Youth and Frontline Regranting Program

The New Economy Coalition’s Youth and Frontline Regranting Program is one of the organization’s longest-running and established efforts, having funded over 70 projects in the last three years.

Our grantmaking process is driven by the belief that youth and frontline groups-- those most impacted by the dominant economy-- are doing some of the most imaginative, creative work happening in the new economy sphere. Unfortunately, these vital projects are often left either underfunded or completely unfunded because their leaders lack access to traditional funding streams. It is for this reason that NEC prioritizes directly resourcing youth and frontline leadership with micro-grants of up to $5000.

We also believe that these projects are stronger together. Our grantees have a tremendous amount of knowledge to offer to not just one another, but the new economy movement at large. Our work with grantees grounds NEC in the needs, successes, and challenges of communities working towards a new economy while we also work to strategize and envision at a movement-wide level. Therefore, we are dedicated to weaving our grantees’ movement work with each other and the broader NEC membership through relationship-building, shared movement spaces, and storytelling.

Fueling Frontline Change

In years past, grant recipients were determined by the NEC staff. Beginning in 2017, grantees will be chosen by a seven member committee comprised of former grantees, coalition members, and NEC board members. This shift in structure is a reflection of NEC’s commitment to democratic decision-making and centering youth and frontline voices.

The goals of the youth and frontline grantmaking committee include:

  • Supporting organizations, projects, and collaborations that advance visionary alternatives to the extractive economy (this includes but is not limited to cooperatives, land-trusts, participatory budgeting, community-owned renewable energy, liberatory culture, etc.)
  • Supporting (new economy) organizers and organizations who have historically been significantly under-resourced
  • Especially youth, students, and marginalized communities
  • Supporting organizing work that seeds new collaborations and connectivity
  • Supporting mentorship and political education of young and emerging organizers
  • Supporting storytelling
  • Practicing democratic governance of regranting resources
  • Building engagement with the NEC network

Grants of $2500, $3750, and $5000 will be awarded over the course three grant-making cycles per year. However, if your organization is in need of rapid response support, you may apply for up to $2000 in urgent funding. More details on the application will be available soon.

Meet the Committee

Janaé E. Bonsu is a Black Queer Feminist activist-scholar and organizer based in Chicago. She is a member of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), a national member-led organization of 18 to 35-year-old abolitionist freedom fighters organizing through a Black Queer Feminist lens. Janaé has played key leadership roles in BYP100’s anti-criminalization and police accountability campaigns, and co-authored the organization’s policy platforms, the Agenda to Keep Us Safe and the Agenda to Build Black Futures. Janaé is also a third-year Ph.D. student at Jane Addams College of Social Work, where her research focuses on Black women, state violence, and alternatives to state intervention.

Harper Bishop has nearly a decade’s worth of experience in training grassroots leaders, advocating for progressive policies, and organizing for economic and social justice in his hometown, most recently as the Economic Climate and Justice Coordinator for Open Buffalo. In this position he has worked with residents of Buffalo’s Fruit Belt, a historically African-American/Black neighborhood, to establish the first community land trust in the region. He has also organized against gentrification and the displacement of communities of color, working class, and low-income folks at the city level. Bishop is a co-coordinator of the Crossroads Collective, a collaboration of 10 organizations working to build a just transition from an extractive to regenerative economy.

Ratih Sutrisno is a native of Saint Paul, MN, where she grew up deeply rooted in her family’s Indonesian culture. Having spent the majority of her life focused on issues of environmental and social justice, Ratih is passionate about the efforts underway to build a cooperative movement that puts people and communities over profits. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of Minnesota where she was a member of The Students’ Cooperative in Minneapolis. Ratih works for NASCO from Chicago, IL where you can usually find her playing ultimate or cooking brunch for her housing co-op.

Jamie Trinkle is the Senior Campaign and Research Coordinator at Enlace. Jamie founded the PDX Divest Coalition and successfully led the coalition to ultimately win divestment from all corporations, as well as a socially responsible investing policy that includes people of color as decision makers and human rights impact investment criteria. She has published numerous organizing toolkits with Enlace, including university toolkits that helped students at Columbia and University of California win prison divestment. Jamie began working against abusive prison conditions and for the targets of our criminal justice system while clerking as a law student. Jamie has a diverse background in law, community and student organizing, grassroots project development, tracking dirty money in the environmental sector, and as a domestic worker.

Julia Ho is the founder of Solidarity Economy St. Louis, a network of groups and individuals building an economy based on the values of justice, sustainability, self-determination, and cooperation. She is currently working to incubate Black worker cooperatives, advocate for food justice, build mutual aid networks, and promote community development of vacant land.

Tawana "Honeycomb" Petty is a mother, social justice organizer, youth advocate, poet and author. She was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and is intricately involved in anti-racism organizing, water rights advocacy, and digital justice work. Petty is the author of Introducing Honeycomb, Coming Out My Box, the Petty Propolis Reader: My Personal and Political Evolution and Towards Humanity: Shifting the Culture of Anti-Racism Organizing. Learn more about Honeycomb at honeycombthepoet.org

Andrew Campbell is an organizer with Cooperation Jackson, based in Jackson, MS. Cooperation Jackson is organizing to advance the development of economic democracy in Jackson, Mississippi by building a solidarity economy anchored by a network of cooperatives and other types of worker-owned and democratically self-managed enterprises. Andrew has a background in sustainable food systems and farming and is a worker-owner with Freedom Farms Cooperative.

History of NEC’s Youth and Frontline Regranting Program

  • The program launched in 2013, by supporting new economy conferences and gatherings on campuses across the country. In addition to grant funding, NEC staff traveled to every event to offer hands-on support to student organizing efforts.
  • In 2014, we disbursed $55,000 to young people imagining and building a new economy, both on campuses and in community organizations. We made twice the number of grants as we did in 2013, supporting more than 30 projects, campaigns, and convenings across the US and Canada.
  • In 2015, we regranted a total of $50,000. Additionally, we expanded the “Youth and Student” umbrella and solicited grant proposals from organizations on the frontlines of the extractive economy and community-led solutions, an area that shares considerable overlap with our range of current grantees. Supporting emergent new economic practice and movements is central to our work as an organization, and we are excited to continue funding projects at the cutting edge of building an economy that works for everyone.
  • In 2016, we gave grants to 14 organizations, ranging from broad national networks to organizations deeply rooted in their locality. We continued to support both youth and frontline organizations. We supported new initiatives focused on rural and international solidarity organizing, as well as continuing to resource returning grantees.

Grantee Stories

Regranting Recipient: Build Black Futures Advocacy Day, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)

The Build Black Futures Advocacy Day was led by BYP100, an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds. Members of BYP100 met with 25 Republican and Democratic Congressional offices to ask for legislation to defund policing and prisons and invest in Black communities. The day was an opportunity for young Black activists to hone their advocacy skills and form relationships with members of Congress: building a foundation for fundamental policy shifts necessary for a future where all Black people thrive.

Regranting Recipient: The Working World Peer Program

The Working World Peer Program was started to propagate the model of non-extractive finance to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the climate crisis in order to build a new, people-centered economy. In 2015 the program was successfully launched, held its first summer convening, and created a nationwide peer group to begin practicing and sharing work in communities across the country.

Regranting Recipient: The Center for Economic Democracy SEI

The Center for Economic Democracy’s Solidarity Economy Initiative (SEI) will be launching a broad set of popular education trainings to engage the members, staff, and boards of grassroots groups in gaining fluency with new economy frameworks. With support from SEI, cohort members will play anchor roles in the Boston Community Land Trust Network, the Boston Ujima (Community Finance) Project, and the Mass Jobs Not Jails Campaign. SEI will also host an inquiry on the formation of a Movement Training Center, a “Highlander for New England.” SEI held a collaborative process between funders and organizations doing new economy work in the field that has opened opportunities to build new infrastructure to connect grassroots organizing to new economy strategies

NEC’s Youth and Student Grant Recipients

  • 99Rise Occidental College
  • Aynah
  • Bay Bucks/Transition SF
  • Big 10 Real Food Challenge
  • Black Youth Project 100**
  • The Boston Center for Community Ownership
  • Center for Economic Democracy
  • Center for Story-Based Strategy
  • CoFED
  • CommonBound Scholarships
  • Cooperative Economic Alliance of New York City
  • Divestment Student Network**
  • Dream Defenders**
  • Enlace
  • Full Circles Foundation
  • Grand Aspirations
  • Grassroots Ecology Project
  • Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy
  • Intelligent Mischief
  • Icarus Project
  • Kentuckians for the Commonwealth**
  • LeftRoots**
  • Local Inland Northwest Cooperative
  • Los Jardines Institute
  • Maroon Project **
  • Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
  • NASCO Institute
  • Oakleaf Urban Homestead
  • Our Power Detroit
  • Participatory Budgeting St. Louis
  • POWER San Francisco
  • Raised in Revolution
  • Reinvest in Our Power Network
  • Responsible Endowments Coalition
  • Riverwest Cooperative Alliance
  • SolidarityNYC
  • Sub/urban Justice and YMORE
  • United Student for Fair Trade
  • U-Pass Campaign
  • US Cooperative Youth Council
  • US Department of Arts and Culture
  • US Fedferation of Worker Cooperatives
  • US Solidarity Economy Network
  • West Virginia Family and Kids Coalition
  • Wildfire Project
  • Worcester Roots
  • Working World

**Grasping at the Root Travel Grant Recipient