The JustPax Fund is pleased to announce the organizations and initiatives that received funding from our 2019 application round, who collectively received a total of $100,000 in funding for economic, environmental, and gender justice work.
$10,000 was awarded to Awamaki to empower women’s artisan cooperatives through Spanish language trainings so that they can independently manage and grow their sustainable tourism businesses. Awamaki works with two women’s tourism cooperatives in the Peruvian Andean village of Huilloc. Over 60% of their partner artisans in the cooperatives speak little or no Spanish. Without Spanish, the cooperatives struggle to connect with tour agencies and guides who can bring tourists to their villages, limiting their ability to earn income and share their craft. They are also less able to participate in civic life, where Spanish is increasingly important and must rely on their husbands to communicate with the outside world on their behalf, a huge limitation to gender equality in the areas where Awamaki works.
Boxerwood Education Association
$19,950 was awarded to fund Boxerwood Education Association’s Project NEST (Nurturing Environmental Stewardship Together). Boxerwood is a community-based organization in rural Rockbridge County in western Virginia. Based at a 15-acre arboretum, their mission is “to educate and inspire people of all ages to become environmentally successful stewards of the Earth.” NEST serves every public school student in the County, equipping youth with tools to become effective earth citizens. Youth summits, councils, and the summer stewards program will help diverse youth find common ground around earth care, thus healing societal and environmental wounds. The project focuses on elevating youth as community communicators, leading the environmental advocacy conversations in their rural communities.
Community Justice Project at the Public Defender Association
$20,000 was awarded to the Community Justice Project (CJP), a semi-autonomous project incubating at the Public Defender Association whose programs represent a collaboration between the UW Center for Human Rights and API Chaya. Born out of conversations with – and entirely nurtured by – survivors, CJP’s mission is to build relationship-based responses to harm that center the dignity of all people and harness the collective power of communities most impacted by interpersonal and state violence toward systems transformation. “We serve both free and incarcerated survivors of multiple forms of violence including those who have lost loved ones or themselves survived gun violence, domestic and sexual violence, and other serious harm. The communities we serve are primarily POC (Black, Latinx, Indigenous and API), queer and trans, and range in age from young adults to elders and represent the communities most impacted by violence in our region. Through direct healing circles, technical assistance, and support for individuals navigating both sides of the criminal legal system, we hope to support the survival of our community while building collective power. “
$10,000 was awarded to Engage Globally. In 2018, Engage Globally received a grant from the JustPax Fund to create the Club Ambiental para Niñas (CAN) for girls who live near the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (CER) in Costa Rica. The club held meetings in which students learned about conservation, plastic pollution, and engaged in a variety of community conservation activities. This successful program produced an unexpected outcome – the mothers of the girls in CAN often asked if they could join the club meetings and were excited to learn about conservation. The program receiving funding in 2019 will focus on engaging church members in conservation projects, including hosting women conservationists as guest speakers, building on girls’ empowerment by having CAN members present at church events, and focusing activities on mothers as environmental advocates.
Faith in Action
$4,325 was awarded to Faith in Action for anti-racism training. In partnership with the NAACP of Harrisonburg/Rockingham County and Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Interfaith Engagement (CIE), Faith in Action has been sponsoring and providing training on racial equity, specifically on the systemic nature of racism. The grant will fund “training the trainers” workshops. Moving away from a focus on personal bigotry and bias, the workshop presents a historical, cultural, and structural analysis of racism. Topics covered include analysis of structural racism; understanding and controlling implicit bias; race, poverty, and place; markedness theory; institutional power arrangements and power brokers; importance of definitions of race and racism; history and legacy of race in American economic and policy development; and racial identity and its interaction with institutional culture. The workshop will create a shared language and a clearer understanding of how institutions and systems are producing unjust and inequitable outcomes, intended to help participants leave the training better equipped to begin to work for change.
$5,341 was awarded to Hesston College in partnership with Kingdom Builders Network of Philadelphia to provide a sociology course to increase participants’ cultural competency and empathy as they live among and interact with Anabaptist communities from three groups: African-American, Asian-American and Latino/a American. An important part of this class is understanding the economic complexity of the city and responding to this complexity as followers of Jesus. Course objectives include appreciation and critique of your own cultural bias and perspective; articulating the complexity of culture; and understanding how racially-biased systems impact the economies of communities of color.
TiLT [Taos Initiative for Life Together]
$14,750 was awarded to TiLT to design and implement “Watershed Way” workshops and skill sessions, specifically promoted to residents of northern NM who deal with injustice, prejudice, and minimal opportunities due to gender, poverty, race, class, rural location, and lack of available, stable jobs. To maximize access and availability to women and men coming from all walks of life, childcare will be provided. Participants can come to one or all of 60+ workshops and events. “These workshops and events are designed to bring dignity back to our home places, to local materials and local traditions, local skills and local lifeways, and to ourselves. They are designed to remind us that the “kingdom of God is within reach,” that our watershed is abundant, that what we have is enough, that what we need is already here, that what surrounds us is already good. Part skill building, part infrastructure development, part mental re-framing and part spiritual development.”
Young Jupiter Market Garden
$15,550 was awarded to Our Community Place (OCP) for their Young Jupiter Market Garden program. OCP is a day program that “builds a safe, loving community of restoration and hope for all, especially those facing homelessness and other adverse experiences.” Three years ago, with JustPax funding, OCP began a kitchen program that trains OCP members to cook and learn the skills that are part of a successful commercial kitchen. That project is now self-funded and provides 9,000 meals hot meals to those in need. Two OCP community members are employed and more than a dozen community members volunteer. The goal of the Young Jupiter Market Garden project is to develop a similar employment and training program in gardening and food production that helps people who are disconnected find healing by reconnecting to the land, to develop self-esteem through learning and employment, and to increase fresh produce for the meals served at OCP. Through culturally inclusive gardening, community building, and livelihood development, Young Jupiter Market Garden seeks to create economic and environmental justice.