Flock's Nest to Independent Flight

Flock DC's commitment to community has always taken flight through service and grants. They started 14 years ago with their time - building playgrounds, planting gardens, and supporting local initiatives. Then, they launched a micro-grant program, fueling bold ideas with minimal strings and a focus on passion. They funded murals, veteran farmers, and programs empowering disadvantaged communities. They knew it was good, but not enough...

Image by Martin Engel

Our Story

The dream of homeownership, a key to wealth and stability, remained out of reach for many BIPOC neighbors. This inequity, starkly illuminated by the murder of George Floyd, made Flock focus on reparative justice. They wanted to dismantle the historical exclusion and get resources into the hands of community members challenged by the system that created the racial wealth gap.

So, in late 2020, birdSEED’s housing justice grant program sprouted from Flock DC’s commitment of $215,000 and a collaboration with the Greater Washington Community Foundation. With an advisory board made up of members of the community, birdSEED is working to increase BlPOC home ownership in the District. In 2022, birdSEED spread its wings as an independent 501(c)3 organization and expanded to Philadelphia.

birdSEED's mission is clear: birdSEED helps close the racial wealth gap by supporting historically disadvantaged communities achieve home ownership. We do this by providing "no strings attached" down payment assistance for first-time BIPOC homebuyers. It's rapid philanthropy, getting resources to home buyers the day they close on their homes, building wealth and stability one home at a time.

We believe those impacted by systemic barriers to home ownership deserve a chance to build a future in their own home. We invite everyone, regardless of whether they directly caused the problem, to join us in undoing it. Every donation, every voice, helps us plant the seeds of a more equitable future. Together, we can bring equity home.

Image by Jakayla Toney

We are proud to partner with Flock and welcome birdSEED into the Greater Washington Community Foundation family. This program comes at a time when our region, and our nation, is reckoning with its past and searching for solutions to address the history of discriminatory policies that Black and Brown folks have endured in our communities. We look forward to working with our community to grow the seed of this work to a scale that matches the disparities we see and the aspirations we share for a racially equitable and just region.

tonia wellons

President and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation

ri-ˈpa-rə-tiv juhs-tis
reparative justice

Let's start another narrative. Let's repair the damages of the past. The making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.

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