In less than a year, the new Invested Faith organization has issued three rounds of grants to faith-influenced social innovators, bringing the total number of recipients to 13.
The latest recipients were announced Jan. 16 by Amy Butler, the group’s founder. Butler is a Baptist pastor who currently serves National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., and previously served Riverside Church in New York City.
Invested Faith also announced a new partnership with the National City Christian Church Foundation in this round of grants. The model Invested Faith has developed calls for leveraging large gifts to help “scrappy social entreprenuers” bridge the gap between institutions and innovation.
Those selected by Invested Faith are designated as Invested Faith Fellows and receive unrestricted grants of $5,000 to create community, do justice and address systemic problems while building projects with sustainable financial models.
“The work of these social entrepreneurs is filled with hope. To come alongside and support them in their efforts is a true honor and, I believe, the holy work of faith institutions in this moment,” Butler said.
The newest Invested Faith Fellows are:
Managerrie Winston of Houston, founder of The KIT Project, which offers Social Emotional Learning curriculum centered on Black and brown experiences along with training and professional development for educators.
Lizzy Case of San Diego, founder of Arrayed, a Christian apparel brand that aims to align the call for justice and holistic flourishing found in Jesus’ life with the messages on T-shirts.
Andre G. Brown of Los Angeles, a filmmaker producing “A Soul Cleansing Documentary,” a full-length film about LGBTQ folk who have navigated the intersection of faith, sex and sexuality after finding themselves on the margins of church.
Dorian Hollingsworth Jr. of Virginia Beach, Va., founder of Teen Care Network, whose goal is to support teens by connecting them with free mental health resources while working to break the stigma around mental health treatment.
Previous recipients in 2021 were:
Alisha Gordon of Harlem, a faith leader, preacher and educator who founded The Current Project focused on supporting the well-being of Black single mothers.
Ronnie Farmer of Marion, Ind., managing director of the I Have a Dream Preschool, which champions racial reconciliation among children.
Leah Lonsbury of Atlanta, founder of Just Bakery of Atlanta, a nonprofit that trains, certifies and employs resettled refugees to make and sell pastries, bread and other baked goods.
Alisha Madden of Indianapolis, project manager for Spolks Bike Shop, which was created by neighbors after a plea for an organization to address crime prevention in the area. Local youth are trained as bike mechanics, paid a fair wage, and are offered a safe, supportive space in a neighborhood where rates of crime and incarceration are high.
Coté Soerens of Seattle, owner/midwife of Resistencia Coffee shop in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle and co-founder of Cultivate South Park, a nonprofit that lends infrastructure to neighborhood community development projects such as the Urban Fresh Food Collective, Reconnect South Park, and the South Park Arts and Culture Collective.
Safronia Perry of Carlisle, Pa., who established the Black Economic Growth Alliance to meet the needs of Black business owners in Carlisle and central Pennsylvania.
My’Kal Lofton of Charlottesville, Va., founder of Green Wall Street, a collective working to strengthen social support connections across marginalized communities and to further understanding of ecological relationships.
Alysia Nicole Harris of Corsicana, Texas, a Pushcart-nominated performance poet whose work is at the intersection of church and community building. The mission of the Meeting House Revival is to preserve Black history by restoring historical Black churches.
Simone Jenkins of Nashville, an entrepreneur who started Lipstick Cult, a Black-owned lipstick brand that highlights global culture