Welcome to 2019 and welcome to our new slate of Humanist Grant beneficiaries!
We are thrilled to announce the four organizations that we will be supporting in Q1. We are excited by the work they are doing and our ongoing partnerships with these organizations.
Poverty and Health: The Tandana Foundation, our 2018 Compassionate Impact Grant recipient, works in Ecuador and Mali to support local community initiatives related to education, health, food security, water resources, environmental conservation, and income generation.
Tandana has a “first-person orientation,” which means their approach is based on respect and responsibility. The members of their community partners define their own priorities, which builds confidence and creates an environment of collaboration. Tandana is committed to following through on their own promises and nurturing friendships and expects the same from their community partners, which creates successful, sustainable projects.
Tandana’s strategies align with FBB’s in many ways: the emphasis on planning initiatives based on community-identified needs rather than implementing projects based on preconceived assumptions; teaching literacy classes in the native Tommo So language rather than a western language such as French or English; and the emphasis on building long-term independence for the women.
Education: SMASH is committed to eliminating the barriers faced by young underrepresented people of color in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and fostering their untapped talent. While STEM occupation opportunities overall are increasing, Black and Latinx people remain underrepresented in STEM fields. SMASH is not only an education organization, SMASH’s four programs weave mentorship, social justice, career opportunities, and life skills into their STEM curricula.
SMASH Academy, the flagship program, is a three-year college prep program that empowers students to deepen their talents and pursue STEM careers. In the summer the students attend tuition-free classes at leading universities like Berkeley, Stanford, and Morehouse and during the school year there is monthly programming. The students are coached by instructors of color, which both helps them to connect more deeply with the content and gives them role models representing their potential future.
The efficacy and impact of SMASH’s programs is underscored by their evidence-based program design and pre/post impact survey results. Their 2017 alumni outcomes are above national average for graduation rates, Bachelor degree completion rates, and majoring in STEM. SMASH also measured social-emotional indicators and found significant growth. SMASH’s model opens doors for low-income students of color and demonstrates an impact on the availability of STEM interest, education, and careers for those students, which is why FBB has chosen SMASH as the Education beneficiary for Q1 2019.
Human Rights: The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project provides free legal services to people, including unaccompanied children, in immigration custody in Arizona. 86% of detained people go through immigration removal proceedings without legal representation because of poverty. The Florence Project strives for all immigrants facing removal to have access to counsel, to understand their rights, and to be treated fairly and humanely.
The Florence Project was founded in the 1980s in response to Central American immigrants, who have no rights to public defense, trying to navigate the US legal process on their own after crossing the Arizona-Mexico border attempting to flee persecution. Through the years they have expanded their programming to include focused asylum case support, empowerment models to help people represent themselves more effectively, and legal services for unaccompanied minors. They also expanded to address social service needs for clients and training for public defenders.
The Florence Project is a leader on this issue with 20 years of experience supporting detained children in deportation proceedings.
Natural World: EcoViva, our 2017 Compassionate Impact Grant awardee, has worked for decades with grassroots organizations in El Salvador to promote environmental sustainability, economic security, and social justice. By working with local fishermen and leaders to develop and implement sustainable use plans, EcoViva has helped communities ensure both the preservation of local livelihoods and protect the ecosystems they rely upon.
EcoViva’s successes have included the implementation of mangrove restoration plans that return mangroves to full health. These restoration plans have been recognized by the Salvadoran government as a model for national coastal policy and rural development.
The backbone of EcoViva’s approach to implement effective Mangrove Ecosystem resource management within local communities is called PLAS (Local Sustainable Use Plan). PLAS recognizes that the residents of each community are important stakeholders in the conservation of the mangrove ecosystem.
EcoViva continues to empower the residents of villages in Bajo Lempa in the Bay of Jiquilisco to conserve resources, improve their livelihoods, and educate their peers regarding their critically important Mangrove Habitats.
At FBB we recognize the impact ongoing support can make. For that reason, this quarter we are featuring some organizations again. Tandana and EcoViva are both previous CIG recipients who are working on sustainable solutions to complex problems. The Florence Project was a beneficiary of FBB’s Call to Action: Family Separation at the Border. They are featured again as the Human Rights beneficiary this year because the family separation crisis is complex, ongoing, and a blatant human rights violation. SMASH is a new FBB beneficiary whose programming is designed to support students of color with STEM interests for years.
We are looking forward to seeing what progress these Q1 beneficiaries makes in 2019 and beyond.
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