The JustPax Fund is pleased to announce the organizations and initiatives that received funding in our 2022 application round.
Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) – $20,000 per year for 3 years
The Restorative Justice Diversion Program (RJDP) is an innovative, intersectional approach to economic, gender, and racial justice within the criminal system. Incarceration has disastrous economic consequences for those incarcerated and their families. It interrupts an individual’s work experience and education, and it reduces employability and earning through the effects of incarceration trauma. The families of those incarcerated -– often woman-led, single-parent or third-party guardian households -– lose vital economic support. The resulting poverty and separation represent adverse experiences that stunt the behavioral health and economic potential of children from such households. These impacts, and incarceration itself, are experienced at disproportionately higher rates for people of color while incarceration rates for women and those not identifying as male are increasing. In diverting criminal cases away from prosecution, respondents and their families can avoid incarceration and its many intergenerational economic impacts. The restorative justice diversion project (RJDP) started as an initiative of CJP and the Commonwealth’s Attorney Offices for Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville (CAs) as a pilot project. This round of funding will establish an independent organization with staff operating under the fiscal sponsorship of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), building a structure to support the long-term capacity to continue this work.
Natural Lands – $20,000 per year for 2 years
Natural Lands’ DEIA journey began more than a decade ago when free access to their network of nature preserves became a mission priority. That commitment grew to include a program focused on improving access to the outdoors in four under-resourced, urban communities in their region—Chester, Coatesville, Pottstown, and Philadelphia. Recognizing that these steps were insufficient to change their movement’s exclusionary history and racial dynamics, Natural Lands focused their efforts on building an inclusive organizational culture and on recruiting underrepresented individuals to their staff and volunteer leadership, including their Board of Trustees. Their most recent Strategic Plan incorporates multi-pronged DEIA priorities more holistically, including funding a three year program creating a fellowship dedicated to BIPOC college graduates and building pathways for participants into the conservation profession.
A Family for Every Orphan – $25,000
A Family For Every Orphan (AFFEO) is a Christian organization whose mission is to create paths for orphans and vulnerable children to find care in safe and loving families. They focus first on helping children remain or reunite with their family, and when that is not possible they help them find care in a foster or adoptive family. Their work is focused on prevention, child protection, promotion of family-based care, preparing foster and adoptive families, and supporting programs that help children connect to safe and caring adults. Through their network of partners, this program will focus on providing training and economic opportunities to women who are in danger of losing their children due to economic factors, while also increasing the number of children that will be able to remain with their families.
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) – $20,000
AMBS writes, “We understand creation care to mean that we care deeply about our interactions with the natural environment God created. We care for creation as part of being disciples of Jesus Christ, as an essential facet of our commitment to peace and justice. We work to make creation care an integral part of our campus culture, courses, worship services and spiritual formation.” AMBS will be using JustPax Fund grant dollars to upgrade their physical campus in line with their long-term commitment to and practices of environmental sustainability and creation care by adding electric vehicle charging stations, converting lights in their parking lots to LED, and replacing aging trees.
Fund for Women’s Equality – $20,000
The Fund for Women’s Equality promotes gender equality and justice in the U.S. by increasing public understanding of the need for comprehensive, fair and equal treatment of women and girls, and equality in all its forms. Their new initiative Equal Voice | Equal Future elevates the voices and lived experiences of the communities most directly affected by systemic oppression and excluded from mainstream conversations to change the status quo. Equal Voice | Equal Future is the brainchild of women/girls and gender expansive people of color and puts their voices front and center. A major part of the project is an innovative digital multimedia hub that serves as a launchpad for a cohort of young content creators who will be provided necessary skills, leadership development, professional mentorship and peer-based learning opportunities to build their capacity as social justice activists and their connection to broader movements.
Global Grassroots – $20,000
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
In post-conflict East Africa, women bear great responsibility for the wellbeing of their community and naturally have important insights into critical social issues. Unfortunately, they often have limited access to the financial resources, education, training, and support needed to advance their ideas. In these regions in particular, women and girls still walk an average of 3.5 hours daily to a contaminated source to collect water. This creates a significant economic disadvantage for women who have little time to pursue other livelihoods, and face added expenditures for health care costs related to waterborne disease. They help women design, construct and operate their own water enterprises that then serve as sustainable, social innovation hubs for women’s rights and economic opportunity. They provide leadership training, non-profit management skills, seed funding and high-engagement mentorship needed to implement social-purpose water enterprises. They also provide trauma-healing practices, personal growth work and mindfulness training that helps women recover from violence and chronic stress and step into their newfound agency as change leaders.
Ripple Effect Images – $20,000
Ripple Effect Images will launch an ‘Impact Storytelling’ program to build in-country documentary storytelling capacity in Kenya. World-class Ripple photographers will lead an educational program for promising local photojournalists that includes a dynamic workshop, field experience, and opportunities for participants to publish their work. The Impact Storytelling workshop format will include still and video instruction, including both technical and ethical instruction on dynamic storytelling. Materials will be drawn from Ripple’s rich library of photos and films. Each participant will have one-on-one time with Ripple team members, portfolio reviews, and personalized advice. Participants will have the opportunity to visit local communities with the Ripple team, outline potential stories and receive specific assignments. Participants will have the opportunity to share their work across Ripple platforms.
Shenandoah Community Capital Fund – $20,000
Traditional systems of upward mobility are disproportionately inaccessible to women and BIPOC individuals in the US. In 2021 white women in Virginia averaged $.82 to their male counterpart’s dollar, and Black and hispanic women averaged even less at $.77. Significant racial wage gaps exist nationally as well, with Black workers in America still being paid 14.9% less than their white counterparts, even when controlling for gender, age, and education. In response to these barriers, women and BIPOC individuals have embraced entrepreneurship, and are statistically more likely to seek out entrepreneurship as a means of advancement than their white and/or male counterparts. In the past four decades the number of women-owned businesses has increased nearly 3,000%. Women of color make up 32% of women-owned businesses in the US, and have seen faster growth in the number of businesses, employees, and income than other women-owned businesses. At the same time, there are unique challenges that women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color face. This grant will provide funding for scholarship opportunities for SCCF’s Business Bootcamp and Start-Up Shenandoah Valley programs.
T1International – $20,000
T1International believes that access to affordable healthcare is a human right and that the current economic system stands in the way of this being a reality. As a diabetes organization in the US speaking out about the insulin price crisis and addressing it through grassroots advocacy, they maintain a national spotlight on insulin access issues. In 2023 they will launch an #insulin4all Summit, a key event within their advocacy program, providing an opportunity for advocates, members of the community, and people with an interest in health equity and economic justice to learn from and empower each other. It is also an opportunity for advocates to showcase the impact of their work in addressing the crisis that pharmaceutical companies have created by putting profits over patients. The summit is a one day digital conference, free to access and open to communities across the world. They will develop and facilitate high quality seminars and learning opportunities created and delivered in collaboration with their community, utilizing a model of patient-led programming and storytelling.
Ugandan Water Project – $20,000
Lima, New York
Today, 1.8 million Ugandans will have no clean water because their community’s well broke. Left outside the service area of public utilities, regular maintenance is often neglected and catastrophic well failures follow. In 2021, in collaboration with the JustPax Fund, UWP launched AquaTrust (AQT), which pays local mechanics steady wages to perform preventative maintenance and ensure reliable service. Today, AQT mechanics service 91 community wells and maintain >99% uptime, time savings that translate to economic opportunities, the ability to work or attend school in lieu of traveling long distances to fetch water when their wells break down. This is especially true of women and girls, who are much more often tasked with using their bodies to stand in for broken pipes as they carry water from afar; UWP estimates that 4,100 women and girls are each save an average of 70 minutes per day in fetching time because AQT keeps their community wells in repair. They are now seeking to expand AQT and reach hundreds of additional communities with permanent water security.
Home Roots Foundation – $19,150
In August of 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the city of Les Cayes in southwestern Haiti. This same area was ravaged by Hurricane Mathew in 2016. The 2021 earthquake made a very difficult fight for livelihoods even more challenging, with combined effects growing hunger, poverty and 25% inflation. Home Roots Foundation in launching the Women’s Economic Empowerment Program (WEEP) to 20 women in Les Cayes. The aim of WEEP is women achieving financial independence by building a self-sustaining business to increase income and alleviate poverty. It uses a holistic approach and provides 1) business management training 2) help scaling up or improving an existing business 3) providing a small grant/asset 4) microfinance through village savings and loans associations (VSLAs), and 5) mentorship. The goal is to significantly increase the odds of business success, stable income, and escape from extreme poverty.
Bridge of Hope – $18,825
The affordable housing crisis has been simmering for the decades, but has exploded in the past year, pushing low-income families into desperate situations. Single mothers are particularly vulnerable because they shoulder the majority of childcare and costs. As housing costs rise, more families are facing eviction and displacement. Bridge of Hope primarily serves single mothers with dependent children, and ends family homelessness through a comprehensive program of assistance to obtain housing and unique supportive relationships with a local church called Neighboring. In the long term, the affordable housing solution will include increasing supply by building and renovating more low- income housing across the country. However, that will take years to materialize and families losing their housing now are in need of solutions today. Their immediate proposal is for funding to develop and pilot innovative solutions to more rapidly access safe housing for families seeking to end the cycle of homelessness, and to provide those solutions to the 23 (and growing) Bridge of Hope locations across the country. Their Housing Initiatives Task Force is pursuing landlord partnership options, collaborations with local affordable housing developers and agencies, church owned property for housing, and other projects including creating more efficient pathways for emergency housing funds, master leases, and facilitating direct investment in rentals for families at below-market rates.
Solar Village Project – $15,000
Solar Village Project will provide solar power to two rural Primary Health Centers in Uttar Pradesh, India. In rural India, Primary Health Centers (PHCs) play a major role in providing last-mile medical services such as immunization, child deliveries and neonatal care, all of which cannot be provided effectively without a steady, reliable supply of electricity. PHCs are placed in population centers with a minimum of 30,000 people and are the backbone of India’s rural healthcare infrastructure, yet 50% do not have steady and reliable access to electricity off the grid. In the case of PHCs, solar arrays have been successful in facilitating timely and appropriate emergency care, night time deliveries, and availability of vaccines in remote areas by facilitating reliable power supply. To a large extent, such solutions have benefited women and have contributed towards reduced maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. As a result, by providing one PHC with reliable access to electricity through a simple solar power system, SVP can improve the health care of tens of thousands of people whose clinics have had no unreliable grid access.
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center – $10,000
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is committed to serving the LGBTQ+ community of Eastern Pennsylvania through supportive services, health, arts, culture, youth, and pride programming. They are able to achieve this goal by providing a diverse array of monthly support groups, which focus and uplift their most vulnerable community members and address the diverse support needs of their community. Through their supportive services, they directly address gender justice in the Lehigh Valley. They offer spaces for multiple marginalized groups to find solidarity, community, and support from their peers. These include Lehigh Valley Lesbians; Transmasculine group; Transfeminine group; SHADEZ Collective: A BIPOC Queer community group; A Space for Aces, the newly created Bisexual, Pansexual, and Queer Community Group; Breath: a Queer Spirituality Support Group; and our Parents of Trans Kids group.
Shenandoah Valley Scholars Latino Initiative Inc – $10,000
Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) scholars experience unique circumstances as in many cases first-generation college students; as talented but often invisible individuals; as children from families that are disproportionately under-resourced and disenfranchised; and as members of a growing population in Virginia and the U.S. that is underrepresented on college campuses. SLI continues to adapt and improve its academic and mentoring programming in response to COVID-related and hidden structural education barriers and relational stressors experienced by underrepresented students and families, as revealed by national shifts to online, home space learning environments, and increased economic insecurity. SLI will support Latino/a/x high school students with college access, in particular through rigorous academic challenge, leadership development, computer awards, and supportive mentorships. Through collaborations with public school teachers and local university faculty, staff, and student mentors in Harrisonburg, Richmond, and Winchester, Virginia, SLI provides college access opportunities throughout high school, plus financial support for college success.
Taos Initiative for Life Together (TiLT) – $10,000
Taos, New Mexico
TiLT is pursuing a community-led construction project to create a “third space” commons for sober living as part of a broader initiative that seeks to (a) turn what we call waste into a valuable resource, (b) repurpose plastic in a town once addicted to resource extraction, (c) reinvigorate a vibrant place-based culture strangled by displaced capitalism, (d) provide second chances in a town needing a second chance, (e) turn a BIPOC-owned trailer park into a village of hope & healing, (f) build equity for folks shut out of the privileged economy, and (g) nurture a struggling BIPOC eco-business that TiLT has incubated called the Repurposing Plastic Project, turning waste into construction material.
Hesston College – $7,000
Hesston College will partner with Kingdom Builders Network of Philadelphia to provide a 3-hour college sociology course as a hands-on, in-depth learning opportunity. They will increase participants’ understanding of economic justice issues and increase cultural competency and empathy as they live among and interact with Anabaptist communities from these three groups: African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic American. An important part of this class is understanding the economic complexity of the city and responding to this complexity as followers of Jesus. Students will learn about red-lining, the GI bill, the pipeline to prison, and gentrification.