Announcing the SpiderWeave Flow Fund
You all know about Kindle Project’s love of Flow Funding right? With nearly a decade of experience, we think it’s kind of obvious by now. But, for those of you that are new to Kindle Project and our quirky ways, our Flow Funding programs catalyze unseen opportunities by widening who influences philanthropic resources. We know this method works AND that there’s a whole lot of room to play. And that’s just what we’re doing through the launch of (get ready for it…) the SpiderWeave Flow Fund.
Ok, so here’s how SpiderWeave works:
- Build a Cohort: Partner up with a group of women (1 visionary donor + 3 excited Flow Funders). Marvel at the all-female circle of diverse decision-makers and welcome them into the SpiderWeave realm of curious giving. What kinds of magic will ensue in bringing this group together? (Psst… meet our Flow Funders below.)
- Flow Fund it out: With support from the Kindle team, Flow Funders make decisions on where the funds will go. What unexpected projects, creators, and ideas will be supported by these diverse new friends of Kindle?
- Conversations about and beyond the money: Facilitate a creative learning journey for this cohort through the exploration and sharing of our experiences with trust-based giving. What questions and challenges will this cohort uncover about this practice and how can we take these learnings back to the field of philanthropy?
- Storytelling: Work with each Flow Funder and all of their recipients to share their unique stories on our Nexus page throughout the year. What untold stories will be shared through the Kindle megaphone?
- Celebrate our SpiderWeave: Kick off an ‘80s themed spandex dance party and reflect on lessons learned at the punch bowl. What webs were woven? What unlikely alliances formed? And, where will this all lead for Flow Funding in the future?
This kind of experimental and experiential grantmaking are the basics of what makes Kindle Project who we are. We’re thrilled to be entering 2017 with this cohort and can’t wait to see what we’ll uncover together.
Meet the SpiderWeave Flow Funders!
Liz began honing her organizing skills by training her younger siblings as “field” organizers, leading campaigns that their parents never saw coming.
Her work in the food system, public health, and community building is built on lessons learned from brick and mortar development. Liz is a critical thinker about issues relating to class, race, gender, culture and privilege. She is quite comfortable with the discomfort attached to conversations about race, equating it to exercise, “a requirement for good health and something that gets easier the more we do it.”
Liz serves as Board Chair of the youth development urban agriculture organization, Gardening the Community. She is also the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Springfield Food Policy Council, and is a Project Advisor with the team that developed and is implementing the 2015 Massachusetts State Food System Plan. Her favorite work is as a school garden teacher and Market Manager for the City Soul Farmers Market. She also works with social justice organizations across the country which are committed to undoing systemic racism and understanding and healing their own personally mediated biases.
Her work in Springfield is personally driven by her family’s nearly 90 year history of living there. She is determined to improve the social determinants of health in her community while avoiding her public school teacher husband Ed’s rhetorical question “how many jobs do you have now and do any of them actually pay you?” Their seven year old son, Evan, a budding community organizer/urban farmer/superhero lets Liz borrow one of his capes while she grows food for her family and neighbors, bikes, and dreams of change!
Rowen White is a Seed Keeper and farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is the director and founder of the Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seed and education, based in Nevada City, CA. She and her family steward a 10 acre farm in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California.
Rowen is the current National Project Coordinator and advisor for the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network, which is an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island. Rowen’s passion is in teaching and mentoring, and has developed many curricula which focus on holistic, indigenous permaculture based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture; from practical hands on skills, cultural context and memory with guiding principles that are rooted in an indigenous ecology of relations. She teaches and facilitates creative seed stewardship immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities.
Rowen is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for Seed Savers Exchange, a prestigious non-profit who has been working over the last four decades to preserve agricultural biodiversity by saving and sharing heirloom seeds.
She is the author of a book entitled “Breeding Organic Vegetables” as well as a forthcoming book on the seeds and foodways of her ancestral Haudenosaunee people. She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs. Follow her seed journeys at www.sierraseeds.org or find her at the many social media outlets as: rowenwhite.
Sarah Bankert grew up in a small rural town in Upstate New York where her parents owned and operated restaurants. After graduating from Hampshire College, where she studied critical race theory and creative writing, she felt an undeniable pull back towards food service and went to work as an overnight bread and bagel baker. After three years she decided to return to school to find a way to pursue her combined love for food and community building.
She graduated in 2008 with a public health degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and began working for Nuestras Raíces and the Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council in Holyoke, MA. There, she helped to design and guide a community-driven, participatory process to create a community action plan that would shift policy towards a more just food system for the residents of Holyoke. Sarah’s work with Holyoke Food & Fitness sparked her passion for grassroots-driven transformational system change while also schooling her hard on the frequent challenges inherent to this type of work. At Holyoke Food & Fitness Sarah facilitated a process to create a mini-grant program that aimed to build relationships with and channel funds to small grassroots organizations as a way to empower the people who were intimately involved in their community to solve their own problems.
Since 2011 Sarah has worked for Healthy Hampshire, which is a regional community health initiative in Western Massachusetts focused on increasing access to healthy food and physical activity through policy and system changes. Sarah works directly with municipal governments, community partners and residents to identify cross-sector approaches that address gaps in the food system to better serve people who are under-resourced. She also works with these partners to improve the built environment— or man-made infrastructure – to support active transportation and healthy town center design. In addition to her paid work, Sarah also volunteers with the Western Mass chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice, where she co-organizes a working group focused on engaging primarily white families to show up for and ally with families of color. Some of the things Sarah loves include: building legos with her 5-year old, singing in a three-part harmony trio and eating bagels with cream cheese and salt.