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Foundation pilot project to support local media and lift community voices . . .
BAYSIDE, CA (July 9, 2020) – Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate, the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have invested $35,000 for a pilot project to support local journalism in generating truthful, courageous and equitable stories covering vulnerable and traditionally under-represented communities affected by the coronavirus in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties. The project will also work to lift community voices and increase access to relevant and useful information people can use. The project involves both nonprofit and for-profit media partners, with the North Coast Journal and Access Humboldt as the initiating lead partners.
CEO Bryna Lipper said: “We at the Humboldt Area and Wild Rivers Community Foundation recognize the vital role of our local media and independent journalism. They are uniquely positioned to understand our region, and its context, history and people. We are proud to support the North Coast Journal and Access Humboldt, and honor their shared commitment to lifting up voices that may not otherwise be heard.
Under the Community Voices Coalition banner, the North Coast Journal will soon publish its first weekly story. The Journal will harness the talent of existing staff and their network of journalists in developing and creating pieces for print. Their investigations, publications, and social media will be conducted with full editorial independence and under their rigorous editorial control.
The Journal will also create an open-source social media channel, where stories can be picked up for distribution, and repurposed by other regional or national media outlets, a successful model similar to CalMatters to provide high-quality non-partisan stories explaining the work of California government.
This pilot project also includes an ambitious collaboration with Access Humboldt. Working with Internews and other regional partners, Access Humboldt will promote community voices to strengthen local media reporting and citizen journalism. Continuing to build on its history of amplifying local perspectives and talent, Access Humboldt will provide media training and manage local cable television and radio channels as a part of the project.
Access Humboldt Executive Director Sean Taketa McLaughlin said: "This pilot project is a both a timely pandemic response and a natural extension of our ongoing efforts to build a sustainable information ecosystem in our region. When local media empower residents to effectively participate in civic life directly addressing local needs and interests, diverse voices tell important stories, information is equally accessible, and the quality of life in our communities improves."
Through Access Humboldt, the Community Voices Coalition will leverage the expertise of Internews, an international nonprofit organization that promotes citizen journalism locally and around the world. With roots in the region, Internews was eager to reinvest in the community and bring its global expertise back to the place where it first empowered local voices.
Access Humboldt and Internews will begin by creating a local advisory/editorial group to guide its project work and facilitate community listening and storytelling. Other communications and media partners, as well as citizen journalists, will be invited to participate. The project budget includes a fund to recruit and compensate story writers recruited for the project, as well as story translation services to better reach non-English speaking groups.
Luis Chabolla, Interim Director of Communications at the Foundation said: “We’re starting by building on the strengths of our partners and working together to stretch the reach and depth of the project. While launched as a three-month pilot, we hope the results will commit us and others to keep the project going.”
Click here to learn more about supporting the Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Crisis Action Fund
Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation are standing with Tribal communities in the Pacific Redwoods region to mark Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s (MMIP) Awareness Day.
Homicide is the third leading cause of death for Indigenous women and girls. In some Tribal communities, indigenous women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average.
These rates are disproportionately high in the Pacific Redwoods region, which accounts for two-thirds of California’s MMIP cases. California is home to the nation’s fifth-highest number of MMIP incidents.
MMIP Awareness Day, which takes place on May 5, is a national effort to draw attention and resources to address this devastating pattern of violence and injustice.
The Foundations, which are supporting Native leaders’ efforts to end this tragedy, today announced that they are launching The Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Crisis Action Fund with seed funding from individual donors and the Foundations’ discretionary fund.
The fund will support regional research, policy advocacy, crisis response and recovery, and will aim to close technical assistance gaps. It will also allow for the Foundations’ continued partnership with Tribal leaders and Indigenous experts to facilitate community support and address the root causes of this public safety threat.
“The national tragedy of MMIP has been all but ignored by philanthropy,” said Bryna Lipper, CEO of the Humboldt Area and Wild Rivers Community Foundation. “These are our girls, our friends, our community. Their absence is devastating to us all. Today, and every day until it is no more, we are called to face the crisis that is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons. We can do something to end this now.”
California’s most populous Tribe, the Yurok Nation, has developed internationally recognized MMIP justice efforts, working with the region’s Inter-Tribal Court to advocate for public and philanthropic resources, elevate research, and help bridge barriers to services. Some of those barriers are a result of legal and jurisdictional issues arising from a 1950’s era Congressional Act known as Public Law 280 (or PL 280), which applies to California and five other states. Tribes were neither consulted nor consented to the sweeping change.
This law has been used as justification to deny law enforcement funding to Tribes and has “dramatically altered criminal justice in Indian Country,” according to the Department of Justice’s Institute for Justice.
"We, all of those who are left behind, are failing. Our people are going missing. They are being trafficked and murdered," said Judge Abby Abinanti, Yurok Tribal Court Chief Justice. “We will not stop fighting for a fair and reasonable share of resources for our region, for our people, and our justice partners. Failures are mounting and we must unite and ensure justice as the right of all.”
You can help by getting involved in Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s Awareness Day on Thursday, May 5. Community members are invited to:
“The Foundations will continue to support and partner with Tribal and community leaders to advocate for awareness and healing. We will also champion efforts to advocate with our elected leaders and educate the public about the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous victims,” said Paula (Pimm) Tripp-Allen, Senior Advisor to the Humboldt Area Foundation. “With sustained efforts of philanthropic support and public action, we can begin to work together to forge a path of healing and prevention of this national and local crisis.”
For more information on how to support Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Awareness Day and the Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Crisis Action Fund, please visit the HAF+WRCF Giving Page.
About Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Crisis Action Fund
The epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people (MMIP) is a national humanitarian crisis, with California ranking fifth in the nation for incidents of MMIP, and the far north of the state accounting for most cases. The Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People’s Crisis Action Fund supports prevention and response to violence against Indigenous people in our region. Your investment in the Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People’s Crisis Action Fund supports regional research, policy advocacy, crisis response, recovery, and more. Funds allow for our continued partnership with Tribal leaders and Indigenous experts to facilitate community support and address the root cause of this public safety threat.
About Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation
The Foundations serve the residents of Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte Counties in California and Curry County in Oregon, along with 26 Tribal Nations and Indigenous territories by promoting and encouraging generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities. We envision a thriving, equitable, healthy, and just region for the generations ahead.
The program supports a broad spectrum of wellness efforts, from culture and family support to food and housing security, mental health, and more.
“These grants are especially meaningful during a pandemic, where community members more vividly experience challenges and barriers to health,” says Amy Jester, Program Director for Health & Nonprofit Resources for the Humboldt Area Foundation, which oversees the operations of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
The Humboldt Health Foundation seeks to fund projects that help reduce or eliminate structural barriers to wellness. This year, the majority of funding will be designated to programs that support the health and wellbeing of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other People of Color. “We recognize that BIPOC individuals are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and that racism is a critical public health issue impacting our region,” says Jester.
"The grant program is there to support organizations and groups that are creating opportunities for people to live healthier lives. There are so many awesome ways communities are supporting wellbeing. We're interested in partnering with organizations to make that happen" says Amy Jester, Program Director of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
In March, the Humboldt Area Foundation announced its new 10-year strategic vision, which explores how a community foundation can help grow a thriving, just, healthy, and equitable region. The Foundation has also laid out four goals to support that vision, with resources and programs being developed to address these areas over a 10-year period. The goals are racial equity; healthy ecosystems; thriving youth and families; and a just economy and economic development.
Community health grants from the Humboldt Health Foundation represent a 24-year legacy of supporting our community through investment and grantmaking and underscore the Foundation’s commitment to our region’s health and wellbeing.
To learn more about the criteria and download an application, please visit the HHF website at humhealth.org.
Humboldt Health Foundation was founded in 1997 and is an affiliate of the Humboldt Area Foundation. Since its founding, Humboldt Health Foundation has distributed nearly $4.7 million in grants. Over the past year, the Foundation has given grants for program and general operating support for organizations like HC Black Music and Arts Association, English Express, COVID-19 direct relief for Spanish-speaking and undocumented individuals from the McKinleyville Family Resource Center, as well as the Native Women’s Collective.
Donors and nonprofits who are interested in seeing their charitable money work for social good have a new way to invest. Humboldt Area Foundation is now offering a Socially Responsible Investment Fund (SRI) which focuses on investments that address climate change, sustainability and other social issues.
“HAF has been evaluating the possibility of a Socially Responsible Fund for over a decade,” said Humboldt Area Foundation Executive Director Patrick Cleary.
Cleary explained that socially responsible investing has historically generated lower returns than traditional investments, creating a “conundrum” for donors who would then have less money to offer in grants and scholarships. That, combined with a lack of consensus on what “socially responsible” meant, gave HAF’S staff and Investment Committee much to research before deciding on the best strategy.
“The approach we settled on after much research was to focus the fund on investments which address environmental and climate change issues, which resonated with our donors,” said Cleary. “In addition, we were able to construct a portfolio that appears to be competitive on return with our long-term pool, so hopefully donors will not have to accept lower returns. The reaction from our fund holders has been positive enough for us to reach a large enough threshold to launch the fund.”
The investment option is broadly consistent with the investment policy established by HAF for its long term investment pool, but invests with fund managers whose security selection and portfolio construction processes focus on companies with high sustainability ratings, positive economic development, attention to renewable resources and good governance. Holdings in the pool will be regularly reviewed to assure they are meeting sustainable investment practices.
“At HAF we incorporate the tenets of our Mission statement in all we do,” said Finance Committee Chair Charlie Jordan. “Our investment strategy is yet another way that is true. By investing in socially responsible funds we seek funds that provide both financial returns and social and environmental good to bring about a positive change.”
Because this is a new offering, there is no historical track record on investment performance, but simulations show that the proposed fund mix for the SRI would have performed slightly better than HAF’s long term pool over the last three years and matched HAF over the trailing five years, with somewhat higher volatility. The underlying investment costs of the funds are very comparable to the fees on HAF’s Long Term Investment portfolio.
“Some of our donors would like to direct their donations into an investment vehicle that more aligns with their values,” said Investment Committee Chair John McBeth. “HAF is lucky to have Angeles Investment advisors on our team, and with their help we have developed a Socially Responsible Investment Portfolio to address this complex issue.”
Investing in the Socially Responsible Fund is at the option of the donor or nonprofit. Individuals interested in learning more should contact Patrick Cleary at (707) 267-9902
About Humboldt Area Foundation:
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Two weeks after the 6.4-magnitude quake and serious aftershocks struck Humboldt County — and with a series of winter storms now battering the region — Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation has seen an outpouring of support for people most impacted as donors and funders in the region and beyond step up to help their neighbors in the hardest-hit communities.
Contributions to HAF+WRCF’s Disaster Response & Resilience Fund resulted in 30 grants totaling more than $300,000 as of Jan. 5. This includes support for local Tribes and organizations providing emergency shelter, food and supplies to those whose homes suffered serious damage. Grants were also given to community resource centers and organizations specifically helping members of the queer community, non-English speakers, seniors, and others facing barriers to accessing resources.
“The needs of our most vulnerable residents impacted by the quake, aftershocks and now the storms, continue to change. We are grateful for the generous contributions from donors from Humboldt, Trinity and Del Norte counties, as well as those in Silicon Valley and throughout the state,” said Bryna Lipper, CEO of HAF+WRCF.
The quake struck one of the area’s most economically-distressed and low-income residents, with early reports of severe gaps in insurance and/or individual resources for reconstruction. The state of California has declared it a disaster, however formulas that typically trigger a FEMA declaration emergency for federal support are unlikely to be met because of property values in this context.
As word spread about the challenges that quake-rattled residents are facing, HAF+WRCF mobilized its network of philanthropic supporters, and new and existing donors responded by contributing to the organization’s Disaster Response & Resilience Fund, originally created to assist communities affected by recent wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. HAF+WRCF does not grant funds to individuals, but rather community organizations, government entities, tribal communities and businesses supporting individuals’ needs.
“We are taking funds into our Disaster Response and Resilience Fund with as few restrictions as possible, using our grantmaking priorities, values, and definitions of vulnerability and equity to make decisions,” said Laurel Dalsted, Donor Relations and Development Director at HAF+WRCF.
HAF+WRCF’s disaster grantmaking team, dubbed the Community Response Team, is meeting two to three times per week to determine how best to serve small, rural towns including Rio Dell, Fortuna, Ferndale, Loleta, Bear River Rancheria, and the Wiyot Tribe, where many residents and responders are still without housing, power, water, and internet and cell service.
“HAF+WRCF is grateful to all its individual donors and funding partners who acted quickly to help those in need,” Dalsted said.
Those partners include Sierra Health Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, National Philanthropic Trust, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Humboldt Health Foundation. Organization that helped elevate the need for support include Northern California Grantmakers, The Mendocino Community Foundation, and the League of California Community Foundations.
To donate to the Disaster Response & Resilience Fund or for information on eligibility and how organizations can submit a grant request visit: hafoundation.org/disasterfund.
Broadband internet access remains out of reach for many. But during the last 16 months, the Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, have been supporting tech access throughout the region with more than $623,000 in technology grants from the foundations’ COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.
Getting more folks connected to the internet is critical. Why? Access to the internet means access to work, access to school, health resources, and so many other things. It’s so deeply integrated into our society that those without access are at an immediate sociological disadvantage. In fact, in 2016, the United Nations added the freedom to express oneself on the internet to its Universal Declaration of Human Rights to include human right,
Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center shared its findings from the 2021 Mobile Technology and Home Broadband report. While the report finds that the majority of Americans are connected to high-speed internet, still 38 percent of rural households remain without reliable broadband internet. Thousands of those folks are living in Curry, Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties without advanced internet connections as the on-going COVID-19 pandemic transforms school and work life for many. HAF and WRCF are committed to closing the technology gap among families in need of tech access.
Within a week of California and Oregon’s 2020 statewide shelter-in-place orders, HAF and WRCF created the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, which grew to $3,397,339 thanks to generous contributions from our donors and funders.
The response money also included a special COVID technology fund, designed to support the community as work and school shifted online. Since its inception, HAF and WRCF have partnered with local school districts, Tribal governments, nonprofits, and individuals, with more than 63 technology grants distributed as of this writing.
Two things became clear as the foundations distributed the funds. First, in rural areas, people can be hard to connect to for many reasons, whether that’s due to technology access, remoteness, or personal choice. Second, communities of color suffer the most and local health officials have collected ample evidence that Native American and Latinx communities were particularly hard hit with a disproportionate number of positive COVID-19 cases. It seems communities most impacted by COVID-19 are often the same people who lack access to suitable internet technology.
Here are some recent highlight grants that HAF and WRCF have made to boost tech access and ensure our community members could make the transition to online working and learning:
● A recent $12,500 grant to the Wiyot Tribe will help residents connect to SpaceX’s satellite-based Starlink internet service. This satellite-based internet service will connect Wiyot community members who are otherwise unreachable by other Internet providers.
● The foundation supported the Hoopa Valley’s Tribal TANF with $5,000 for iPads and internet connectivity so expectant parents could continue to take Motherhood is Sacred/Fatherhood is Sacred parenting classes when quarantine restrictions meant meeting in person wasn’t an option.
● Over the last 15 months, more than 250 Chromebooks, iPads and other computers have been given to individuals and nonprofits.
As part of the foundation's 10 year strategic vision, HAF and WRCF are committed to addressing the issues around broadband internet access, and technology grants are just one way to achieve that goal. The Foundations’ strategic plan envisions “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region,” which is supported by four goal areas:
● Racial Equity
● Healthy Ecosystems
● Thriving Youth and Families
● A Just Economy and Economic Development
When youth and families thrive, we all thrive. That’s why supporting ‘thriving youth and families’ is one of HAF+WRCF’s goal areas. In the early days of the pandemic, HAF and WRCF granted more than $23,000 to the Humboldt County Office of Education, the Trinity Alps Unified School District, and the Fortuna Union School District to provide dozens of hotspots and tech supplies to families throughout the foundation’s service region.
For too long, our neighbors in the underserved remote communities in Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, and Curry counties have been excluded from the current technology revolution because they can’t rely on a cellular phone, let alone a broadband internet connection. These disparities are even more drastic when it comes to access for Native communities. HAF and WRCF also consider addressing issues around racial equity as a top goal, and recent grants are ensuring underserved communities can close technology gaps.
Organizations like Central De Pueblo and the Seventh Generation Fund work closely with our BIPOC community members, but like many nonprofits, these groups saw many challenges as they grappled with COVID. HAF and WRCF helped these groups meet basic technology needs with a $9,000 grant for tech and office supplies to support this online transition. Other groups that serve historically marginalized populations have received funding for telehealth technology, remote work stations, and much more (Read more about the transitions and challenges these nonprofits faced during the pandemic in our State of the Sector Report).
Of course, the technology gap won’t close with the end of the pandemic. HAF and WRCF remain committed to addressing these technology and connectivity needs through innovative partnerships with our local community members, especially when closing the technology gap can help create “a thriving, just, healthy and equitable region.”
Three Eureka artists are winners of the 2021 Victor Thomas Jacoby award for artistic vision and creativity. Winners receive $10,000 each to support their work.
This year’s recipients are Shawn Gould, an award-winning scientific illustrator, and painter with an arresting life-mimicking style; Mo Harper-Desir, a multimedia artist who centers free speech, inclusion/equity education, and Black Joy in her work; and Marceau Verdiere, an educator, photographer and experimental painter whose work has been enjoyed throughout Humboldt County and abroad in Europe.
Victor Jacoby, an internationally-recognized Eureka visual artist whose chosen medium was French tapestry, established the Victor Thomas Jacoby Fund with Humboldt Area Foundation before his death in 1997 at age 52. Victor’s vision inspired his friend Dr. Rosalind Novick to make an additional gift to the fund and expand his dream of supporting local artists. This trust fund is dedicated to supporting Humboldt County visual artists and craftspeople and encourages exploring new ideas, materials, techniques, and mediums. In addition, the fund distributes annual cash awards to artists or craftspeople selected by a review panel of leading arts representatives.
Each fall, local artists apply through Humboldt Area Foundation for the Victor Thomas Jacoby Award by submitting ten examples of their work and vision for innovating and pushing their art to the next level.
Into the Wind by Shawn Gould / Courtesy the Artist
Art and nature have always been important parts of Shawn’s life. Growing up, he spent many days outdoors exploring the streams and woodlands near his home. These formative experiences first established his deep love of nature and his unending curiosity to see more. Along the way, he learned to follow the path less traveled, a path that he continues to explore today.
Shawn began his art career as an illustrator, creating award-winning science and natural history illustrations for clients like the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Institute, and National Audubon Society. This was an important time to hone his skills and learn to be professional in a creative environment. After working as an illustrator for a decade, he was able to turn his attention to creating his own paintings full time.
Shawn’s work has received national recognition in American Art Collector, Western Art Collector, and American Artist Magazines. His paintings have been exhibited in the Buffalo Bill Art Show, Birds in Art, the Society of Animal Artists’ Art of the Animal, as well as galleries and museums across the nation. He has been awarded First Place in the Artists Magazine Annual Competition, First Place in the Richeson 75 Animals, Birds, and Wildlife Competition, and an Award of Excellence at the NatureWorks Art Show. Shawn is a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists.
See more at http://shawngould.com/
Video Courtesy the Artist
Mo is a first-generation, Queer arts activist from Western Massachusetts, working across the country to provide arts-based creation, education, and services for community growth. Mo is a mother to two free brown boys and considers herself a caretaker to her community.
Currently, Mo follows a career in Digital Media and Education/ Community Outreach and works as an artist and consultant through her micro-business Mo HD Creates. As an artist, Mo actively creates using multimedia visual arts, hip-hop, hip hop theater, dance, and poetry. You may also recognize Mo from her work with Humboldt County organizations Black Humboldt and Access Humboldt. Mo’s ideas were birthed out of a love of mixed media, social justice, and implementing change into the world. As a media worker, Mo is actively working to create safe spaces for radical media creation and sharing, while addressing the issues and structures of inequalities surrounding race, gender, class, poverty, and more.
Mo values free speech, inclusion/equity, education, open communication, and Black Joy! Mo’s goals are to produce and support radical, free art to create inclusive and truthful messaging that is accessible to everyone; create uplifting and positive entertainment that is available from a wide array of artists; to educate communities on social justice issues, art skills, art creation and more; and to create a self-liberated future generation.
See more at https://www.mohdcreates.com/ and https://youtu.be/2qnntuePZtI
Photograph courtesy Marceau Verdiere
His work, primarily in paintings and in photography, is deeply influenced by the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. In his paintings, Verdiere explores how memories might be visualized as traces left on one’s soul, the patina that defines our unicity. Verdiere is especially interested in the seemingly inconsequential instants—doubt, silences, daydreams—that are the fabric of our daily lives. To translate these ideas into paintings, he experiments with both the application and removal of pigments, creating marred and injured surfaces, rich as life itself, revealing traces and scars, like faded memories too stubborn to be forgotten. In his photographic work, Verdiere seeks out the worn-out, decaying, and thus overlooked surfaces around us. Aesthetically these images are often a visual inspiration for the paintings.
His work has been extensively shown in Humboldt and in Europe with several exhibits in France, Barcelona, and this past summer in Vienna. He has collaborated with the French Catholic church on a large-scale exhibition on the theme of doubt in the bible at a Cathedral in Wissembourg and worked on video-art projects in Prague with filmmakers and artists at FAMU and the Cerny Meet Factory. Verdiere has been an artist in residence in Spain, Sweden, and France. His work is present in collections around the world.
Currently, Verdiere is completing a master’s in art education at the University of Strasbourg, France, and is an IB Visual Arts and IB Art History teacher at Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy.
See more at https://marceauverdiere.com/
The 2022 Victor Thomas Jacoby Award application will launch in the fall and will be open to all visual artists and craftspeople in Humboldt County.
About the Humboldt Area Foundation
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $70 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry, and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation, please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Kindly note that the Foundation offices will be closed for the Winter holidays Thursday December 23rd to Friday December 31st.
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.