The Care Center, whose mission is to support pregnant and parenting teens through education, will enter its second year of funding for their college-level course “Religion & the World Community,” offered through Elms College. The course will allow students to gain insight into the intersection between religion and social change while improving their personal situations, engaging in diverse community life, and accessing higher education. Three college credits are awarded to students who complete the course.
$18,750 one-year grant
The Christian Center of Pittsfield will continue their collaborations with participants from the Berkshire County House of Correction, the Redfield House, McInerney Parent Service Programs, and the Christian Center's Family Services Program during their second year of funding for the “Women of Means” program. The Christian Center will continue their exploration of the underlying spiritual values concerning fiscal responsibility.
$20,240 one-year grant
Class Action, an organization committed to promoting economic justice, will bring together members of four Pioneer Valley UCC church congregations, the Amherst Survival Center, and women in the community and their families through their participation in “Women Building Bridges for Economic Development and Justice.” This project will work to bring women together across class lines for the purpose of economic empowerment and social change.
$37,500 two-year grant
Community Action, whose mission is to promote economic justice and improve the quality of life for people with low incomes, will help women through their CommonCents program to create individual development accounts and enter the financial mainstream through homeownership, higher education, or small business start-up. Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, which works with people living with disabilities and/or the impact of abuse, will help women trauma survivors heal through the mastery of skills needed to run their own micro-enterprises through their Women's Idea Factory program. Both programs will develop new bridges to facilitate women from the Idea Factory enrolling in CommonCents. They will also work with members of the faith communities through a project called Bridging Compassion and Service in order to generate dialogue and explore new connections between social service providers and traditional faith communities.
One-year grant of $15,000 for Community Action, $10,000 for Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, $5,000 for Bridging Compassion and Service project.
Square One's mission is to prepare children, in partnership with families, to succeed in school, at work, and in life. Square One will partner with Catholic Charities Agency and the Springfield Housing Authority to deliver a personal and spiritual growth education series for women residents of one of Springfield's public housing facilities to increase financial and social confidence. Called the “Speak Up!” program, this initiative will provide instruction for effective money management, communication skills, and parenting and empowerment strategies.
$5,000 one-year grant
Alasto is a faith-based community service organization committed to improving the lives of women and girls through multi-cultural/multi-ethnic dialogue, education, service, and collaboration. Collaborating partners include the Gray House of Springfield, Sisters of Saint Joseph of Mont Marie, the International League of Muslim Women, Inc. New England Chapter, and Smith College School of Social Work.
$10,000 one-year planning grant
The Care Center
The Care Center's college-level course, “Religion & the World Community,” is designed specifically for educationally and economically disadvantaged young mothers at the Care Center, an organization that provides opportunities for low-income, predominantly Puerto Rican young mothers living in Holyoke. Offered through a collaboration with Elms College, this course helps students gain insight into the intersection between religion and social change, and develop skills to access higher education.
$25,000 one-year grant
The Christian Center of Pittsfield
The Christian Center of Pittsfield is a religious, humanitarian, and educational nonprofit organization that embodies concern for developing Christian faith, family life, and neighborhood vitality. The Women of Means Program is based on economic principles of Kawanzaa, and works with participants from the Berkshire County House of Correction, the Redfield House, McInerney Parent Services Programs, and the Christian Center's Family Services Program to help them explore the underlying spiritual values concerning fiscal responsibility and establish concrete money management strategies.
$10,000 one-year planning grant
“A Seat at the Table” is a project that promotes economic justice for survivors of interpersonal violence. Developed from a collaboration between the Everywoman's Center, Safe Passage, and First Churches in Northampton, the project focuses on the economic needs of survivors of interpersonal violence, and addresses the economic impact of sexual and domestic violence on the broader community.
$25,000 one-year grant
The Somali Women’s Project—WALAALO/New WORLD Theater
The Somali Women's Project prepares Somali refugee women in the Springfield area to plan and launch a collective grassroots business enterprise. Through collaboration between these refugee women, the Light of Restoration Ministries, the New WORLD Theater, International Language Institute, the Center for Popular Economics, and the Community Music School of Springfield, the project works through an arts-based economic development process of skill building, language acquisition, community building, business and marketing training, and artistic creation.
$50,000 two-year grant