The JustPax Fund is pleased to announce the organizations and initiatives that received funding in our 2023 application round.


Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition – $25,000 per year for 3 years
Harrisonburg, Virginia

The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition will expand their “Bikes for Neighbors” program to provide bicycles to low income and refugee families, diverting discarded bicycles from waste streams and carefully and professionally upgrading them for joyful riding. The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition is a leader in building better connected communities through the creation of environmentally-sustainable and human-powered transportation systems. This grant will expand their existing volunteer-led program into a major initiative, support the acquisition and dissemination of women-specific bicycle frames, and increase community outreach and partnerships across organizations that serve economically and socially disadvantaged residents. Originally founded by a woman rider and then led by a Jordanian immigrant, the program prioritizes the needs and voices of cyclists who face economic, cultural, racial, and/or gender barriers to urban mobility. 


Native Conservancy – $20,000 per year for 3 years
Cordova, AK

Native Conservancy is a Native-led, Native-run nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving Indigenous ancestral lands and waters. Their OceanBack program empowers Indigenous people to reclaim their ancestral waters by securing kelp farming permits and establishing kelp farms. They conduct immersive job training programs, helping Indigenous farmers to thrive. Their grant will be used to measure the effects of commercial harvesting and climate change on wild kelp beds in order to protect the environment for Indigenous people and future generations. Centering environmental and economic justice, Native Conservancy is committed to growing commercial kelp on farms as opposed to collecting from wild beds in order to create a regenerative ecosystem and economy that benefits Alaska Natives and the broader ecology of the region. 


Great Plains Foundation – $20,000 per year for 3 years
Jupiter, FL

Great Plains Foundation provides a cooperative and community-focused approach to addressing the needs of endangered wildlife and rural communities. Specifically, this grant will support the implementation of their Solar Mamas project, empowering underprivileged Black women living in Botswana’s rural Ngamiland district. The funds will support the purchase of solar home lighting systems, small business training for Solar Mamas, and a Community Liaison based in Botswana.  The Ngamiland district comprises off-grid rural communities surrounding the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Solar electricity will provide residential lighting and reduce unintended interactions between villages and protected wildlife such as elephant herds. Solar Mamas will build, install, and maintain the solar lighting units in their communities, gaining skills in engineering, climate change mitigation, and environmental stewardship. 


Payda Platformu – $19,000 per year for 3 years
Istanbul, Turkey

Circle of Hope is a 1-week youth empathy, peace, and change-making camp hosted by Payda, a Turkish non-profit focused on gender equality and women’s education. Students attend the camp from diverse provinces with very different cultural, economic, and political backgrounds to engage in peace-building activities including modules on non-violence communication, social issues, improvisational theater, art, sports, and cultural exchange. In small groups, they brainstorm solutions to justice problems within their home communities and prototype real world solutions they can deploy upon returning home. Instructors provide mentorship and dialogue opportunities. 


Healing Together – $20,000 per year for 2 years
Oakland, CA

Healing Together Uganda is a community-led effort to address sexual and gender-based violence through a healing, prevention, and gender and survivor justice model. Training local teachers, health workers, faith leaders, and elders to become Healing Advocates, the program leverages the leadership of local community members to provide frontline support to survivors and to prevent further harm by addressing root causes of violence. Training on peer-to-peer and trauma-informed care, over 1,500 community leaders will acquire skills to identify sexual and gender-based violence survivors in classrooms and communities, and provide safe, effective, and evidence-based healing interventions. Healing Advocates will address cultural and social stigmas around mental health and violence by breaking the silence in families and community-based networks. 


University of Minnesota – $8,000 to $12,600 per year, over 3 years
Minneapolis, MN

This project will develop a new canon of plays specifically for student actors, with the goal of lowering barriers to entry to theater as a profession for BIPOC, global-majority, women, and gender nonconforming students, thereby increasing the representation of these groups on the American stage. Its long-term impact will be felt not only through making these scripts available to university, high school, and community theaters, but also through training cohorts of students in the skills and processes of new play development, giving a cadre of diverse, emerging playwrights the opportunity to more deeply develop their work in dialogue with actors.  


Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop – $25,000
Washington, DC

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop’s mission is to build community to foster personal development and create systems change for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and adults, utilizing a unique model combining the literary arts, workforce development, trauma healing, peacebuilding, and member-led advocacy. Building a DC where Black and Latine communities have abundant access to resources for healing, growing, and creative expression, they work towards a future where mass incarceration no longer exists. The grant will support the launch of their Leadership and Learning Program, providing educational offerings and part-time work experience for members pre- and post-release, creating supportive peer groups to equip justice-involved individuals with the knowledge, skills, experiential learning, and community to achieve their goals. Members will work as book club facilitators, peer supporters, program specialists, community outreach ambassadors, and more. 


Movement to Justice in El Barrio – $25,000
New York, NY

Movement for Justice in El Barrio is a community organization founded in 2004 by immigrant mothers in East Harlem, NYC. Immigrant, mostly women, members have organized for housing, immigrant and gender justice, as well as created a COVID-19 program for immigrants in El Barrio. This grant will fund a new program focused on exploring the intertwined connection between environmental, climate, and immigrant justice. Utilizing participatory democracy in their decision making on a community-wide scale, their grassroots model has been recognized by the Village Voice as “the Best Power to the People Movement in NYC.” They will conduct a Consulta Del Barrio on Immigration and Climate Justice, a community-driven dialogue that will inform the creation and prioritization of infrastructure for emergency preparedness in the face of low-lying flood zones, poorly maintained sewer systems, lack of green space, and systemic climate and environmental injustice.


BLKHLTH INC – $23,800
College Park, GA

Environmental racism directly impacts the health of Black communities. In Georgia, Black residents disproportionately reside in federally-classified disadvantaged communities that are proximal to EPA-designated superfund hazard sites. These census tracts overlay cancer clusters in Georgia, hotspots for lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer deaths. BLKHLTH works to disrupt the pathway between racism and cancer disparities, launching a public health campaign aimed at mitigating the impact of cancer through screening, early detection, and education. This grant will help fund the Connecting Environmental Justice to Cancer Equity for Black Georgians project, which will include advocacy skill-building for community members and enhanced health education. 


Alliance for Black NICU Families – $20,000
Springfield, VA

The Alliance for Black NICO Families’ “Wearable Breast Pump Program” was created to provide a free wearable breast pump to Black NICU mothers in order to equalize access and eliminate barriers to human milk diets for at-risk infants. Black mothers are more than 50% likely compared to white mothers to give both prematurely, and becoming a Black NICU mother often creates extreme economic stressors on new mothers. Wearable breast pumps enable greater freedom of movement for mothers, and providing them for free eases economic burdens while working towards equalizing access and health outcomes. 


EverFree – $20,000
San Juan Capistrano, CA

EverFree provides direct care to women and child survivors of trafficking within Uganda and the Philippines. Led by national staff and survivor-leaders, EverFree operates safe homes and empowerment centers where survivors receive comprehensive and holistic care to support their healing journey, including housing, psychosocial support, economic and educational empowerment, healthcare, victim advocacy, legal aid, safety, and stability. This grant will support their economic empowerment initiative in Uganda, helping survivors regain their agency and reduce their vulnerability to further exploitation. 


The Policy Project – $20,000
Salt Lake City, UT

The Policy Project advocates at the state level to address the immediate needs of those overlooked or burdened by ineffective policy. Launched as a small, woman-led team, their first program — The Period Project — worked with the state government to end period poverty and achieve menstrual equity through funding menstruation products in Utah’s K-12 schools. They are building on that work through their Teen Center Project, as well as hosting community listening sessions to ensure future projects are based on community priorities and grassroots needs. They anticipate supporting at least 400,000 menstruators in the upcoming school year and aim to support at least 60,000 individuals through Teed Centers by 2025. 


Eastern PA Trans Equity Project – $15,000
Orefield, PA

Eastern PA Trans Equity Project received funding to support the launch of a workforce development program supporting transgender and gender-expansive individuals living in Eastern Pennsylvania. Up to 50% of transgender people in their service area have experienced homelessness and up to 53% have experienced food insecurity. The Trans Equity Project will work in partnership with employers in the healthcare sectors to provide employer and employee training on fostering work environments in which long-term success can be experienced by a cohort of transgender and gender-expansive workers. They aim to break the cycle of gender-based employment disparity and create workplace cultures welcoming to all gender expressions. 


Working Classroom – $15,000
Albuquerque, NM

Working Classroom operates at the intersection of art, equity, and social justice. Engaging youth in workshops and paid artistic apprenticeships, their program centers youth as they investigate their identities, explore social issues through art, and become agents of change in their communities. Working Classroom’s staff are all Latinx/a/o, Chicano/a/x/e, and/or Indigenous, all are bilingual, and the majority of their staff identify as LGBTQIA+ and/or neurodivergent. Their workshops offer spaces for youth expression, autonomy, and healing through art with mentors and creatives from backgrounds and perspectives too often underrepresented in the broader art sector. 


Transformational Sports – $7,288
Ypsilanti, MI

Transformational Sports will build a coach training program for youth coaches of mixed-gender sports teams in India. Mixed-gender teams are important trailblazers in highly gender segregated societies, but coaches often lack necessary training. Transformational Sports’ training program will address social stigma on discussing menstruation and puberty, training on sex-ed and gender sensitivity, and navigating relationships and conflict that develop between players. The curriculum will be developed and recorded to video, creating ongoing training resources beyond the grant-funded year.