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Equity Through Access

The 2021 theme is Equity Through Access: projects/programs that increase access and/or elevate the quality of life for communities of color. Eight organizations were awarded $63,300. Fifty percent of funded agencies are led by executive directors/CEOs of color. Watch the video or click below to learn more about the grantees!

CasaLuz

Domestic Violence Equity for Survivors Through Access to Services (DV ESTAS) » $5,000

CasaLuz, a victim service agency, supports Hispanic crime victims who have suffered domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, and harassment, and related crimes. CasaLuz empowers survivors to bring their perpetrators to justice while seeking safety, independence, and healing from traumatic violence through provision of services grounded in consideration of a person's culture, especially important in times of vulnerability.

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CHOICES: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health

Increasing Midwifery Access in Memphis » $10,000

CHOICES provides patient-centered medical care and champions sexual and reproductive rights.  It seeks to provide group education sessions for its birthing patients. The purpose of these sessions is to instill trust in patients' bodies, ensure they are prepared for the birth process, and empower them to navigate the healthcare system and take control of their future health care needs.

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Watch CHOICES' pitch video

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CodeCrew

$10,000

CodeCrew educates and mentors those most underrepresented in tech, to be tech leaders and innovators through practical hands-on computer science education. CodeED, CodeCrew's K-12 Computer Science (CS) programs, include in-school, afterschool, summer programs, exposure events, teacher professional development, and policy and advocacy. CodeED is where CodeCrew achieves its largest daily impact, providing instruction to approximately 400 students daily, training teachers in CS (which multiplies our indirect impact), and leading the charge for K-12 state legislation, cementing CodeCrew's impact on nearly one million students in Tennessee.

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Creative Aging

Enriching Seniors' Lives Through the Arts » $4,000

Creative Aging's programs utilize arts engagement to enhance seniors' health and well-being, improve cognitive vitality, and reduce isolation by building a sense of joy, connection and inclusion within diverse senior communities located throughout Memphis and Shelby County. 

Creative Aging will enrich the quality of life of participants at Alzheimers & Dementia Services of Memphis (ADS) (2 adult  day care centers) through arts and music engagement. 83% of ADS participants are persons of color, 97% are over 65, all are disabled. Most live in poverty. While Creative Aging now provides ADS with 12 events/year, ADS lacks funding to support regular art/music engagement. Grant funding would increase high-quality, enriching arts activities from 12 to 48 events/year.

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Just City

Equity Through Access » $14,300

Just City exists to transform local criminal justice policy and practice to ensure it is fair for all people regardless of wealth, race, or ethnicity.

COVID-19 suspended the Clean Slate Fund's traditional community outreach. This project seeks to target non-internet users, therefore, increasing community knowledge of the Clean Slate Fund and criminal record expungement access. The criminal legal system disproportionately impacts Black people struggling against multi-generational poverty and second-class citizenship. Access to employment and economic opportunities is a core issue, especially when possessing a criminal record.

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Landmark Training Development Company

Landmark Farmers Market » $5,000

Landmark Training Development Company's mission is to create sustainable agricultural environments in food desert communities.

Landmark Food Pantry distributes food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough food to avoid hunger. Open 5 days per week since 2011, it is a "client choice" pantry which means clients pick their food items, bag them, and are welcome to shop once per week.

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Man Up Teacher Fellowship

Building Up Memphis: One Teacher at a Time » $10,000

Man Up Teacher Fellowship gives students in high poverty, urban, and rural communities—particularly male students of color—access to high-quality male teachers of color; advances policies that promote equity in K-12 schools; and supports aspiring teachers.  

Through Praxis Academy, MUTF will equip aspiring teachers with the tools needed to study for, and pass their Praxis exams so they can become licensed, qualified teachers. Praxis Academy applications are open to all aspiring teachers who need to be equipped with the tools to pass the Praxis exams. Licensed, qualified teachers provide a higher educational yield for our students, particularly important after the COVID-19 pandemic's devastating effect on our children's educational attainment.

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Memphis Library Foundation

English Classes in Public Parks and Other Community Spaces » $5,000

The Memphis Library Foundation harnesses the power of private support to ensure that the Memphis Public Libraries offers world-class facilities, programs, and collections to meet the needs of everyone in our diverse community, regardless of their circumstances.

This project will partner with Literacy Mid-South (LMS) to offer ESL classes for adults 18+ in public spaces like parks and community centers. By offering ESL classes beyond the library walls, this project will overcome transportation and cultural barriers and allow Memphis Public Libraries (MPL) staff to sign up participants for library cards and connect them with other valuable programming for their entire household.

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