Addressing Youth Violence: New Team Member and Collaborative Grantmaking

Published: March 15, 2019 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:
Rachel Rockwell, a Program Officer at the Community Foundation, guides small groups during the recent planning session for the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving Communities Fund.

The Community Foundation is excited to announce the addition of Rachel Rockwell to our team. As a part-time Program Officer, Rachel will facilitate the Creating Safe, Equitable and Thriving (SET) Communities Fund grantmaking process.

In late 2018 the Creating SET Communities Fund was established through a partnership between the City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, and the Cedar Rapids Community School District. The fund aims to address inter-relational factors that lead to youth violence in the area, as identified by the 2017 SET Task Force report.

Rachel’s work at the Community Foundation will focus on convening partners in identifying projects, assisting with project development and proposal submission, leading the grantmaking process and committee, and providing analysis and monitoring of funded projects.

“Rachel’s experience precisely meets the needs of this community-convening work,” says Karla Twedt-Ball, Senior Vice President of Programs and Community Investment at the Community Foundation. “She has many established relationships with our partners and nonprofit organizations and we look forward to introducing her to many more.”

The application deadline for the first grant cycle for the fund was on March 27. A total of $40,000 is available for programming offered in the summer of 2019 with the goal of funding 6-8 projects. Funding is available to organizations and community groups with programming that cultivates, engages and connects with youth and young adults who are disproportionately exposed to violence in their homes, neighborhoods, and schools and who might not otherwise participate in summer programming. Priority will be given to applicants who involve youth in program design and integrate youth voice and choice throughout program delivery.

Because this grant program is seeking innovative programming with a group of youth who can be challenging to connect with programs or services, the Community Foundation hosted a planning session on March 11 at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to help foster connections and collaborative efforts.

“This inaugural grant opportunity will be about learning,” says Rachel. “It is designed to find innovative ideas, to test new models, and to explore what works and what doesn’t. I am looking forward to the possibilities.” The results of the summer grants will be used to inform future violence intervention efforts in the community. Successful applicants will be asked to share their learning and experiences to help guide future funding goals and priorities.

Information about the grant opportunity including the application, guidelines, and funding priorities can be found here.

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