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Announcing the 2016 Seed Fund Grantees

Each spring, RSF provides small gifts to seed new initiatives that offer innovative solutions in the field of social finance, or address issues in one of our three focus areas – Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship. Thank you to all of our individual investors, donors, and staff members who make the RSF Seed Fund possible! And with that said, we are pleased to announce the 2016 Seed Fund grantees:

Carondelet Community Betterment Federation | St. Louis, Missouri

CCBFFounded in 1971, Carondelet Community Betterment Federation (CCBF) strives to identify and improve the basic social, economic and educational needs of its community through community outreach and collaborative efforts. The Seed Fund grant will support Food & Nutritional Outreach programs by providing local, organically grown produce from a new wholly sustainable bucket garden to CCBF’s food pantry clientele, supplementing USDA-supplied food distributed monthly.

Dakota Rural Action | Brookings, South Dakota

DakotaRuralActionDakota Rural Action (DRA) is a membership based grassroots family agriculture and conservation group with a mission to build grassroots leadership through community organizing, giving people a strong voice in decisions affecting their quality of life. The Seed Fund grant supports DRA’s Farm Community Learning Center (FCLC), a working produce farm and resource center providing self-sufficiency trainings and farming education. The FCLC will increase food access in the community of Sioux Falls, where low-income neighborhoods lack access to fresh foods, as well as the Flandreau Indian School.

Diving With A Purpose | Nashville, Tennessee

DivingPurposeDiving with a Purpose (DWP) is dedicated to the conservation and protection of submerged heritage resources by providing education, training, certification and field experience to adults and youth in the fields of maritime archaeology and ocean conservation. The Seed Fund grant will support the education and training of minority youth and underserved communities on the environmental realities impacting life-sustaining corals, in efforts to increase the number of minority youth engaged in the preservation and enjoyment of growing and planting coral reefs.

Hudson Valley Current | Rosendale, New York

HudsonValleyCurrent2The Hudson Valley Current (HVC) is committed to the proposition that establishing a complementary regional currency that encourages the robust exchange of goods and services locally, rather than the transfer of wealth outside the region, is a unique and important way to empower area businesses and residents. The Seed Fund grant will be used to support the development of Kingston, NY as a Current Anchor Community—a municipality with a concentration of HVC members that facilitates easy and frequent use of the Current for day-to-day transactions- keeping money in the community and providing opportunities for improving financial literacy.

PCC Farmland Trust | Seattle, Washington

PCCFarmlandTrustPCC Farmland Trust exists to secure, preserve, and steward threatened farmland in Washington, ensuring that generations of local farmers productively farm using sustainable, organic growing methods. They take their mission one step further by innovating on traditional conservation tools to provide access to affordable farmland. The Seed Fund grant will support the establishment of the Advancing Farm Sustainability (AFS) program. This program will enable farmers to adopt new approaches to sustainable land management – better protecting and stewarding the natural resources on their farms—that would otherwise be cost prohibitive.

Seeds of Awareness | Petaluma, California

Seeds of Awareness facilitates evidence-based social and emotional support programs with a mission to transform schools and communities by cultivating empathy, connection and awareness.  Seeds of Awareness offers wrap around support to schools and communities utilizing mindfulness-based methodologies, including mindfulness-based school services, service learning initiatives, sliding-scale community counseling, and nature-based social skills groups, summer camps, and therapy sessions. The Seed Fund grant will support efforts to strengthen existing mindfulness curriculum.

Troupe Therapy | Boulder, Colorado

TroupeTherapyTroupe Therapy co-creates community with teenage youth struggling with substance abuse, harmful behaviors, mental illness, and homelessness through exploratory movement, dance, and multimedia performance based on proven therapy techniques. They provide youth participants with a space to negotiate their individual artistic process and express themselves through choreography design and performance production. The Seed Fund grant will support a full day workshop and following eight week educational and artistic program for at-risk youth.

Urban Tilth | Richmond, California

UrbanTilthUrban Tilth cultivates agriculture in west Contra Costa County to help their community build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. They hire and train residents to work with schools, community-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, and individuals to develop the capacity to produce 5% of their own food supply. The Seed Fund grant will support the research and development of a sound business plan and startup costs for a new CSA project supported solely from Urban Tilth gardens and urban farms.

Urban Youth Ambassadors | Oakland, California

UrbanYouthAmbassadorsUrban Youth Ambassadors (UYA) is dedicated to providing transformative travel experiences and opportunities for youth to develop confidence, global awareness and leadership skills. The Seed Fund grant will support Urban Youth Ambassadors Travel Academy, a summer program that will serve 20 low-income Oakland children and youth ages 11-14 for 5 weeks. Through culturally enriching field trips and project-based activities, UYA aims to increase participants’ self-confidence, cultural awareness and knowledge of local geography. The final project challenges Ambassadors to plan and creatively present what they learned at a community event titled “The Bay Area Through Our Eyes”.

The Waldorf School of Philadelphia | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

WaldorfPhilly1The Waldorf School of Philadelphia (WSP) is a vibrant learning community where education is based on integration of the academic with the artistic, the intellectual with the beautiful — fostering the full engagement of its students in the world around them. The Seed Fund grant will support a pathway to Waldorf Education for neighborhood students that attend nearby struggling schools. The grant will help to reduce the cost for students to attend the Out-of-School-Time Programs, namely the Afterschool Handwork class.

The Navajo Bee Project | Boulder, Colorado

TheNavajoBeeProjectThe Navajo Bee Project’s mission is to provide pollinators to Navajo and other First Nations to encourage biodiversity and create income and ownership through honey and beeswax production. By supporting natural beekeeping in conjunction with the Navajo tradition, The Project aims to bring back pollinators to Navajo Land and reclaim land lost to mining. The Seed Fund grant will support the gifting of a hives and one acre pollinator gardens, equipment, training and support to create self-sustaining apiaries on the Navajo Reservation.

Together We Bake | Alexandria, Virginia

TogetherWeBakeTogether We Bake’s mission is to provide a comprehensive workforce training and personal development program to help formerly incarcerated and low-income women gain self-confidence, transferable workforce skills, and invaluable hands-on experience which will allow them to find sustainable employment and move toward self-sufficiency. Their training program is centered around a micro-baking business where participants become proficient in food production, food safety education and customer service. The Seed Fund Grant will support food recovery and the prevention of food waste, increased purchasing from local farmers who would otherwise not sell their “ugly” produce, and job training and personal development for formerly incarcerated or otherwise disadvantaged women.

Click here to learn more about the RSF Seed Fund.

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