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We are excited to announce the winners of the Tzedek Impact Awards, a pilot grantmaking initiative designed to support individuals who are working to transform Asheville into a community where everyone thrives.
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.
Through Aisha Adams’ work, the landscape of local media is demonstrably more inclusive. Bianca Gragg has launched the Colorful Pages Coalition that provides storybooks that feature positive representations of children of color to local classrooms and community spaces. Joe Greene mentors youth and the broader community to become entrepreneurs. Through Shauntey Jives’s efforts, youth of color have spaces to for skill building, peer support, and leadership development.
Through Marcus Davis’ efforts, Asheville’s trans communities are more intersectional in their approach. Ashley Cooper uses her skill at facilitating affinity groups and caucus spaces to support systemic change in Asheville.
Keaton Hill brings racial justice analysis to her efforts with faith leaders to transform community engagement from charity to change. Kasia Maatafale is invested in cultivating community wellbeing through neighborhood engagement in her work with Southside Rising.
Cortina Caldwell actualizes equity by mobilizing artists and transforming the narrative. Lauren Rayburn has facilitated deep relationship building among the Youth Elevation Collaborative, a group of five local organizations serving youth of color in Asheville. Daniele Martin’s vision makes arts and healing practices accessible for community wellness. Ami Worthen mobilizes action through her writing and community work. Yashika Smith is fortifying the lives of Asheville’s women and girls through an out of the box gardening program.
Marta Alcala-Williams is bringing trauma-informed strategies and a racial equity lens to her work in Asheville City Schools to transform the experience of Asheville’s students. Philip Cooper has built lasting partnerships with local employers to support justice involved Ashevillians. Phyllis Utley brings a human rights framework and deep intersectional analysis with collaborations throughout the City. Yvette Jives has convened critical conversations designed to improve the survival rates of Black women diagnosed with cancer.
Tzedek Impact Awards represent a significant shift in AMKRF’s approach to grantmaking in three ways.
First, the Tzedek Impact Awards exemplify trust-based grantmaking. No requirements or conditions are placed on the use of the funds. Winners discern the best use of resources. For one recipient, what is needed are funds to register for a facilitation training. For another, a new suit is the most pressing need.
Second, these awards honor that individuals directly impacted by systemic oppression are best positioned to lead world changing work. Life experience is expertise.
Finally, these awards provide an access point for those individuals who may not have relationships with funders. In the process, our relationships expand, and we learn more about the amazing leaders living and working for a transformed Asheville.
As of July 22, 2019, all funds set aside for the Tzedek Impact Awards have been distributed. We are no longer accepting self-nominations for the Tzedek Impact Awards.