8 New Grantees Selected! Imagine What Might Be Possible
Imagine what might be possible!
Imagine you were a volunteer at a community radio station in Minneapolis who produced programming in Somali, or a manager of a non-profit organization in San Francisco who advocates for domestic workers’ health, safety and rights.
How might you have reacted when an e-mail flashed by with information on a grant program aimed at empowering immigrants and using local media as its primary tool for creating change?
The announcement said, “New Routes to Community Health supports local partnerships among immigrant organizations, media production center and established community institutions to foster collaborations to improve immigrants’ health, work life and civic participation. Up to eight geographically and ethnically-diverse sites will receive as much as $255,000 over 39 months.”
You might have wondered, “What could happen if our community had $225,000 to share over 39 months? How would our local media and immigrants collaborate? What immigrant concern would we focus on?” Then you might have calculated the value of your time, and the demands of a seven month grant planning process. All that, and in the end only eight sites would be funded nationally. Pretty long odds, you’d think. And yet . . . imagine what would be possible!
166 communities representing at least 498 organizations allowed themselves to imagine the possibilities. Each of the 166 brief proposals we received detailed a unique vision, a dream of how immigrant produced media could make a difference at the street level in America.
Now our selection process is complete. The Minneapolis radio station and outreach workers in San Francisco beat the odds and are now part of our New Routes community. We have chosen eight solid, inspiring, practical, visionary, risky, yet doable collaborations that will use media and outreach to build communities where immigrants and receiving communities find common cause.
Our group includes:
Haitian Television Drama in Boston, MA
Southeast Asian Elderly Video Storytelling in Philadelphia, PA
East African Radio Drama in Atlanta, GA
Latino Youth Radio and Drama in Chicago, IL
Somalia Radio and TV in the Minneapolis,
MN Chinese Elderly Television in Los Angeles, CA
Latino Video Storytelling in Oakland, CA
Latina Domestic Workers Social Marketing Campaign in San Francisco, CA
Some days I feel like I have the best job in the world—I get to work with a creative team and national foundations that put funding in place to help eight American dreams become reality.
Other days I think of the 158 visions we received in the form of grant proposals but couldn’t fund. I wonder what we can offer that group. How can we appropriately acknowledge the work those communities put into the grant proposal process—an exercise with long odds?
Then I remember that for those at the frontlines of community media or those addressing community building for immigrants, every day is about long odds. What we know from the stack of 158 unfunded proposals is that the need for New Routes is enormous. What we also know is that there are thousands of people working every day to come up with creative, break-though ways to bring newcomers into a our world of possibilities we call America.
Watch and Listen
New Research & Recommendations
This report (PDF 3.8MB) offers guidance for community organizations and those who fund social change in how best to harness the power of local media-making for community health improvement. Spanish-language version is now available. Una versión en español de este informe esta en la web.