We Raise Foundation Awards Four Emerging Leader Grants
Itasca, Ill. –We Raise Foundation recently awarded four Emerging Leader Grants totaling $60,000. Emerging Leader Grants are an investment in the development of leaders between the ages of 20-35 at Christian organizations who are leading new programs at the intersection of poverty, violence, and inequality.
Each Emerging Leader Grantee receives $15,000 over two years with $10,000 supporting the program and $5,000 supporting leadership development. This leadership development includes attendance at a Leadership Fundamentals conference through The Center for Creative Leadership; attendance at the Global Leadership Summit through satellite locations; and individualized leadership coaching.
For more information regarding the Emerging Leader Grant program, please visit the website at weraise.org/emergingleadergrants.
The newest Emerging Leader Grant recipients are:
Discover Community Café
Discover Community Café, Oakland, Calif.
Krystle Chipman founded Discover Community Café out of a great love for people, food, and a strong belief in the power of community. She is convinced that we truly belong to each other and that creating dignified, quality jobs is paramount to building an inclusive economy where every human can flourish. Before launching Discover, Chipman worked for Northern California Grantmakers where she managed the longest-running loan fund in its history, managed multiple funder collaboratives, and coordinated events and programs for philanthropy. She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Service at the Clinton School of Public Service, Little Rock, Ark., where she built capacity for mission driven organizations focusing on poverty alleviation, economic development, and combating food insecurity. Chipman also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with a nonprofit that promoted public health in South Eastern Kentucky. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at University of California Santa Cruz.
Discover Community Café’s mission is to leverage the power of food and community to create good jobs for women overcoming barriers to employment, champion local entrepreneurs and businesses, and cultivate a space that ignites connection. It operates with three North Stars: Through the Transformative Jobs North Star, Discover will create a yearlong, paid apprenticeship for women overcoming barriers to employment. It will provide training in running all aspects of the café, partner with local nonprofits to offer wrap-around services, and provide an opportunity to become an owner of the café after completing the apprenticeship. Under the Championing Local North Star, apprentices will work closely with Discover’s chef in curating a rotating menu. Under the Center Community North Star, apprentices will be a part of cultivating a space that ignites connection, working closely with Discover’s general manager to establish the café as a place that brings respite and joy to those who live and work in West Oakland.
A Walk in My Shoes: A Documentary Project
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Cleveland, Ohio
Gloria Craig has served as the Community Engagement Coordinator at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry in Cleveland, Ohio, since September 2021. She believes that healing is an imperative piece to uplifting and empowering different neighborhoods, communities, and groups of people who have been intentionally ignored, forgotten, and oppressed. Craig attended Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and a minor in Justice, Law, and Public Policy. She received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University through the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Cleveland, Ohio.
The We Raise grant will help fund the creation of “A Walk in My Shoes: A Documentary Project,” a short documentary based on residents at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s Men’s Shelter at 2100 Lakeside, the largest shelter in the state of Ohio, serving up to 365 men per night. The documentary will feature 4-6 residents from the shelter who share their experiences being homeless, and the desired outcome will be for the film to be screened by 500 people once complete. The documentary aims to better educate the community on the experiences faced by those living in a homeless shelter while also highlighting how systematic barriers to employment and/or housing can contribute to extended stays in shelter.
Digging Deeper: Participant Observation Study of Expanding Chopping for Change to Male Students in Grafton Correctional Facility
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Cleveland, Ohio
Elizabeth Stiles has dedicated her career to adult education and community development. She started at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM), Cleveland, Ohio, in 2013 as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Drawn to the mission of “walking alongside those who are oppressed, forgotten, and hurting,” Stiles is now nearing her 10th year of service with LMM and currently serves as the Academic Programs Manager. In that role, she teaches several classes in the Workforce Development Culinary Training Program. She is also the Academic Dean and Registrar for LMM’s Culinary School, which has expanded under her guidance to include an 18-month Associate’s Degree track. Stiles is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio.
Ohio correctional institutions house nearly 45,000 individuals who recidivate at a rate of over 35%. Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry is committed to ending recidivism for incarcerated individuals in Ohio through the expansion of its Chopping for Change (C4C) program and other efforts to support successful reentry into community. C4C is an innovative prisoner reentry program that includes counseling, support services, and culinary arts training. It first began for women at Cleveland’s Northeast Reintegration Center in 2015 and the expansion to Grafton Correctional Facility is the first time C4C will include a male population. The Digging Deeper project will facilitate a participant observation study that will work to identify, strategize, and address the key challenges male workforce development program participants experience during their reentry journey from incarceration to community reintegration.
FoodShare Greenville:Rx – A Comprehensive Healthy Eating Prescription Program
Mill Village Ministries, Greenville, S.C.
Morgan Wilson lives in Greenville, S.C., and has a heart for educating and enriching her surrounding community. She has worked and volunteered for food access and distribution nonprofit organizations across Georgia and South Carolina. Her faith and background in ministry deeply support her approach to community development and believes in pursuing intentional relationships with the people that she serves. Wilson has worked at Mill Village Ministries since January 2021 and looks forward to continuing to advocate for Greenville residents in under-resourced neighborhoods. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication from Georgia College, Milledgeville, Ga., in 2019 and worked in college ministry for two years after graduation.
FoodShare Greenville connects families and communities to fresh fruits and vegetables through bi-weekly fresh food boxes, currently distributed to an average of 900 families every other week. The We Raise grant will help fund FoodShare Greenville’s FoodRX program and enable them to significantly expand the FoodRX program to equip healthcare and community partners with vouchers to prescribe healthy food boxes as preventative medicine to residents experiencing food insecurity and lead health education programming for FoodShare Greenville customers.
About We Raise Foundation
Motivated by the belief that freedom is grace in action (Galatians 5:1a), We Raise Foundation partners with Christian nonprofit organizations and emerging leaders working at the intersection of poverty, violence, and inequality. We have a preference for funding solutions within the areas of education, workforce development, and criminal justice and employ a unique approach to our investing by coupling program funding with a variety of robust value-added services that empower our grantees to grow their solutions. As a result of these value-add services, every $1 that donors invest through We Raise multiplies into more than double the benefit to the organizations we support. To learn more, please visit weraise.org. You can also find We Raise on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.