New grantees mean new opportunities. It means new ways to look at problems and solutions. It means new inspirations, models for change, and it means new networks to explore.
Taking the ripple effect of our work evermore far and wide our grantees are making big splashes with prodigious accomplishments and progress;
• The Tar Sands Blockade is galvanizing direct, non-violent action in clever ways to oppose the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline,
• Haymarket Books has a boldly diverse line-up of book releases this month, including several books by Howard Zinn, Göran Olsson’s Black Power Mixtape:1967-1975, and Tariq Ali’s The Stalinist Legacy: It’s Impact on Twentieth Century World Politics,
• The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund in partnership with Drilling Mora County accomplished the unprecedented goal of passing the first U.S. ban on fracking and oil drilling in Mora County, New Mexico,
• Project Survival Media is developing a catalogue of climate solutions from youth documentary teams around the world,
• The Yes Lab is tinkering away in the edit room on their new titillating film, The Yes Men Are Revolting. They are also working their fannies off on their Action Switchboard, a dynamic platform connecting tools and change agents. Both projects are sure to whet your civil disobedience appetite.
There’s an endless number of methods and practices that we can use to respond to the social, economic, and environmental concerns of our time. This season’s grantees, both new and alumni, are taking on solutions based approaches with a combination of youthful tenacity and tried and true wisdom.
Kindle Project Fund of the Common Counsel Foundation is pleased to introduce you to our lineup of inspiring change-makers for our Spring 2013 Grant Cycle.
Agriculture Implementation Research & Education is working to cultivate as many fields and gardens with as many crops and as many people as possible in various communities throughout the Middle and Upper Rio Grande. For schools, service corps, and community groups we offer sustainable agriculture presentations, demonstrations, and workshops. To address our contemporary context of climate change and food insecurity, we also maintain a “living seed library” of locally adapted seeds for agricultural expansion and success.
Be Present, Inc. empowers individuals to build strong communities together, supporting collective and transformative leadership. For the past 30 years, we have used our Be Present Empowerment Model® to train people from diverse backgrounds to be more effective leaders and communicators for the well being of themselves, their families, schools, organizations, workplaces and communities. The result is sustainable change at the individual, organizational and societal levels, in communities around the US.
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund assists people and communities to assert their fundamental rights to democratic local self-governance and sustainability, and to recognize the rights of nature. Through grassroots organizing, our Democracy Schools, ordinance drafting, and legal counsel, we have assisted over 140 communities across the countries to develop first-in-the-nation laws banning fracking, factory farming, sludging, water privatization, and industrial-scale energy development. Through this work, we have become the principal advisor to communities struggling to transition from merely regulating corporate harms to stopping those harms by addressing the key legal barriers – including corporate constitutional “rights” – that stand in the way of local self-governance and sustainability.
The Community Midwifery Fund makes high quality, culturally competent midwifery care more available, especially for low-income women and women of color. Its goal is to improve birth outcomes for mothers and babies and address racial disparities in maternal and infant health. Since its founding in 2011, the Community Midwifery Fund (CMF) has awarded over $200,000 to 11 organizations and projects that: increase the number of new midwives and doulas of color, expands access to quality, community-based midwifery care for low-income women and women of color, advocate for the inclusion of midwife and doula care in state health care exchanges, reclaim and support traditional birth practices within different cultures.
On stage, using pre-recorded voice overs and video interaction, Dynasty Handbag is a performative exorcism of deranged characters and failures born from a patriarchal, consumer-driven society. Dynasty Handbag is the alter ego of performance/video artist, Jibz Cameron. She has been heralded by the New York Times as “the funniest and most pitch perfect performance seen in years” and “crackpot genius” by the Village Voice. Her work as ‘Dynasty Handbag’ has been seen in such esteemed institutions as The New Museum NY, The Kitchen, DTW, MOMA PS1, Joe’s Pub, PS122, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and also in international dives both great and small. She is the recipient of numerous awards, and an adjunct professor of Performance and Theater studies and comedy theory at TISCH NYU. Her unique and obscure work is best understood through first hand witnessing. Check out her website to get a taste of her flavor.
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) was created in 1977 in response to White House scandals. Our mission is to ensure government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers and empowering citizen activists. GAP serves as a lifeline to employees of conscience and helps them release critical information that serves the public interest and the common good. Now in our 34th year, GAP has advanced to become not only the nation’s leading whistleblower support organization, but also an important government and corporate accountability organization both domestically and internationally. GAP’s change-oriented methodology includes representing whistleblowers, creating an effective advocacy agenda surrounding their concerns, and developing, then implementing, broad whistleblower protection policy reforms with extraordinary reach in the United States and abroad.
Haymarket Books was founded in the year 2001 to publish original progressive nonfiction works of interest to scholars, activists, and readers interested in books related to the history of movements for social change in the United States and engaged in contemporary political debates. Among our authors are Wallace Shawn, Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, and Amira Hass. We take inspiration and courage from our namesakes, the Haymarket martyrs, who gave their lives fighting for a better world. Their struggle for the eight-hour day in 1886 which gave us May Day, the international workers’ holiday, reminds workers around the world that ordinary people can organize and struggle for their own liberation. These struggles continue today around the globe. Haymarket Books, a nonprofit publisher, is a project of the Center for Economic Research and Social Change
Founded in 2001, High Mayhem Emerging Arts is a not-for-profit emerging arts facility, record label and multimedia production collective based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We challenge the homogenizing effect of pop-culture groupthink by providing opportunities for and fostering collaborations with underrepresented “experimental” artists. High Mayhem curates performances and organizes workshops year-round with musicians and performance artists who come from near and far. We seek out other brave explorers (and welcome those who have discovered us) to join us in producing innovative and thought-provoking experiences for our communities. Further, we encourage and organize collaborative experiments across disciplines; new forms emerge from mutated traditions and pure invention.
Honest Appalachia is a website and resource for whistleblowers in Appalachia who wish to reveal proof of corporate and government wrongdoing. Our mission is to use web-based technology to support and defend whistleblowers, journalists and other citizens in Appalachia as they seek to hold powerful institutions and individuals accountable to the public. The website, which was inspired by Wikileaks, is focused on local and regional issues in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Its efforts will focus on a broad variety of institutions, from coal and gas companies to banks and zoning boards to local and state governments. Honest Appalachia is operated by a team of freelance journalists, computer programmers and transparency activists in Appalachia and beyond.
The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research was founded in 1985 to further public involvement in and control over environmental problems through the democratization of science. IEER provides policy makers, the media, and community and grassroots leaders with technical training and scientific and policy analyses on environmental, energy, and security issues. IEER work has made important contributions to campaigns to stop nuclear weapons production, improve cleanup of nuclear weapons production sites, help get justice for sick nuclear weapons workers, and stop commercial nuclear reprocessing and the use of plutonium fuels in commercial nuclear power plants.
MIX is a structure for interaction and collaboration among inspired individuals, entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses and organizations. Through monthly events that showcase talent and local re- sources, MIX provides an avenue for personal contact and networking. Through innovative web tools, social media and micro- stimulus, MIX provides a mechanism for the development of ideas, businesses, and projects with corollary opportunities for promotion, recognition and start-up funding.
Planned Parenthood of New Mexico’s Santa Fe Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Project empowers youth to avoid teen pregnancy by increasing access to accurate sexual health information and providing more channels for youth to be involved with their families and community. This multi-pronged initiative uses multiple programs to ensure that students have the information and support that they need to avoid teen pregnancy and succeed in their academic and professional careers.
Project Survival Media is a global youth media network producing short photo and video documentaries on survival and ingenuity in the face climate change. We assemble media teams around the world, empowering and training young people on the art of powerful story telling. Currently, we work a team in India and a team in Kenya, but we hope to add 5 more teams in: Burundi, Chile, Egypt, Ireland, and Mongolia. We also work in the US with young people who are passionate about media and climate change to provide photography and videography to environmental justice organizations.
Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of affected Texas and Oklahoma residents and organizers using nonviolent direct action to physically stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
United Roots was created through the convergence of several Oakland organizations that provided safety net, arts, media, environmental awareness, leadership, and workforce programs for youth in order to connect them to education and employment. Founded in 2010, United Roots engages and supports Oakland youth by providing: arts and media training to instill confidence and develop talents; career and workforce development to cultivate professional skills; community engagement to connect youth to service providers and employers; and wellness services to allow youth to heal and grow.
The Yes Men are an international band of rogues best known for their exploits in “identity correction” — impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them. They do this (a) in order to demonstrate the absurd logic that keeps bad people and rotten ideas in power, and (b) because it’s absurdly fun. Their main goal is to focus attention on the dangers of economic policies that place profit before people and the environment. The Yes Lab is a think tank and training for activist groups to develop high-impact media projects, of the sort the Yes Men have doing for the last 12 years. Yes Lab sessions help small groups of activists, campaigners and organizers to conceive and execute disruptive, productive events that keep people reminded of what’s wrong, what could be right, and what’s in store if we don’t change our ways.