Educational Access and Success Grants
Barrington Stage Company, Program Grant, $5,000
The “Westside Community Arts Project” will engage young African-American women in creative and analytical writing and perform an original play as a companion piece to a professional reading “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.” The project will motivate young women to gain a deeper understanding of self and discover voice that is inherent to their unique life experience, and cultivate stronger writing and communication skills.
Berkshire United Way, Policy Grant, $6,000
The “Face the Facts Initiative” is a county-wide coalition made up of businesses, health care “Face the Facts: reduce teen pregnancy” is a countywide initiative made up of business leaders, health and human service providers, school personnel, youth service workers and concerned community citizens working together to support comprehensive sex education, increased access to reproductive healthcare services, evidence-based programs and opportunities for youth in order to increase healthy decision making among youth and reduce the teen birth rate in Berkshire County by 10% by 2016.
Greenfield Community College Foundation, Policy Grant, $7,000
The program will design, pilot and evaluate the second year of programming to serve women in transition and recovery by offering a new course and integrated services including personal and academic counseling, and peer mentoring provided by successful women student leaders. The project will also change college policy to adopt this model of a specialized course and support services.
Franklin and Hampshire Counties
Helen Berube Teen Parent Program, Operating Support, $3,000
The Helen Berube Teen Parent Program will provide comprehensive support to meet the educational, health, and social service needs of pregnant and parenting teens and their infants in order to ensure that teens receive their high school diploma or G.E.D. and that their children succeed as well.
Multicultural BRIDGE, Program Grant, $7,000
The “Bridge Women to Women (W2W) Project and Mujeres Latinas support group” will offer support and mentoring for women from diverse populations as they pursue their leadership, work and personal goals by promoting leadership and cultural integration in Berkshire County.
NEARI Jump-Start, Program Grant, $3,000 (all three focus areas)
New England Adolescent Research Institute (NEARI) Jump-Start works with high-risk youth in the Holyoke Flats area. The “Women’s Group” offers young Latina women who attend NEARI Jump-Start a comprehensive support system that enables them to attain their educational, economic, social
and emotional goals while building strong relationships with each other all under the framework of what it means to be a strong Latina.
Hampden and Hampshire Counties
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts , Program Grant, $6,000
“Seamos Honestos: Educating and Supporting Latino Parents as the Primary Sexuality Educators of their Children” will educate more than 1,300 parents, providing them with the knowledge, comfort and motivation they need to talk with their children about sex and sexuality. The program will also develop and implement a long term evaluation model to track changes in parent behavior over time.
Hampden and Hampshire Counties
Teatro V!da, Program Grant, $2,000
Teatro V!da’s mission is to build community leaders through the arts. Secrets from the Dressing Room will be a 12-week writing, performance and leadership training program for women and girls. The program will culminate in two public performances of original monologues examining the portrayal of women and girls in arts, culture and popular media and how this has affected the participant’s and other women’s lives. The project will be directed and co-written by writer and theater artist, Magdalena Gómez, Co-founder and Artistic Director of Springfield’s Teatro V!da. The project will include special guest performer and mentor, acclaimed playwright, actor and filmmaker, Janis Astor del Valle, author of the award winning solo shows, Trans Plantations and Becoming Joaquin.
Treehouse Foundation , Policy Grant, $7,000
“Hear Our Voices IV” grows from the Treehouse Foundation mission to ensure that children in foster care find their places in life-long family relationships and supportive communities. The Re-Envisioning Foster Care initiative uses strategic partnerships and approaches to support positive futures for women and children in foster care, and Hear Our Voices III cultivates leadership and empowerment among women in the Treehouse Community and Pioneer Valley in order to affect policy change in the foster care system.
Hampshire, Hampden, Franklin Counties
Voices From Inside, Operating Support Grant, $6,000
Voices From Inside increases educational and economic opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women through creative writing workshops, including workshops for girls in a locked facility and a halfway house. Two new programs will expand the writing-based offerings: “A Mom’s Storybook Project, “ in which incarcerated moms create a storybook for their children, and a “Writing skills Workshop” offering practical and academic writing so women can receive a GED and prepare for college writing.
Primarily Hampden County
Economic Justice Grants
Lutheran Social Services of New England , Program Grant, $7,000
The “Economic Advancement for Refugee Women Project” will improve the economic well-being, entrepreneurial opportunities and financial literacy of refugee women from Burma, Bhutan, Somalia, Haiti and Burundi through group and individual instruction and the development of a craft collective. The goal of these opportunities is to empower refugee women with the tools, skills and knowledge to provide long-term economic well-being for them and their families.
Neighbor to Neighbor , Policy Grant, $7,000 (Education and Economic Justice)
The “Leadership Development Program” is a two-year intensive leadership development program for low-income women of color seeking to increase their leadership in community organizing and public advocacy. Members will lead a campaign to improve health and work with city officials to shut down the Mt. Tom coal plant through door to door recruitment, individual and group leadership development and political education, and local and statewide advocacy activities. They will also build on the new Community Advisory Group to continue these efforts.
Safety and Freedom from Violence
Communities That Care Coalition, Policy Grant, $6,500
Communities That Care Coalitions is a collaborative effort between more than 50 community agencies dedicated to healthy youth development and prevention of youth substance use, violence and depression. The “Primary Prevention through Family Connection” project brings together over 12 agencies and groups that will work together to change community norms around the importance of high quality family time in order to help girls feel more connected to their families and to ensure that families are a source of strength to lead healthy, violence-free lives.
Elizabeth Freeman Center, Program and Policy Grant, $7,000
The “Advocacy, Relief and Empowerment Program” provides safety, support and assistance to women and their children fleeing imminent danger due to domestic violence and who are working to regain control of their lives. Services include 24-hour hotline with emergency services, shelter, courtroom advocacy, individual and group counseling, and community outreach and engagement.
Primarily Berkshire County
NELCWIT, Operating Support Grant, $6,000
NELCWIT’s mission is to work within the community to build safety, justice and dignity for all. The organization will offer referrals to shelter, counseling, education, advocacy and community organizing to women and children who have survived domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Franklin and Hampshire Counties
Hilltown Safety at Home, Operating and Policy Grant, $7,000
“Advocacy Services to Domestic Violence Victims” offers advocacy services to victims of domestic violence by checking state police logs and calling all victims who have contacted police to offer safety planning, advocacy, transportation and court accompaniment. The program also accepts referrals from community agencies and residents.
Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire counties
Prison Birth Project , Operating and Policy Grant, $7,500 (Economic Justice and Educational Access and Success)
The Prison Birth Project focuses on reproductive justice, working to provide support, education and advocacy to women and girls at the intersection of the criminal justice system and motherhood. The organization will continue to operate PBP’s programs will aim to promote the leadership of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and take part in a strategy for long-term systemic change.
All four counties