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Origin Story

We’re smitten with our giving story. BUT IT'S JUST NOT ENOUGH

The murder of George Floyd compelled Flock to study our privilege as a company

Presumably, our hard work and creativity anchored our success. But did it really?

In part, yes. But there is a harder truth to reconcile. And to be candid - that reconciliation will be out of reach until we, as a society, write a future that begins to undo the wrongs of the past when it comes to Black and Brown Americans. Our neighbors. YOUR neighbors.

Today, Flock's profits come from managing homes. But we cannot ignore the past. The real estate industry and its generation to generation wealth creation has been out of reach for many Black and Brown individuals. Redlining alone tells the story we have to study as a very real social, political and economic conspiracy to prevent (predominately) Black homeownership.

“Conspiracy,” however, implies that there was something to hide. In actuality, redlining and steering was very public. The overtly racist practices and policies that prevented the accumulation of wealth through home/property ownership disrupted any hope for parity or equality in real estate and home buying. And, by design, the acquisition of wealth generating assets like real property and the ability to pass them onto future generations was deliberately kept out of reach for those who didn’t look like me. Together, with the Greater Washington Community Foundation we're planting seeds for the equitable future we want to be part of.

That isn’t a story I want to be part of. So let’s start another narrative. Let’s repair the damages of the past. And let’s call it what it is: long overdue reparative justice.

In late fall of 2020, Flock’s birdSEED evolved into a foundation designed to offer home buying assistance to Black and Brown residents of the District of Columbia. Is this a financial windfall for many who have long sought home ownership? Not quite yet. Does it shift the conversation and invite those who have squarely benefited from an industry that excluded others to consider their responsibility? It should. My peers might say: “but I didn’t cause the problem!” To which I say: “Maybe not, but it’s your responsibility - it’s OUR responsibility to UNDO it.”


Lisa Wise - Lisa Wise, Founder and Chief Flockster, Flock DC

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 + CEO, The Greater Washington Community Foundation

reparative justice

The making of amends for a wrong one has done,
by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.


Our housing justice program offers down payment grants to qualifying BIPOC first time home buying residents in the DC and Philadelphia areas. Awards range from $5,000 to $15,000 and grants are made multiple times per year until funds are expended.

The application/review process is straight forward and uncomplicated.

Our Board of Advisors reviews applications, interviews finalists and identifies grantees. This is a partnership with the Greater Washington Community Foundation who supports the administrative complexity so we can very simply help people buy homes. *

Applicants must identify as one of the following: American Indian, Indigenous, Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, African American, Hispanic or Latinix birdSEED has made 29 provisional grants to date. The total grant pool available was $215,000. Additional funds have been raised from supportive community members who shared our vision of simple, no strings financial down payment grants that accelerate the home buying process. If you are positioned to give, please do. Needs are great, resources are limited and your help is essential.

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