Expensify.org, a charity founded by the preaccounting platform Expensify, today announced the 10 winners of the Community Justice Grant Challenge. These 10 grassroots organizations and individuals from across the world fighting injustice in their community will receive up to $25,000 in funding to scale their efforts. This initiative is just the beginning and part of Expensify’s $3 million commitment to combat systemic inequity.
After launching the Community Justice Grant Challenge in February and receiving more than 1,000 applications to advance community initiatives supporting climate justice, food security, housing equity, reentry services, or youth advocacy, Expensify.org announced over 60 semifinalists. In mid July, 10,000 people voted for their favorite campaign to select 10 finalists to receive $25K. Additionally, to honor the incredible effort put into these campaign applications, semifinalists will receive $5,000 to advance their efforts for change.
“The best part of this grant challenge has been connecting with so many creative, inspiring organizations and community advocates across the globe. These people are doing the real work in fighting to make their communities more just, healthy, and sustainable,” said Puneet Lath, a Director at Expensify. “These 10 winners represent the campaigns for change the public are most excited about, and we are thrilled to see each and every one of our campaigns expand their reach as they strive to change the world around them.”
The 10 winning campaigns of the Community Justice Grant Challenge are:
Building A Mutual Aid Community By Feeding Milan, based in Milan, Italy and run by Mutuo Soccorso Milano, seeks to create and consolidate mutual aid communities in the most difficult neighborhoods to distribute food and care packages. They also aim to give life to a community kitchen that would prepare hot meals for the homeless.
Creating Sustainable Change in the Foster Care Community, based in Atlanta, Georgia and run by Atlanta Angels, seeks to walk alongside the foster care community through intentional giving, relationship building, and mentorship on a TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) model, which utilizes healthy relationships to heal trauma.
Defy Ventures Second Chance Success Program, based in New York, New York and run by Defy Ventures, helps individuals with criminal histories eliminate barriers to employment through innovative “inside-out” prison reentry programs that build personal and professional capacity for long-term success. Defy participants, called Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs), complete an intensive curriculum that prepares them to succeed when they’ve been released. Upon release, EITs are paired up with peer mentors to provide a warm welcome back into the world.
Eliminating Homelessness One Tiny House at a Time, based in Chicago, Illinois and run by Chicago Tiny House, creates tiny house communities in Chicago that provide the homeless with safe, cost-effective housing and integrated support services. Their outreach program also takes vital supplies to vulnerable neighbors living in tent cities or under bridges.
Eliminating Sexual Violence in Confinement and Empowering Formerly Incarcerated-Led Services and Businesses, based in New York, New York and run by Witness to Mass Incarceration Inc., will address conditions of confinement and facilitate successful reentry through a commitment to eliminating sexual violence in confinement. Witness wants to ensure third-party access by creating its own approved hotline, as well as build a movement for economic empowerment for formerly incarcerated people.
Empower Underprivileged Children Through Education, based in Berlin, Germany and run by Lilipad, aims to open more libraries in Uganda, Morocco, and Germany to create a safe haven for children in need to read, learn and grow.
Ending Poverty and Incarceration for Women and Girls, based in New York, New York and run by The Ladies of Hope Ministries, aims to address the crisis caused by the intersection of mass incarceration, sexual violence, and systemic racism on women and girls. The organization works to provide safe, secure, and trauma-treatment centered housing and reentry services and create alternatives to incarceration, decarceration, and post-incarceration opportunities for women and girls.
For Oak Cliff Food Security Programs, based in Dallas, Texas and run by For Oak Cliff, provides culturally responsive initiatives in South Oak Cliff to liberate the community from systemic oppression, create a culture of education, and increase social mobility and social capital. This includes a food distribution program and community garden, since Oak Cliff is located in a food desert where 67% of the 40,000 Superblock residents live below the poverty line and 40% of residents do not have a GED.
Giving Grove: Community Orchards Providing Free, Fresh, Local Fruit to Those in Need, based in Omaha, Nebraska and run by the Big Garden, aims to cultivate food security and build community gardens by continuing to plant small orchards that produce nearly 50,000 pounds of fruit yearly.
Replace. Restore. Rise. Clean Water Project, based in New York, New York and run by the National Clean Water Collective (NCWC), tackles safe water issues from the root of the problem, while implementing the best possible solution for a home or business. The program implements Point-of-Entry (POE) filtration systems in commercial and residential properties to remove over 99% of lead & other harmful toxins from tap water.
These winners will also be eligible for additional funding support of up to $100K from Expensify.org. To learn more about the Community Justice Grant Challenge, visit www.expensify.org and check out the launch video HERE.