Five young innovators have been named to the sixth class of Invested Faith Fellows.
Each will receive a $5,000 unrestricted grant and an invitation to tell their story through the Invested Faith community and website.
This class brings the total number of fellowships awarded by Invested Faith to 28 in two years.
Invested Faith is a fund for faith-rooted social innovators founded by Amy Butler in 2019 in response to declining church attendance and the need for a new model of philanthropy. Invested Faith works to become a bridge between traditional churches and social innovators who are creating new expressions of faith and community.
“With the narrative of decline animating many of our faith institutions, these fellows are proving God is still well at work in the world,” Butler said.
The January 2023 class is:
Chelsea Spyres, Wilmington, Del., Wilmington Kitchen Collective. The Wilmington Kitchen Collective utilizes church kitchens, which sit empty and unused most of the week, to offer culinary entrepreneurs an affordable option for high-quality commercial kitchen facilities. The kitchens are used by caterers, food truck owners, bakers and other start-ups, helping entrepreneurs overcome a major obstacle in starting their businesses.
Johnetta Roberts, Louisville, Ky., Blak Koffee. Located in a newly renovated building in the West End of Louisville, a redlined, low-income area, Blak Koffee was born when Roberts, trying to schedule a business meeting, couldn’t find a coffee shop with internet access in the neighborhood. Currently, Blak Koffee is run as a coffee cart “under the stairwell,” but will open in its own space in early 2023.
Robert Rueda, Edinburgh, Texas, Global Blends Coffee Shop and Deli. Global Blends Coffee Shop and Deli is a “pay what you can” coffee shop and deli located on the campus of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, near the Texas-Mexico border. After a study found 40% of students at the university experienced hunger on an ongoing basis, Rueda opened the coffee shop, which offers affordable or no-cost food, along with leadership training and job skills for the students employed there.
Alexander Clemetson, Franklin County, Ohio, Together We Compost. Together We Compost is a Black-owned compost collection and creation service that works to ensure Black, Pacific Islanders and other persons of color are offered equal access to composting collection for residences and businesses while providing education and consulting about composting, the climate crisis and food accessibility.
Sanctified Art Creative Team, Black Mountain, N.C., Sanctified Art. Sanctified Art is an artist collective that provides progressive visual art, poetry and other creative resources for liturgical worship. Sanctified Art helps worshiping communities integrate art and creativity into their spiritual practice using resources with inclusive and affirming theology and an expanded imagination around the divine image. Creative team members include Lauren Wright Pittman, Anna Strickland, Lisle Gwynn Garrity, Hannah Garrity and Sarah Speed.