The RYSE Center in Richmond, California, has engaged more than 10,000 youth ages 13-24 with a wide variety of services and programming. (Photo courtesy of RYSE Center) Erica Browne Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Reflecting our renewed commitment to directly fund community-based organizations, support community-led interventions and focus on community solutions to safety and health across our strategic focus areas, the Health program — in collaboration with the American Cities, Detroit and Arts & Culture programs — has awarded $1.25 million in grants to five organizations focused on supporting community solutions for safety, healing and well-being. Framing Our Focus Our nascent contribution to community safety is informed by the lived experience of our community partners and the thought leadership of organizations focused on solutions, healing and health pathways as violence prevention models. Through a strategic focus on healing and trauma-informed approaches, creative youth leadership development, community participatory programming and hospital-based violence prevention, we aim to help sustain safe communities and equity-focused systems of care. In addition to prioritizing community solutions, addressing structural drivers and influencing health systems-level change to prevent harm within communities of color, our community safety and health grants are informed by these key considerations: Racial Justice: Commitment to racial justice articulated in organizational values, leadership and staff, programs, services and partnerships. Youth, Gender, Legal Status: Desire and ability to serve and support communities and people at the intersections of multiple social identities and experiences. Strategic Focus: Work that is framed in terms of solutions, rather than problems, that can inform our learning, practice and contributions across focus areas. Health Pathways: Opportunities to align our grantmaking and investments with drivers of health, and with intermediate and long-term health-related outcomes at the community level. Community Solutions Funding Daughters Beyond Incarceration, Heal 901, Fresno Building Healthy Communities, DLIVE and the RYSE Center will enable these organizations to expand their work at the intersection of community safety and health, deepen their partnerships and participate in learning conversations with community-based organizations working in other cities. While our initial geographic focus is on New Orleans, Memphis, Fresno and Detroit, over time our reach will extend to include urban communities in the southern U.S. For us, this work provides an invaluable opportunity to support new partnerships, learning and grantmaking opportunities that leverage the full range of our organizational resources to address critical issues of safety that permeate our lives, homes and communities. The five organizations receiving grants: Daughters Beyond Incarceration In New Orleans, Daughters Beyond Incarceration is dedicated to breaking cycles of poverty and crime by advocating for girls with incarcerated dads, building strong parent-to-child relationships, and implementing policy change. In 2019, Daughters Beyond Incarceration launched a Children of Incarcerated Parents campaign — and co-produced an issue brief — that focused on child-sensitive arrest policies, family-sensitive visitation policies, parental training throughout incarceration, eliminating communication barriers with incarcerated parents and providing trauma-informed school practices. Through this work, Daughters Beyond Incarceration piloted a policy program that engaged girls and young women between the ages of 15 to 21 to learn about the criminal justice system and develop an understanding of the legislative process and its impact on health. In partnership with our American Cities program, this grant will increase the organization’s capacity to provide policy education, advocacy and wellness programs for girls and young women in New Orleans with incarcerated parents, with an emphasis on healing justice that compliments its foundational mentorship program. Heal 901 Since 2018, Heal 901 has focused on cultivating youth leadership and well-being through evidence-based programs that address youth violence. Its Coaching Boys Into Men, Athletes as Leaders and Shifting Boundaries programs have reached more than 1,000 primarily Black youth in south and east Memphis. Heal 901 staff lead with invaluable lived experience as residents born and raised in Memphis, and provide culturally responsive coaching, education, mentorship and mental health services to youth as critical violence prevention strategies. Funding will help Heal 901 extend the reach of its Cure Violence community violence interruption program in the White Haven neighborhood, build its capacity to provide additional youth leadership, school- and neighborhood-based youth violence prevention education, increase access to community-based behavioral health services and expand its network of partners advocating for investments in community wellness. Fresno Building Healthy Communities Over the last decade, Fresno Building Healthy Communities (BHC) has organized south Fresno residents and increased their critical consciousness on the interconnectedness of health, policing and economic development. Fostering civic engagement and leadership, elevating community stories, strengthening community-based organizations and engaging in strategic advocacy and collective action are core to its work. Its network of more than 30 nonprofit and faith-based organizations has reached more than 97,000 Fresno residents. Fresno BHC will use this grant to finalize and implement a Community Justice Network collaborative plan and engage diverse constituency groups across the Central Valley around issues related to health, safety, youth leadership, civic engagement and community development. D.L.I.V.E Detroit Life Is Valuable Everyday (DLIVE) was born in response to the decades-long public health crisis of community violence decimating Detroit’s youth and young adult population with premature death and disability. Officially launching in 2016, DLIVE is a health-centered Community Violence Intervention Program designed to work with youth and young adults who have sustained community violence trauma injury in order to advance their overall health outcomes and quality of life. DLIVE works to transform the vicious cycle of community violence to a virtuous cycle of health and wellness. With this focus of transforming trauma, DLIVE designs and delivers innovative solutions in the areas of mental health, social determinants of health, education empowerment and leadership development to name a few. This grant builds upon funding from the foundation’s Racial Justice grantmaking to deliver transformative health-centered solutions and programming, strengthen its foundation as a health hub for young people emerging from community violence injury in Detroit and augment its ability to change systems. Through a collaborative partnership with the Detroit and Health programs, DLIVE will build its capacity to deliver solutions in the areas of integrated mental health therapy, employment, economic mobility, curated healing and peer support spaces, as well as connect with regional and national partners. RYSE Center Since 2008, the RYSE Center has engaged more than 10,000 youth ages 13-24 across diverse communities in West Contra Costa County and Bay Area with programming and services focused on community health and wellness; education, career, and youth justice; media, arts, and culture; and youth leadership and organizing. Located in Richmond, California, RYSE works to create safe spaces that build youth power for young people to love, learn, educate, heal and transform lives through programming field building focused on trauma and social location, radical inquiry and youth participatory action research. RYSE currently leads and supports various community health and safety programs including the Beyond Violence hospital-based violence intervention program and Healthy Richmond. Funding from the Health and Arts & Culture programs will enable the RYSE Center to build its capacity as a national field building leader in community-centered healing strategies and help lead the collective, multi-modal learning and dissemination activities for the exploratory community safety and health grants in Detroit, Fresno, New Orleans and Memphis. Pathways to Health While grantmaking anchors our partnerships, the opportunity to collectively learn and share about our work at the intersection of community safety and health is key. Starting this year, we’ll participate in a series of informal learning conversations with our community partners to integrate their wisdom in our future grantmaking and strategic engagement activities. We’re interested in learning how to 1) leverage a range of foundation resources to support community safety and health efforts, 2) help influence and bridge the engagement and investments of health institutions (e.g., local health departments, health systems, hospitals, FQHCs, health philanthropy) in this work, and 3) illuminate the pathways that connect investments in community-centered safety solutions to health. Partnerships with the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention, Human Impact Partners, Big Cities Health Coalition and Vision Maker Media will help us expand this work nationally through partnerships with various health institutions.