We are delighted to announce the fourth round of grants awarded by Life Comes From It
In 2022, the LCFI advisory circle allocated funding to more than 100 projects totaling more than $4.5 million.
Each grantee is listed below in alphabetical order. Click on the organization name to visit their website. Donate to support extraordinary individuals doing important work throughout the country.
Fifteen years ago, the Chief Eagles purchased a 12 ½ acre farm on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. They immediately began a renovation project to establish the All Nations Gathering Center. In 2016, the Chief Eagles sold the property and bought a 47-acre site in Yellow Canyon for the same price. They continue to lead various experiences and trainings at their community gathering center including Womanhood camps, Boys to Men, Co-ed Gatherings, Healing of Healers, and Couples Retreats.
The Amah Mutsun Land Trust (AMLT), an initiative of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, is the vehicle by which the Amah Mutsun access, protect, and steward lands that are integral to their identity and culture. The AMLT returns their ancestral lands to their tribe and restores their role as environmental stewards. Due to their difficult history and generations of physical, mental, and political abuses, their land stewardship practices were disrupted, and much of their culture was lost. AMLT serves not only in the re-learning of their history and restoration of indigenous management practices; it also serves as a vehicle for healing. By restoring their traditional ecological knowledge and revitalizing their relationship to Mother Earth, the Amah Mutsun restore balance and harmony to the lands of their ancestors.
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. As part of AFSC’s larger mission, the Twin Cities Healing Justice Program (TCHJ) was founded in 2012, in collaboration with restorative justice providers, Quakers and youth. The program seeks to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline through anti-racist youth organizing, education and lifting up restorative practices. TCHJ educates Minnesotans about institutional and systemic racism and advocates for ways in which we can use our voices for change.
The Attach Your Heart Foundation's mission is to support Pueblo youth Education, Mentorship, Arts, and Voice by recognizing individuals, organizations, and communities with meaningful resources. Their programming is deeply rooted in the commitment to support youth-led program initiatives through recognition awards, emergency aid, and meaningful mentorship.
Austin Coming Together (ACT) is a backbone organization for a large network of non-profit, faith-based, public, and private entities in Austin, TX. Their goal is to improve education and economic development outcomes for the Austin community by leveraging the collective impact of their member organizations. ACT will use funds to promote Restorative Justice and strengthen the RJ ecosystem and leadership in Austin by hosting community events, collaborative activities, and trainings.
As a historic American Indian-serving institution, Bacone College provides a quality, holistic, liberal arts, educational experience for students in a culturally diverse environment, empowering life-long learners with the knowledge, skills, and capacity to be transformational leaders in both Native and non-native communities. Their vision is to empower transformational leaders who incorporate traditional values and voices to positively impact our local communities around the world.
Berkeley Community Acupuncture (BCA) is a community acupuncture clinic in Berkeley, CA. BCA’s Navajo Healing Project (NHP) is a collaboration with the Navajo community and peacemakers to address the ongoing challenges to peace and wholeness using a healing justice approach. BCA teaches Navajo (Diné) interns Chinese medicine tools of healing and helps to adapt Chinese medicine to serve the needs of Diné communities in a way that is relevant, healing and empowering.
Indigenous peacemaking is at the core of Blazkalli. They joined Youth Struggling for Survival (YSS) as mentors and guides 25 years ago. YSS was formed when youth in their community came together to create peace in the streets with the guidance of their elders. Tekpatzin & Xochimeh (Lou) Blazquez have been working with and mentoring urban and reservation youth & their families for nearly thirty years. Their lived experiences have provided them with wisdom that enables them to offer authentic and relevant care and love. This sacred work takes its toll on the mind, body, and spirit; their vision is to provide a space of respite for those front-line community workers that continue to offer this sacred work. Blazkalli aims to create a sacred space of spiritual equity in New Mexico; grant funds will be used to procure a gathering space in order to facilitate land-based healing in their community.
(B)MEN Foundation is an organization for Black men created by Black men. BMEN provides workshops and community support to individuals interested in engaging restorative responses to sexual harm, in addition to utilizing preventive and proactive strategies. They believe that all peacemaking skills available are necessary to build healthy communities of black men. Their organizational focus is Black Men of adult age that live in the Greater Boston Area with a primary focus on Dorchester and Roxbury's black communities. They aim to begin and establish this work in the Boston area before expanding to regional and national spaces.
Buffalo Visions is about land-based healing. It is a grass-roots effort to uplift Northern Cheyenne youth and visitors through the teaching of cultural traditions and skills, connecting them with the land and welcoming cross-cultural exchanges with youth and mentors of kindred communities. Grant funds will be used to improve facilities and host events in 2023.
Through the leadership of Magdaleno “Leno” Rose-Avila, Building Bridges advocates for the rights of deported veterans, deported DACA Mothers, and immigrants from various shelters in Tijuana, Mexico seeking asylum into the U.S. Leno has been an activist for many decades.
Call to Justice is the US-based sister organization to Counsel to Secure Justice, an organization based in Delhi, India which aims to drive the boundaries of justice in India towards a restorative approach and provide pathways for healing, reparations, and justice for those who are impacted by gender-based harm and other forms of violence.
Chattanoogans in Action for Love, Equity and Benevolence (CALEB)'s purpose is to bring together an institutional coalition of faith-based, labor, and other community organizations who share the same vision for our city and its betterment in order to represent the needs and goals of the Chattanooga, TN community. Their goal is for their constituents to gain a powerful voice in public affairs and issues that affect the wider community.
The Cheyenne Elders Council is dedicated to promoting self-healing from intergenerational trauma through participation in traditional ceremonies, and through sharing the wisdom of tribal elders with younger generations in order to break down the divisions between the Northern and Southern Cheyenne. As far as we know, it was in the early 1700’s when the Cheyenne people first came across the Great Lakes, through Minnesota, and on to the Great Plains. Sweet Medicine was their teacher, and he is the one who convened The Council of 44 Peace Chiefs. These Peace Chiefs were, and still are the servants of the people, providing guidance and support for each new generation.
Citizens of the World, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency which provides education and recreation experiences for youth and adults. They work to further develop students, adolescents and adults into positive, productive Citizens of the World by assisting them in increasing self-awareness and understanding who they are, where they come from and where they are heading. They facilitate workshops, symposiums, trainings and retreats. Their programs include academic workshops, sports, arts and recreation activities, parent discussions, community service opportunities and they work with groups and individuals around implementing restorative practices in communities.
Collective Justice, a survivor-led, anti-violence organization in Seattle, Washington, building toward collective wellness and liberation, is currently a semi-autonomous project incubating at the Public Defender Association. They are building up their capacity to launch their own organization. The grant helps to fund healing circles in South King County for the communities that have been the most impacted by structural oppression and various forms of violence.
Community and Restorative Justice - Covington is the only Restorative Justice organization in Northern Kentucky. They support and empower the community of Eastside Covington through a range of restorative practices. They aim to create a movement rooted in self-advocacy that begins with the community and building interconnected relationships in the neighborhood.
Conflict Resolution Institute of Louisiana is a nascent organization founded by diverse, local mediators and restorative justice practitioners that have pioneered transformative conflict resolution programs and processes for the past decade. No other organization in Louisiana provides free conflict resolution services as an alternative to calling the police. Their driving focus is to offer restorative frameworks of conflict resolution. This funding will lay the groundwork for them to hire paid staff for their all-volunteer run organization. The grant will also allow them to begin offering limited services while in the process of garnering sustained support for operations.
By doing an ecosystem scan of restorative justice, transformative justice and peacemaking in the metro Detroit area, Amanda Alexander from the Detroit Justice Center found that practitioners were working in silos, needing connection with each other. In the last year a collective of 30-40 practitioners, community members, returning citizens, lawyers and judges have begun collaborating to promote restorative justice as a means to abolitionist ends. They have a survivor story-telling project, are working with domestic violence shelters on an RJ pilot and have many ideas in the works.
With funding from Life Comes From It, UnconditionalFreedom.org launched its Earth Program at Mendocino County Jail in May of 2022, with the hiring of a full-time educator and farmer to oversee the 3-acre ecosystem restoration project. Since the program began in 2020, 4 male, and 3 female residents have earned certificates of completion of the 8-week agriculture course, getting time off their sentences. Residents of the jail have harvested 1024 lbs. of organic produce, 49 bunches of kale, and 62 Eggs that contributed to meals served at the jail over the same period of time. In its mission to transform the ecology of prisons in the United States, UnconditionalFreedom.org has guided over 1300 incarcerated individuals towards discovering their unique genius, purpose, and desire for contribution.
Founded in June 2019, Elmahaba Center board, staff, and volunteers are the first Coptic-led organization that is inclusive, intersectional, and intergenerational, serving all Arabic-speaking immigrants, refugees, and their children and anyone who asks for help in Nashville.
Fanm Saj, Inc’s founder and ED is a first generation Haitian American woman in Miami, FL, whose lived experience of seeing how criminalization has dehumanized her own family and community members continues to drive her passion for Black Liberation and Transformative Justice. Fanm Saj envisions a world where Black and Brown families and youth have the power and support to live in safe and spiritually, mentally, physically healthy communities. Restorative Justice circle keeping is one of the tools they use.
Fierce Allies is a network of JEDI stewards embodying and catalyzing the Fierce Allies Practice of Change towards JEDI 2.0: Justice, Equity, Decolonization & Intersectionality. They creatively integrate the fields of power analysis, equitable decision making, Transformative Justice, emotional-social-somatic intelligence, personal-social-ancestral trauma healing, eco-pedagogy, and experiential & Popular Education. The Fierce Allies Practice of Change supports participants in developing a capacity for fiercely honest dialogue with the “other side.” Together, people with privilege engage in the struggle of equity and justice from positions other than shame, blame, and hero, as oppressed people reclaim the power and responsibility for their own liberation.
Finally Safe is a new initiative that includes research-based social, emotional, and cognitive learning methods centered on interrupting the juvenile gun and crime culture through the re-development of at-risk youth. Established under the laws of the State of Missouri, as a faith- based, alternative-to-school health and education organization. Their purpose is to provide a safe atmosphere where underserved youth with delinquency matters, special needs, and those affected by COVID-19 learning loss, can receive a unique hybrid of health and education opportunities, and trauma therapy programs. Finally Safe is an innovative response to the City’s public safety and health risks crisis, particularly concerning minority male juveniles; they intend to serve juvenile justice from an educational and health standpoint.
Get Your Stuff Together
The Get Your Stuff Together (GYST) program is dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated youth and adults who reside in northern White Plains and the river towns of Westchester County, New York. GYST helps parolees connect to their community through employment, workshops, mentorship and case management.
Guardian Saga is a nonprofit that was created by two Keepers of Guardian Art: Great Owl Lightning, a member of the Raven Clan of the Anishinabek Nation, and Condor Light of the Dark, who is of Muong, Cham, and Kinh native ancestry, who were asked by their forebears to protect the ancient tradition of Keepers of Guardian Art and pass it to the next generation.
Through community education, consulting, and peacemaking, the Healing and Reconciliation Institute strives to facilitate reconciliation and trust between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Using a trauma-informed support framework, the trained facilitators from Healing and Reconciliation Institute work with foundations, non-profits, Indigenous Nations and community leaders to develop a healing-centered, reconciliation approach to relationships and programming.
Healing Hearts Restoring Hope works with families (typically three generations) and individuals who have experienced violence and/or homicide of a loved one, in Los Angeles, California. They work with survivors and those who committed these crimes in order to bring about the transformative change based in understanding historical, family, and system cycles of violence, and how this contributes to the incarceration of Black and Brown poor people.
The Healing Justice Foundation (HJF) was founded to build infrastructure where local, state, national, and social agencies have failed Black people. Dr. Joi created HJF to be at the intersection of mutual aid, public policy, and healing from trauma. Their mission is to reclaim the inherent dignity, brilliance, and humanity of all Black people. They exist because there is no Red Cross deployed to communities where Black bodies have been shot and killed all over the United States. There’s no emergency response for the erosion of our humanity through systemic trauma. The impact extends beyond PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) because there really is no “P,” meaning there is no “Post” -- the trauma continues. Their work is to answer the ongoing, relentless need for emergency response with support, healing, and restoration in our community.
Healthy and Free Tennessee's work is to grow a movement for reproductive justice across race, class, and gender by bringing new people into the movement, developing skills and capacities, and building connections across organizations and sectors. We push back against and dismantle existing systems of oppression, while utilizing creativity and innovation to build new systems that meet the needs of the communities in Tennessee.
Honor the Earth is a 28 year old Indigenous organization based in Pine Point on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. It works nationally in multi-faceted ways on environmental justice, ecological restorative justice and cultural renaissance. This project is about youth and cultural restoration, peacekeeping and conflict resolution, and the restoration of ceremonial healing practices for the Pine Point community, including the return of the Big Drum to Pine Point. This drum was rematriated from the Beloit College museum in 2018 and now awaits a community to bring it back. That entails cultural teachings, well being, songs and ceremony.
Indigenous Peoples Power Project (IP3) was originally born out of Our Power Action Camp, and formally became a project of the Ruckus Society in 2004. Our Power Action Camp was Indigenous led and was created to answer the urgent need for Nonviolent Direct Action strategies as a response to the challenges many Indigenous communities experience and a tactic to protect Indigenous land, water, air, and our inherent right to self-determination. The rapidly growing need for NVDA training and skills to Indigenous communities across Turtle Island propelled IP3 into officially becoming its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as of June 2020. They are currently focused on strengthening the foundation of their curriculum, training tools and skills, building their network and training pool and continuing to adapt to the training and support needs of Indigenous communities.
Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative (IPCI) conservation effort exists to sustain the spiritual practices of Indigenous Peoples for generations to come; promoting health, well-being, and native cultural revitalization through sovereignty and sustainability of the Sacred Peyote plant and the lands on which it grows. Their core strategy for addressing the peyote crisis in Texas and Mexico is creating land access for ecological harvest (promoting regrowth), re-establishment of plant populations (replanting), and a system of conservation management and distribution (assessments, rancher incentives, & policy), fundamentally tied to indigenous sovereignty.
The Institute for Afro-futurist Ecology is a land-based eco justice organization serving at the nexus of Black culture, land and technology. Founded by regenerative farmers, artists, healers, technologists and academics, it is a millennial think tank, cross pollinating a diversity of practitioners to dramatically improve the lives and livelihood of disenfranchised black families by helping them to become self-sustaining. Our mission is to advance economic and racial justice, to solve environmental problems and to create better opportunities and outcomes for a more just and sustainable future.
Kee Cha E Nar's goals are to protect their tribe's survival; uphold and protect their tribal sovereignty; reclaim the tribal land base within the Yurok Reservation. To preserve and promote their language, culture, and religious beliefs and practices and to provide for the health, education, economy, and social wellbeing of members and future members. To restore, enhance, and manage the tribal fishery, tribal water rights, tribal forests, and all other natural resources, and to ensure peace, harmony, and protection of individual human rights among members and others who may come within the jurisdiction of our tribal government.
Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) was founded in 1985 and is one of the oldest regional peace institutes in the United States. The Institute offers an array of resources in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, as well as an extensive networking system for consulting and intervention. KIPCOR endeavors to strengthen conflict resolution and peacebuilding capacities in the communities and institutions it serves, and it encourages research, education, skill development and dialogue to enhance the understanding and practice of managing conflict, and to prepare individuals and groups to be peacemakers in an evolving, complex and often troubled world. Welcoming participation by people of all backgrounds and religious traditions, KIPCOR and its programs are rooted in Anabaptist/Christian values of reconciliation, service, appreciation of diversity, personal transformation and integrity, and nonviolence and peacebuilding within the context of social justice.
Kua'aina Ulu Auamo (KUA) is an innovative, community-based initiative for protecting, restoring and caring for Hawaiʻi. KUA means back, or backbone; they are building a backbone organization that supports creative and collective community-based solutions to problems stemming from environmental degradation in Hawai’i. KUA is advancing community-based natural resources management in Hawai’i, working together with government agencies and communities towards restoring Hawaiʻi communities’ traditional role as caretakers of their lands and waters.
Kulan Mascamdag Ki "Medicine Learning House" ...
Kwapa Village Network is a community group started on the Cocopah Indian reservation in Yuma, AZ. The purpose of this group is to strengthen community by implementing programs to promote, restore, preserve, and support Cocopah tradition and language. We provide a positive and inclusive learning environment and community through ensuring emotional and spiritual wellness which guides us in a positive way.
LaLa Gardens Cooperative is a one-acre home and garden demonstration of permaculture and natural farming in the exurbs of Fort Collins, Colorado, transitioning from private to cooperative ownership as a model for regenerative development. The garden features regenerative farming and gardening courses, and is a pilot project for community ownership, governance, economy and culture that is based on a Declaration of Interdependence and in part, utilizes a global regenerative currency and ecosystem. It is reflective of hyper local systems of Partnerism, membership, gifting, trade and other forms of mutual support. It is developing models for applying NFTs to regenerative real estate, education, marketplaces, art, culture and re-sci as a model for any neighborhood.
Created for the freedom fighter, the healer, the artist, the womxn, the queer, the oppressed and marginalized, Mama Scraps provides spaces and experiences for BIPOC to find freedom and liberation through engaging in healing and wellness. From retreats to rituals, meditation spaces to sustainability practices, they seek to provide a liberating and inclusive healing space for those who seek to be whole and to live well. They are in the process of building a wellness village in Hillsboro, Mississippi, where 5+ acres of forested land was purchased by Mama Scrap in 1919. 100 years later, her great (great) granddaughters became the stewards of it. Soon, this land will house a small-scale self-sufficient, sustainable village featuring a permaculture farm and eco-friendly housing where Mama Scraps will continue to offer holistic retreat experiences.
Mescalero Tribal Court exists to hear and process cases for all community members seeking justice or relief in accordance with the Mescalero Apache Constitution, Laws, Ordinances, and Traditions and Customs in an impartial and efficient manner.
Mik'maki Water Walkers
Mi'kmaw leaders took up a 38-day 1,000 km ceremonial walk around the Bay of Fundy on the US-Canada border in honor of water as a sacred life force, bringing public attention to the many issues impacting the water there for so many people and wild animals. In the tradition of the late grandmother Josephine Mandamin, young people also joined the ceremony to recognize and remind the world that water is life. Much damage has already been done, but all hope is not lost. Gratitude to these brave, resilient indigenous water walkers for their leadership and action for fundamental care for water. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/mi-kmaki-water-walk-underway-around-the-bay-of-fundy-1.6477063 and https://www.facebook.com/groups/1368227093614495
MILPA Collective (MILPA)'s mission is to cultivate Change Makers for the Next Seven Generations by creating opportunities for cultural healing, intergenerational leadership, and empowerment through community-driven decision making for healthier communities. MILPA is, first and foremost, a movement space designed for, and led by, formerly incarcerated and system-impacted individuals. We are committed to supporting next-generation infrastructure and leadership within communities, organizations, and systems. We center cultural healing, racial equity and LOVE in our practices and advocacy.
Mnamaadiziwin, Inc. "Live in a Good Way" is directed by tribal members of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa/Chippewa Indians. Paul Raphael, a Peacemaker in the Tribal Court, and JoAnne Cook, Chief Judge for two tribal communities, are part of a team that developed Peacemaking in the community. They are using this grant to provide Peacemaking education and training for four local groups, native and non-native, who are committed to resolving conflict and building community.
Munaywasi Indigenous Cultural Center
The mission of Munaywasi Indigenous Cultural Center is to provide a space for Native American (Southern, Central and North American) Indigenous knowledge preservation through Indigenous cultural exchanges and events. Focusing on Indigenous ways of life, Munaywasi centers material, visual, culinary, medicinal and ceremonial arts and traditions as a way to bring healing and build community to restore our human connection to nature and the Mother Earth while strengthening connection and representation among all Native American Nations. Located in Wawarsing, NY original Ramapo-Lenape and bordering Mohawk territory, Munaywasi is one of the emerging spiritual and cultural centers across the Hudson Valley. Munaywasi, however, aims to expand and prioritize access to community members of BIPOC ancestry while in alliance and cooperation among people from all backgrounds and identities.
Native American Budget and Policy Institute (NABPI) seeks to forge a collaborative pathway to racial equity in New Mexico and across the nation. By working in cooperation with Native American scholars at UNM, graduates of the Pueblo Indian Doctoral Program and tribal elders, the Institute will coordinate research activity across the state to improve public policy decisions at all levels of government through a Native American lens. It will also engage and mentor young Native American researchers and students in a variety of projects. Their goal is to conduct research, budget and policy analysis, social justice advocacy, litigation and community lawyering to encourage Native American communities to create self-determined and systematic change.
National Compadres Network was formed 31 years ago, when 19 Chicano, Latinx and Native men gathered in a sacred Círculo de Hombres (Men’s Circle) in Jolon, California to begin healing from the woundedness of their lives, to recover and build on the values and behaviors of their indigenous sacred manhood, and to take responsibility for reaching other men and boys. These elders now need funding for a process to pass on the leadership of their nationally impactful work to young men and women.
The Native Justice Coalition was formed in 2016 with the intent of being a platform for healing, social, and racial justice for all Native American people. Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing platform for Native people based in an anti-oppression framework. We seek to collaborate first and foremost with tribal governments, Native American non-profits, and other Native American led community organizations. Our goal is to bring resources, initiatives, and programming into our tribal communities that are creative, engaging, and transformative.
Nehemiah Trinity Rising is a faith-based, African American, RJ-focused initiative in Chicago that has established a broad reach in the community-at-large, including churches, seminaries, elementary and high schools, local detention centers for youth and adults, and more. Its education and trainings are infused with African and African American tradition so as to instill cultural knowledge and pride. They need a grant to lease their own space,
New Mexico Kids Matter advocates for the safety and health of abused and neglected children in the foster care system by empowering community volunteers to speak up for them. They have a special interest and expertise in advocating for Native American foster children. They are expanding their use of indigenous peacemaking as a tool for active efforts to prevent kids from entering judicial systems.
Newark Community Street Team (NCST) was founded by Mayor Ras J. Baraka as Newark’s community-based violence reduction strategy. NCST draws upon an evidence-based, trauma informed approach to violence reduction. They deploy a Safe Passage program at 11 Newark, NJ city schools, reducing conflict among students to avoid suspension / criminalization and increase attendance without relying on truancy officers. They seek funding for their Outreach Workers to incorporate restorative justice practices into their work at Malcolm X Shabazz High School.
Newark Water Coalition (NWC) is one of the frontline organizations fighting for clean water in the city of Newark. NWC acknowledges that Water, Housing, and Food is a human right. Our intention is to cultivate a self-determined local, national, and international community of people who recognize the connection between systemic environmental racism and capitalism. NWC fights to liberate natural resources whether it be food, land, air or water as sources of life for all.
Nibezun's peacemaking work is dedicated to preserving and promoting all aspects of Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Abenaki ceremonies, traditions, customs, and language through practice and education. Nibezun believes that by working with the land and Indigenous cultural traditions, Native peoples can heal themselves and promote healing in their communities. In so doing, it becomes possible to heal the greater environment and recreate the symbiotic, reciprocal relationship with our Mother Earth enjoyed by the ancestors of the Wabanaki People. This grant is to support the development of Wabanaki peacemaking.
Oceti Wakan's mission is the preservation of Lakota culture and language and the healing of the people. Indigenous peacemaking is at the center of their work; Wolakota, which means "living in balance, peace" is the goal of what is at the core of being Lakota. This must happen inside each of us before it can be manifested in our society. Trauma and intergenerational trauma are what generally cause the behaviors of violence and self-medication of alcohol and drugs. Oceti Wakan has developed diverse curriculums to support their community in learning and healing, including those tailored for youth, parents, and incarcerated community members.
Oglala Lakota Children's Justice Center (OLCJC) in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, advocates for children who have been afflicted by child abuse and may be placed in the system at no fault of their own. OLCJC is training peacekeepers and expanding their use of peace circles in this work, as authorized by the tribal code.
Melissa Wilbur Goodblanket are longtime advocates for justice and healing in the wake of violence in Oklahoma and beyond. Their work and journey for Justice for Mah-hi-vist (Red Bird) Goodblanketis partly captured in the powerful documentary film Savage Lands, http://www.savagelandfilm.com
Melissa is a proud mother of two wonderful sons: her Earth son and her spirit son. She is a lifelong healing practitioner and ceremonialist. She is a spiritual Elder in the NAC (Native American Church) alongside her husband. Her teachings hail from the great Smoky Mountains and the home of Eastern Band Cherokee. She blends the teachings left behind by the ancient human ancestors around the world, to bring forward the memory of the human purpose and the original Instructions given to humans by the ancients. “May the teachings awaken human memory and be utilized during these times”.
Born in Olympia Washington and raised in southern Georgia with her mom, she knows the value of great love and tremendous loss. She is an advocate for equality of all life and holds to a strict moral compass. Melissa currently resides in Western Oklahoma among the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho where she continues to work both in person and remotely to project out into the universe the greatest and highest good of all life. She works as a conduit of healing through channeling, hands on techniques, remote viewing and simply listening to the multidimensional levels of energies readily available at all times. She reminds us that there is always a divine plan at work in our lives regardless the trauma or challenge. Further, she reminds us that we made a choice to incarnate on Elohi (Earth) during this time of great opportunity and great change and each human has the capacity to return to balance, harmony, love and kindness.
Passamoquoddy Circle of Stones
Passamoquoddy tribal elders and community members are working to document the wisdom embedded in tribal understanding of plant medicine and story. These understandings are being documented, published and shared with people of all ages as a tool to promote wellness on and off the reservation. In particular, these publications uplift the teachings of deceased elder and healer Fredda Paul.
Potlikker Capital is a farm community-governed charitable integrated capital fund created to holistically serve BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) farmers in America who operate at the intersection of racial and climate justice. Potlikker is committed to preserving and increasing the diversity of America’s farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers who increase equitable access to healthy food for their communities, build wealth and knowledge within their local BIPOC farming communities, and farm to address climate change through adopting regenerative farming practices.
Prince George's County Community Conferencing Program (PGCCCP) is one of several programs associated with the Statewide Network in Maryland who provide conflict resolution services throughout the state at no charge. The overall goal of the Statewide Network is to divert cases from court, and to end the pre-school-to-prison pipeline. In addition to restorative justice, Statewide Network programs offer mediation, re-entry services, conflict coaching, and IEP facilitation. While most of the Statewide Network programs focus on offering mediation services, PGCCCP focuses on providing restorative justice and practices, always applying processes through a restorative lens.
Pu'uhonua Society traces its history back to 1972, when Emma Aluli Meyer originally founded the organization as the Young of Heart Workshop & Gallery. It creates opportunities for Native Hawaiian and Hawai‘i-based artists and cultural practitioners to express themselves and engage with and impact audiences. We support artists and makers who serve as translators/mediators/amplifiers of social justice issues in the community.
ReEntry Mediation Institute of Louisiana (REMILA) is founded and led by a tribal citizen of the Ani-Yun Wiya Nation who has been directly impacted by the criminal justice system. Louisiana has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world as well as a high recidivism rate because of lack of long-term and sustainable support systems for formerly incarcerated individuals. REMILA provides a restorative approach to rebuilding relationships and decreasing recidivism by providing opportunities for the incarcerated to meet, before release, with family members and others, with the help of a non-judgmental mediator, to have an open, honest, and often difficult dialogue to prepare for the transition back into the community.
Reclaiming Our Own Transcendence (RooT) is a Black and Brown, queer, grassroots led initiative in response to sexual and interpersonal violence. In 2017, RooT began offering support to survivors using a transformative justice lens to address acts of harm instead of using punitive measures. Their flagship Healing Cycles of Harm program responds to violence by providing a structured 9-week collective healing and self-accountability experience for people who have caused and have been impacted by interpersonal and sexual harm. They are currently running the 4th and 5th cohorts of the program. The work is in high demand. This grant covered the cost of one cohort.
Reconcile Baltimore is a 501c3 organization that is focused on restorative justice. Their mission is to create a police-community trust infrastructure for Baltimore that builds trust between the police and the community by providing comprehensive training, education, dialogue, truth-telling and reconciliation. Funding will support Project Connect, which brings together Baltimore residents and police officers in a trust-building program to create a healthier, safer, more equitable and connected community.
Reimagining Justice Inc.'s mission has been to advocate for the investment of healing centered approaches and building community based public safety infrastructure in communities of color that are impacted by high rates of violence. In 2020, they created the Paterson Healing Collective: the first hospital-based violence intervention program in Paterson, NJ. Funding will go towards their community-based hardship and healing-centered activity fund, through which PHC supports community members with emergency housing assistance, food insecurity, medical appointments and wellness activities
Dr. Shanequa Smith, the founder of Restorative Actions, is a Restorative Practitioner with a focus on assisting in the process of healing the well-being of individuals who have been systematically oppressed. She has a Master’s in School Counseling from Marshall Graduate College and a PhD in Human and Community Development from West Virginia University. Dr. Smith uses transformative techniques to assist in creating liberation within individuals who experienced sociohistorical traumas, generated from systematic oppressions. These transformative techniques are embedded in relational and listening practices that redistribute power back within the people. Dr. Smith also enacts collaborative initiatives to reinforce the strength of community villages.
The Restorative Justice Partnership began in 2014 as a collaboration between racial justice organizations, teachers’ unions, and educational institutions as a way to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately impacts students of color. They are doing this by strengthening restorative justice implementation in Denver, CO specifically and using what they learned there to develop free, accessible resources to assist school communities throughout the country.
Restorative Roots Collaborative (RRC) is a small group of restorative justice practitioners, mostly based in New York City, who came together in October 2019 to study RJ practice through their perspectives as members of under-represented communities. They participate in a parallel sister initiative with members from the Colectivo Internacional de Practicantes Restaurativas (CIPR) in Guatemala. In addition to researching their own practices through a collaborative approach, RRC aims to raise underrepresented voices in the field of RJ, especially practitioners of color or practitioners from the Global South, and to anchor the roots of restorative practices in response to their modern-day commodification.
The founder of Restoring Navajo Peacemaking for Navajo Families is a 24-year-old Diné (Navajo) woman born and raised on the Navajo Nation by her maternal grandparents, who taught her traditional Diné values. She is studying law full time at Navajo Technical University and for 5 years has worked with K’é Infoshop to provide mutual aid relief, education, and guidance to facilitate healing and wellbeing of unsheltered Navajo relatives on and off the reservation. She writes, “This work has been preparing me for my life mission. I know I am meant to practice law and peacemaking in the Navajo Nation.”
Rez Refuge, Inc. operates in Fort Defiance, Arizona, within part of the Fort Defiance agency of the Navajo Nation, where they create alternatives to destructive behaviors and oppressive systems and invite children, youth, and adults into a communal endeavor for a more harmonious community for future generations. Their primary focus is to work directly with all ages within the community to help our people heal from historical and generational trauma. Through various projects we are able to build leadership, collaboration, and resiliency within our youth and young adults.
Founded in 2014, Rise and Shine Youth Retreat offers science, art and outdoor recreational programming and wellness experiences for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and People of Color of all ages to explore and learn in Maine’s outdoors as a way to build community and collective wellness. Rise and Shine is a rejuvenation center; Onederland, Maine’s only Black-owned, land-based learning and healing center for the enrichment and liberation of Black people in Maine and beyond.
Sacred Fire Foundation's mission is to ensure the continuance of Indigenous wisdom traditions and to expand awareness of how and why these worldviews and their embodied values are crucial to modern society. Founded in 2007, the foundation supports initiatives seeking to ensure the continuance of Indigenous wisdom traditions worldwide. Through programs such as Protecting the Sacred, in-person events like Voices of Wisdom, digital media, and our annual Wisdom Treasure Award, which honors the life of an Indigenous Elder, the Foundation serves as a bridge between Indigenous and non-indigenous people.
Sacred Indigenous Preservation (SIP) was established to protect, preserve, and maintain indigenous spirituality and ceremonies. SIP is an inter-tribal, indigenous-centered community for prayer and healing that has been sustained for nearly 4 decades solely through the support of members’ donations of time, work, and money. They provide safe places for ceremony, prayer, cultural renewal and healing founded upon traditional teachings in North America.
In 1977, Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos (SCBU) set out to heal our communities, build sustainable peace and end interpersonal, community and structural violence. For forty years, Barrios Unidos has provided culturally driven and spiritually informed services to youth and adults within our most marginalized communities. Our services are both preventative and restorative, which has called us to environments from middle schools to maximum security facilities. In all of our endeavors, we seek to provide curative space in the face of oppression. We seek the end of mass incarceration. We seek meaningful pathways for our youth, whether it be political and economic or interpersonal and spiritual. We seek a community where the importance of culture is understood, and where individuals can draw strength from their authentic selves. We seek a world that is truly just for all.
Schaghticoke First Nations Inc. was established in an effort to support the social, economic, and political development of Schaghticoke descendants. Schaghticoke First Nations is a historic indigenous Tribe led by hereditary Sachem Hawk Storm, a verifiable decedent of Schaghticoke Sachem Gideon Mauwee and Sachem Sassacus. Schaghticoke First Nations affirms our right to self-determination and is focused on reestablishing a physical presence in the lands our ancestors lived in for centuries, the Hudson and Harlem Valley regions. Schaghticoke First Nations is not a federally recognized American Indian Tribe recognized under the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA); however, in 2002 and 2004 the Indigenous familial lineages of Schaghticoke First Nations members were affirmed and published by the BIA. Schaghticoke First Nations is governed by a Tribal Constitution.
Schoodic Hemp is an indigenous-led land-based project in the Schoodic Peninsula of coastal Maine. Having acquired 40 acres of traditional Penobscot land, the group is establishing a healing space rooted in indigenous ceremony, language, and regenerative agriculture including the creation of textile hemp. People recovering from the traumas of addiction, incarceration and other types of harm are welcomed to find the medicines of community, refuge and support in co-creating a place of wellness and belonging.
Semillas y Raices was founded as a platform for cultural preservation and to promote collaborations to advance the traditional practices of restorative justice and community healing work. Utilizing diverse indigenous and contemporary practices from across the continent, their goal is to support healing and accountability through community building, collaborative projects and restorative justice processes. The vision of Semillas y Raices is co-existence in an inclusive, just and equitable society where first nations and marginalized populations of the American continent are recognized for their autonomy, solidarity and contributions to the larger society through their cultural practices and sustainable development methodologies.
Shadetree Multicultural Foundation is a Los Angeles based youth mentoring and community development organization serving to support healthy transitions of young people into adult life paths. They create and support rites of passage and self-development initiatives in many communities.
Shinnecock Hemp Growers
Shinnecock Hemp Growers (SHG) believes that the sacred weed heals many people. They are the growers of this plant medicine, which has become the most demanded alternative medicine of our day. SHG sources high-CBD varieties of hemp to cultivate and extract full-spectrum, hemp-infused oil blends that are better than products made with CBD isolate. Their oils work for a myriad of health reasons including inflammation, stress, & sleeplessness.
Soul Fire Farm is an Afro-Indigenous centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system. They raise and distribute life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of our ancestors, they work to reclaim our collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system. SFF brings diverse communities together on this healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice. They are training the next generation of activist-farmers and strengthening the movements for food sovereignty and community self-determination.
South Carolina Restorative Justice Initiative (SCRJI) South Carolina has an incarceration rate of 754 per 100,000 people, well above the national average. The state’s legacy of slavery and Jim Crow remains ingrained in its institutions and culture. The state is fertile ground for restorative justice but is often ignored by larger actors focusing on places with big metropolitan areas. What has been missing is a support network that can equip providers with the knowledge and resources to confidently begin integrating restorative practices into their own work. SCRJI serves to fill that gap, connecting the already widespread desire with usable tools to make it happen.
Spirit Awakening Foundation is an arts-based nonprofit dedicated to helping underserved youth and children in the juvenile justice system realize their value and self-worth. Since 1995 we have been teaching the unheard the power of positive and productive expression through creative writing, visual arts, improvisation, and meditation. SAF has been a pioneer in developing and offering restorative, transformative, trauma-informed, arts-, and healing-centered programs for underserved, systems-involved and incarcerated youth in Los Angeles County. SAF exists to stand for equality, justice, and dignity for all, while offering young people tools and strategies to heal and live in a more inclusive, just and safe world.
Stick Talk reassesses urban gun violence through the prisms of harm reduction and mutual aid. Their intention is to reduce the number of young Black people who are living at the edge of fatality, and to interrupt the demonization and criminalization of their politics of survival. Instead of criminalizing or stigmatizing illicit gun use, we build educational opportunities and hyper-local infrastructures of care that avow the easy availability of illicit firearms and are inclusive of those who use them.
STRONGHOLD is a collective of distinct and experienced POC, women, and directly impacted Restorative Justice practitioners and Transformative Justice visionaries. STRONGHOLD offers consultation and facilitation rooted in anti-oppression analysis and framed by Restorative and Transformative Justice philosophy and practice in California.
Sweetwater Cultural Center is an indigenous-led organization guided by the Ramapough Munsee Lunaape Nation dedicated to promoting the education, health, and welfare of Indigenous or Native peoples, and to preserve their cultures and ceremonial practices locally, regionally, and around the western hemisphere.
The Dispute Resolution Center, building on a 35-year history in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties, Michigan, is acting on a unique opportunity to partner with an incoming Prosecutor who is already working toward creating diversion programs with the center. Together they are executing restorative justice models for juvenile, criminal, and felony offenses. This is a chance for real systemic change and to see the inequities and charges toward African American men and women decrease.
Drawing on restorative justice models from around the world, The Restorative Center has led hundreds of restorative justice circles and many trainings across the country since its creation in 2015. A volunteer organization, they are ready to make the jump into a salaried workforce. They are building on their national influence with more conferences, academic lectures, media publications, the creation of a restorative justice law journal and a national Restorative Justice Institute to educate and train the next generation of restorative justice leaders, while serving as a home space for the organization.
The Uhuru Foundation works to interrupt the poverty to prison pipeline by providing financial literacy training, business skill development, and credible messenger mentoring, to transform the thinking, attitude, and behavior of high-risk youth and adults so their past circumstances don’t define their futures. The Uhuru Foundation envisions a world where the most vulnerable youth and families have the power and resources to lift themselves out of poverty to upward social and economic mobility that will enable them to create healthy lifestyles for their families and communities.
Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural offers a holistic visionary and creative alternative approach to empowerment for healing and wellbeing. Funding will go towards their Trauma to Transformation (T2T) program, which aims to change the narratives within the national dialogue on prisoners and prisons. T2T amplifies the voice, expression, and presentation to the experiences lived by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women in the Los Angeles area through writing, poetry, spoken word, oral histories, theater and memoir.
Tiognaka Tawowakan Otokahe (TTO)
Tiognaka Tawowakan Otokahe (TTO) is based in the Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, the Spiritual heart of the Lakota territories. TTO was founded to increase the overall health and resilience of the Lakota people and all Indigenous communities through reconnection to reclaim their cultural and spiritual pathways and way of life. TTO directly addresses the many crises of post-colonial trauma experienced by native peoples including addiction, suicide, depression, and nutritional problems. TTO is a trusted home where young men and women can live and learn true Lakota values and a place where those in crisis can come for safety, healing and health. A family community supports connection to fresh grown food, healthy exercise, and honest communication and engagement in service to others.
Totally Positive Productions was founded to address gang violence and drugs among the youth in economically disadvantaged communities in Chicago. TPP's mission is to produce positive rap, singing, dancing, theater and spoken word talent competitions as well as produce positive “Off the Street” activities for youths and adults ages seven and up as a deterrent to gang and drug involvement.
Transformational Prison Project (TPP)'s mission is to provide spaces where those who have been harmed and those who have done the harming can come together and engage in dialogue—to build understanding and empathy toward those who have been victims of violent crime. TPP is committed to understanding individual harms and the systemic harms that affect communities, more specifically communities of color, and to put the needs of these communities at the center of the state's response to crime.
Truth Telling Project is engaging K-12 educators in a process of learning and teaching that centralizes the "Pedagogy of Ferguson" and Truth Telling methodology. It was founded by St. Louis area community activists in response to the Ferguson uprising. With funding, they will organize a convening of educators, curriculum specialists and their networks in Ferguson, Mo, Gallup, NM, and Puerto Rico.
Hemp products are part of a larger vision for Turquoise Mountain Farms (TMF). They have made every effort possible to promote a responsible, sustainable and traditional form of agriculture during their journey to produce a top-quality final CBD product. TMF strives to produce food and medicine in a way that makes economic sense. We are transcending from ordinary agriculture to a way of life which preserves culture, shares sustainable farming techniques with the community, and creates a viable source of income. TMF is also an active participant in the farming community in providing essential equipment, knowledge and labor to those wanting to engage in responsible agriculture with our limited and precious natural resources.
In the spring of 2017, Oneida Nation citizens Steve and Becky Webster purchased 10 acres of land on the Oneida Reservation. The following year, with the help of friends and family, they built a home. They currently grow traditional, heirloom foods with an emphasis on Haudenosaunee varieties of corn, beans, and squash. Their long-term goal for this property is to serve as a place to host events where the community comes to learn about planting, growing, harvesting, seed keeping, food preparation, food storage, as well as making traditional tools and crafts. Their philosophy is that every time an indigenous person plants a seed, that is an act of resistance and an assertion of sovereignty. With these goals in mind, an Oneida faithkeeper named their property Ukwakhwa: Tsinu Niyukwayay^thoslu (Our foods: Where we plant things). In summer of 2021, Ukwakhwa officially became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which will help to further their goals of sharing the knowledge they gain about their foods.
Unity Circles is a Boston based organization that works with youth ages 14-25 in and out of school settings to support their leadership development through a holistic model grounded in a philosophy of interconnectedness. Based on North American Indigenous traditions and Southern African Ubuntu philosophy, Unity Circles believes that all people are inherently interconnected; that through this connection we can heal and transform to become our best selves. Their circle models and interventions are designed from evidence-based principles and practices, incorporating cultural responsiveness, strength-based approaches and healing-centered practices.
Virginia Anti-Violence Project works to address and end violence against and within diverse LGBTQ+ populations across Virginia. The organization works to focus on its most marginalized stakeholders while they navigate trauma and their intersections of identity. VAVP believes that those who are most affected by an issue are more appropriate to readily identify challenges, solutions and investments, and hold each other accountable for the outcomes.
The mission of the Waterfall Unity Alliance is to protect the Schohairie Valley and all Earth, build alliances across movements & cultures, and create solutions to the existential challenges of our time. It was formed in 2015 when traditional Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) leaders from the Akwesasne Reserve returned to their ancestral valleys to stand with local residents against the Constitution Pipeline, a major fracked gas pipeline planned in upstate New York. The Waterfall Unity Alliance also pledged to work with local residents to address the decimation and dispossession of the original inhabitants of the Mohawk Valley. This foundational pledge continues to guide the work of the Alliance supporting the return of traditional Kanien’kehá:ka leaders to their ancestral lands.
Wicahpi Koyaka Tiospaye (WKT)'s mission strives to re-establish and foster the understanding of indigenous cultural traditions. The vision is to provide a spiritual community where Indian people can once again stand proudly on a cultural foundation and their historical legacy. The Tiospaye motto is “WE ARE THE ANCESTORS OF TOMORROW” to remind us that our actions today transcend into the future. WKT utilizes Native American cultural traditions to foster mutual understanding, nurture wellness, and strengthen the family unit, and in turn, the larger community.
Wisdom Weavers of the World (WWW) is weaving the wisdom of loving elders to bring us back into our hearts. WWW is a multicultural council of elders and earth activists sharing indigenous wisdom and sacred teachings. "We connect, as people of all colors, creeds, and origins, weaving a web of living, breathing wisdom around the world. This web unites us in awareness, awakens our collective memory, and activates the unique gifts that we call upon to create the world we wish to see."
YES! ReStorying Justice Jam brings together activists, advocates, academics, storytellers, practitioners, people impacted by the criminal legal system who feel called to transform it. “By sharing our stories with each other, we 'restory' the narrative of conflict, wrongdoing, and justice in this country. We create opportunities for self-awareness and self-reflection, community-building, and visioning towards systemic change.”
Youth Passageways Network is an evolving network of individuals, organizations, and communities who help regenerate healthy passages into mature adulthood for today’s youth. Colonization and imperialism have destroyed processes for youth initiation. Resurrecting, restoring and elevating rites of passage is a deep kind of restorative practice.
The Northeast Council for Indigenous Peoples’ Day has its first in-person retreat from Oct 7th - 11th at Kripalu, with over thirty native and nonnative allies attending. Over fifteen tribal nations will be represented, mainly from Northeast tribes, including Mohawk, Toscorooro, Mohigan and Ramapo. Indigenous peacemaking specialists from the Dine, Cheyenne and Tlingit-Tsimshian of the Southwest & Northwest are also coming to support with valuable teachings and facilitation. For the first time ever, a delegation of Stockbridge-Munsee representatives, the original people of the Berkshires, will be attending the council and, along with other members of the council, will be presenting at the Mahaiwe Theater, on Oct 8th, at Kripalu via Livestream on Oct 9th, and leading a ceremonial walk on Main St. in Great Barrington on October 10th (see Alliance for a Viable Future website for details).
Alliance for a Viable Future will thoroughly document the impact of the council on (1) council members, in regard to building relationships, partnerships and support for community initiatives; and (2) the Berkshires community as a whole, in regard to education, awareness and engagement. This will generate valuable insight into how to evolve the program throughout the year in order to deepen connections and build momentum towards their second annual council meeting in October of 2023.
Chief Brave Eagle Veteran and Rehabilitation Center is an emerging indigenous and veteran-led center in the beautiful Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains. People returning from incarceration, recovering from addiction, and working to reconnect with the medicines of nature, stillness and ceremony are welcome to come and find refuge. Modalities available include acupuncture, physical therapy and counseling as well as traditional indigenous healing work.