In less than a year, the new organization Invested Faith issued three rounds of grants to socially influenced social innovators, bringing the total number of recipients to 13.
The last recipients were announced on January 16 by Amy Butler, the group’s founder. Butler is a Baptist pastor who currently serves the National City Christian Church in Washington, DC, and previously served Riverside Church in New York City.
Invested Faith has also announced a new partnership with the National City Christian Church Foundation in this round of grants. The Invested Faith model has developed calls for the use of large gifts to help “damaged social entrepreneurs” bridge the gap between institutions and innovation.
Those selected by Invested Faith are labeled Invested Faith Fellows and receive unlimited grants of $ 5,000 for community building, justice, and systemic issues while building projects with sustainable financial models.
“The work of these social entrepreneurs is filled with hope. Coming with them and supporting them in their efforts is a real honor and, I believe, a sacred work of religious institutions at the moment, ”Butler said.
The latest Invested Faith Fellows are:
Winston Management from Houston, founder of the KIT project, which offers a social-emotional learning curriculum focused on black and brown experiences along with training and professional development for educators.
Lizzy Case from San Diego, the founder of Arrayed, a Christian clothing brand that aims to reconcile the call to justice and holistic prosperity found in the life of Jesus with the messages on T-shirts.
Andre G. Brown from Los Angeles, director of “A Documentary on the Purification of the Soul,” a feature film about LGBTQ people who moved the crossroads of faith, sex, and sexuality after finding themselves on the margins of the church.
Dorian Hollingsworth Jr. from Virginia Beach, Va., founder of the Teen Care Network, which aims to support teens by connecting them to free mental health resources as they work to break the stigma surrounding mental health treatment.
Previous recipients in 2021 were:
Alisha Gordon from Harlem, a religious leader, preacher and educator who founded The Current Project focused on supporting the well-being of black single mothers.
Ronnie Farmer from Marion, Ind., general manager of I Have a Dream preschool, which advocates for racial reconciliation among children.
Leah Lonsbury from Atlanta, founder of Just Bakery of Atlanta, a non-profit organization that trains, certifies and employs displaced refugees to make and sell pastries, bread and other bakery products.
Alisha Madden from Indianapolis, a project manager for the Spolks Bike Shop, created by neighbors after applying to an organization that specializes in crime prevention in the area. Local youth are trained as bicycle mechanics, paid fairly, and offered safe support space in neighborhoods where crime and closure rates are high.
Coté Soerens from Seattle, owner / midwife of the Resistencia Coffee shop in Seattle’s South Park and co-founder of Cultivate South Park, a nonprofit organization that lends infrastructure to neighborhood development projects such as Urban Fresh Food Collective, Reconnect South Park and South Park Arts and Culture Collective.
Safronia Perry from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, who founded the Black Economic Growth Alliance to meet the needs of black entrepreneurs in Carlisle and central Pennsylvania.
My’Kal Lofton from Charlottesville, Va., founder of Green Wall Street, a collective working to strengthen social support ties in marginalized communities and further understand environmental relationships.
Alysia Nicole Harris from Corsica, Texas, a performance poet nominated for Pushcart whose work is at the crossroads of church and community building. The mission of Meeting House Revival is to preserve black history by restoring historic black churches.
Simone Jenkins from Nashville, the entrepreneur who launched Lipstick Cult, a black lipstick brand that emphasizes global culture