As the next President of the United States takes the oath of office, Sprout is reaffirming our commitment to supporting people who are ready to stand up and take action on the issues that matter most to them and their community.
Today, we’re pleased to announce more than $120,000 in grant funding to support 25 community-led projects as part of our 100 Days of US campaign to empower people to act locally during the first 100 days of the new presidential administration to advance positive, solution-oriented responses to issues of national importance.
The 25 supported projects will receive individual grants between $2,200 and $5,000. Projects were selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants who responded to Sprout’s call to action issued in the days following the 2016 election. The projects were selected following an online public voting process that generated 41,000 ‘likes’ and a thorough review by 60 volunteer community advisors who examined project budgets and timelines for feasibility.
We invested $100,000 from our operating reserves to seed the initial funding pool for 100 Days of US and raised more than $23,000 in additional public support from more than 250 donors, including 131 donors contributing through the online crowdfunding platform CrowdRise and a $10,000 contribution to the campaign from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
We’ve been amazed by the response from the community. Sprout has been making catalytic grants to support small-scale community-led projects since 2001. We’ve never seen a response like 100 Days of US. From the quantity and diversity of project ideas to the public voting and crowdfunding, this initiative has captured the interest and energy of Pittsburgh’s grassroots.
To create a critical mass of local civic engagement, all projects will begin activities during the first 100 days of the new presidential administration. Supported projects represent grassroots civic action in 12 important issue areas including Criminal Justice, Disabilities, Education, Environment, Free Press, Global Relations, Immigrants & Refugees, LGBTQIA+, Race, Unity & Dialogue, Voting & Democracy, and Women.
Projects Selected to receive 100 Days of US funding
#100DaysofVisibility: A video series featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities acting as self-advocates discussing issues that affect the disability community.
#PghYouthVision: A media campaign to share youth perspectives about the future of our region with policymakers and organizers.
350Pittsburgh Unite100: An organizing effort to bring together climate and social justice groups with events to build our connections and responses to the new administration.
Circles Zero Six Eight: A support program to help ex-offenders rebuild their lives through community, employment, and self-empowerment.
Conflict Kitchen Guest Chef Program: A pilot program to present food and stories of recent immigrants with diners in Pittsburgh-area restaurants.
E3: Engage, Educate, Empower: A training program to enable young Black women and femmes to take a stand and effect local change.
“Our project will develop the next generation of Reproductive Justice leaders, organizers, and advocates. We are undaunted by what lies ahead with young Black women, femmes, and girls leading the way,” said New Voices Pittsburgh Founder and Executive Director La’Tasha D. Mayes
Fighting Fear while Building Bridges: An outreach project to educate immigrants about their rights and responsibilities.
From Ignorance to Action: A public awareness project to increase understanding of and respect for Muslims and refugees through canvassing, education, and community-building.
Global Minds: An afterschool tutoring program that combats cultural intolerance through linking ESL and native English speaking students.
“I am 15 years old, I can’t drive, I can’t vote, but I can make a change. I can do something to positively impact my community. That very fact is so important for every student to know. You can do something! Youth are our future. We can all be a catalyst for change. By developing young minds and exposing them to the glory of diversity, we can truly change the world,” said project leader Peyton Klein.
Hopewell Vikings Create a World of Difference: A training program for middle school students to become student leaders dedicated to maintaining a safe, welcoming school environment.
Irene’s Dream Luncheon: An event honoring and supporting single mothers of color in achieving the goals they set for themselves.
“Single mothers are impacted by so much as the economy adjusts and they just go with the flow for the sake of their children. We have to find ways to continue to support them,” said project leader LaTrenda L. Sherrill.
Off the Street and into the Kitchen: An internship program to help ex-offenders transition to employment in the restaurant industry.
“This project will give two ex-offenders the chance to hit the ground running on a high-end culinary career. After the success of this pilot, we’ll be able to extend this opportunity to even more reentrants through additional restaurant partners. The wages they earn can go to housing, food, diapers, whatever they need to become stable and successful,” said Tom Samilson, Director of Programs for Community Kitchen Pittsburgh.
Prototype Workshop Series: A feminist makerspace for breaking down gendered stereotypes through workshops in making, engineering, self-advocacy, and more.
“We are ready to pull up our sleeves and get to work alongside 100 women in Pittsburgh. Together we will disrupt gendered stereotypes and engage more women in engineering, innovation, and advocacy,” said prototype co-founders Erin Oldynski and E. Louise Larson.
Renovating Community Bridges: An outreach program linking urban and rural communities in Western Pennsylvania through youth dialogue, exchange, and service.
Repairing Youth Police Relations: A community dialogue project facilitating conversations and collaboration between youth and police.
“We feel that it is important to consider the youth within our communities, by giving them opportunities to have their voices heard in constructive conversations. Young people are the future, and empowering them early and often can ultimately bring forth positive changes that our world needs now,” said Arts Greenhouse director Shad Ali.
Reporting on the Effects of the Incoming Administration: An independent journalism project covering the effects of federal policies on the Pittsburgh region, including Obamacare, immigration, education, and economics.
“Support for free and independent press is a confirmation that the Pittsburgh region believes in local journalism that scrutinizes the powerful and covers not just what politicians say but what they do, especially how their decisions affect your neighbors and our community,” said Public Source Executive Director Mila Sanina.
Shattered Glass Podcast: A podcast full of stories about extraordinary women breaking the glass ceiling.
“There are so many creative and talented women leaders in Pittsburgh and we’re beyond excited to share stories of powerful women shattering the glass ceiling,” said shattered Glass co-founder Monica Hershberger.
She Runs SWPA: A program to help more women run for local office through coalition building, grassroots outreach, demystifying the political process, and digital storytelling.
“Since the results of the election a lot of citizens are interested in supporting women running for public office. With She Runs, we will be able to provide a centralized location where individuals can go to channel that energy, participate in hyper-local civic actions, and connect with resources and women candidates,” said project co-leader Sara Innamorato.
Standing Strong Together: An event series using artmaking and engagement to advocate for reproductive rights.
That’s Us: An organizing effort to increase voting participation by Allegheny County residents by establishing a network of grassroots change agents.
“100 Days of US inspired the parents of the Allegheny County Family Support Centers to want to do something that would make the community realize that we still have the power of the vote. By educating community members about the voting process, we can start unifying the country around the democratic process. Our project is about all of us as community members doing our part to make sure our voices are heard and more of us become informed voters,” said project co-leader Elaine Harris-Fulton
The Portrait Project: Faces from Within: An art project documenting prisoner stories about the lack of adequate access to health care and systemic injustice.
“The Center for Civic Arts’ goal is to raise support to provide health care to those that need it most, and by doing so, foster humanitarian values that are at peril when the Affordable Health Care is repealed,” said project leader Jody Guy
The Soil Superheroes: An environmental program for youth in Homewood to explore soil quality through research.
Transient: A documentary sharing the fears, ideas, and solutions of trans people in the first 100 days of the new presidential administration.
“In the first 100 days of the new administration, it is possible that as a result of discourse in the election cycle many groups will become the target of hate and discrimination. My project aims to help trans people in Pittsburgh voices be heard to a broader audience,” said project leader Mark Janavel.
Two Cultures, One Me: A storytelling project to provide refugee teens with a voice through artistic expression and public outreach.
“Our project serves bright, inspired teens from Nepal, Burma, Bhutan and Thailand. They are typical teens with hopes and dreams. They face unique challenges and, despite having a great deal in common with their American-born peers, are often misunderstood,” said project leader Susie Backscheider
We Speak Soccer: A sports league to forge connections between immigrants, refugees, and the greater Pittsburgh community through a mutual love of the game.
“We’re excited to expand our soccer league and engage as many immigrants, refugees, and Pittsburghers alike in this unique opportunity to connect people and create positive impact on and off the field,” said project leader Justin Forzano.
100 Days of US is a non-partisan community effort with a goal of empowering people to take civic action locally in response to important national issues facing the country. More information about 100 Days of US can be found online at 100daysof.us.