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President, Building Bridges Across the River
Rahsaan Bernard serves as the President of Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR), the nonprofit organization that built and now manages the 16.5 acre, 203,000 sq. ft. Townhall Health Education Arts Recreation Campus known as THEARC in Washington, DC. BBAR is also in the process of building the first elevated park in Washington known as the 11 Street Bridge Park Project. Before joining BBAR, Mr. Bernard served as the President\CEO of the consulting firm Beyond Excellence LLC, a firm specializing in health management and corporate wellness and Beyond Excellence Nursing and Therapy Services LLC, a licensed residential service provider of home health services. Mr. Bernard has served as the lead health management consultant for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, DC Water and Sewer Company and Doctors Community Hospital of Maryland to name a few. Mr. Bernard holds both a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and a Master in Business Administration from Bowie State University (BSU). He currently lives in Southeast, Washington DC with his wife, DeLise, son, Rahsaan Jr. and his daughters Rielle and RaeLynn.


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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