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We are excited to announce the first round of winners of the 2020 Tzedek Impact Awards.
We are awed and humbled at the innovative and heartfelt work unfolding throughout Asheville. Here are some of the impacts made by these powerful people.
Aisha Adams launched the webseries The Asheville View which covers pressing stories in Asheville that center on equity and justice. Episodes have reached more than ten thousand viewers and are critical resources in community conversations about racial justice in Asheville, including the YWCA’s racial justice workshops.
As the founder and organizers of Singing Alive Appalachia (now Earthsong Rising), Alinahh Ever has worked towards using the gathering to deepen consciousness about racial equity, by co-creating designated spaces for BIPOC and for folks to have conversations about racism, white supremacy, white privilege, white fragility and more.
As Colorful Pages Coalition co-founder Bianca Gragg has put picture books featuring Black, Indigenous, or POC characters written by BIPOC authors into the hands of teachers, students, and school administrators and to begin conversations about how white supremacist and dominant cultures show up in classrooms and schools.
Brynn Estelle has worked with Tranzmission, organizing annual community events such as the Transgender Day of Visibility, Stonewall Commemoration, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance, along with numerous legal name change clinics and peer support groups.
Christopher Joe Green is the founder of Hood Talk, a program that offers youth an opportunity to hear from thriving adults about how they became successful despite bias and oppression. Through My Daddy Taught Me That, he serves as a role model, helping youth develop action plans to make dreams a reality.
Native Ashevillian, Dee Williams led regional think-tanks to create the City/County Minority Business Plan and secured the first contract for a Black owned business from the City of Asheville. She is currently working towards local efforts on participatory budgeting and forming a Returning Citizens Committee for ex-felons returning home from jail.
As CEO of A Therapist Like Me, Catie Beaulieu supports minority-identified clients and therapists and the larger community to connect in mutually beneficial ways that lead to greater healing and the reduction of mental health stigma.
With deep relationships with a range of queer-serving organizations in Asheville, Jékksyn Orilyn Ícaro and currently works for the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition where they helped to lay the foundation for a new branch of the org focusing on Black nonbinary trans individuals.
Instructional development coach, Kimberly Nava Eggett has worked to challenge systemic racism at Claxton Elementary as part of the Social Justice League. There she has organized Family Voices Nights, where families of color are invited to share their experiences as the school works towards a collective investment in inclusion.
Marisol Jimenez responded to COVID-19 crisis by co-creating the Coping with Corona Collective, which has mobilized healers, policy makers, therapists, and cultural workers who committed to making offerings that have included zoom karaoke, conversations on dying, updates on policy advocacy, trainings on mutual aid, parent support circles, somatic work, and a cooking show.
Phyllis Utley, a collaborative cultural worker, literary artist, policy analyst, and popular educator, most recently led the inaugural Carolina Jews for Justice Racial Justice Practice Group, a group convened to build leadership capacity for multiracial collaboration.
Tuesday V Feral has been working with Tranzmission since 2008 to offer regular peer support meetings and 1:1 peer support and help non-binary and transgender people access the resources and support they need. Tuesday also advocates provide consults and training to medical and behavioral providers on best practices for supporting trans and nonbinary clients.
As a nurse, Yvette Jives has had a 33 year career in women’s health and preventative care focused on patient centered care. As the founder of HERS, she helps women of color diagnosed with ovarian cancer navigate complex health and social systems to increase survival rates.
As a Tranzmission co-founder, Zeke Christopoulos has made space for transgender and nonbinary people to survive and thrive. Some significant offerings include a training program for medical, religious, educational and business organizations, educational social media campaigns, and LGBTQ prisoner support; medical/social resource list keeping and dissemination; medical provider networking
Read more here about how the Tzedek Impact Awards represent a shift in our grantmaking.