2006 Grantee Profiles

Los Cenzontles Mexican Art Center
13108 San Pablo Avenue
San Pablo, CA 94805
Jerry Garcia Award.The mission of LCMAC is to provide a quality education in Mexican art forms to the general public with an emphasis on youth; to promote and present unique and culturally valuable arts and artists in Mexican genres; to sponsor cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Mexico with an emphasis on youth and to develop community awareness and responsibility through the arts. LCMAC provides weekly classes in music, dance and arts and crafts in a variety of regional Mexican ad Latin styles. Los Cenzontles strongly believes that traditional culture should be a vehicle for deeper and more relevant modes of expression and achieve this by promoting both a strong technical approach to music and dance as well as the social contexts for the traditions represented.
New Old Time Chautauqua
615 54th Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368
Ralph J. Gleason Award.The mission of New Old Time Chautauqua is to build community through laughter, entertainment and education. They aim to delight, educate, amaze, and provoke the imagination of adults and children alike at Summer Tours. Tours are typically three to six weeks long and the stay in each community is commonly about three days. During each stay, a typical list of events includes a vaudeville show (or a few), numerous workshops, a parade and a smaller community show or two. NOTC is an entirely volunteer community whose goals are: to present programs to diverse communities with a focus on under-served areas, to partner with local groups to organize and present community events and to promote interaction within communities.
Innocence Project
100 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10011
Bill Graham Award.The mission of the Innocence Project is to provide post-conviction legal assistance to people in prison whose claims of innocence can be proven through DNA testing and to bring needed reforms to the criminal justice system. The primary policy objectives are to guarantee access to DNA testing, to establish professional standards and independent oversight of crime labs and to prevent mistaken eyewitness identifications. The Innocence Project forges common ground among all those affected: the wrongfully convicted and their families, crime victims and their families and criminal justice professionals.
African Environmental Human Rights Investigator
The Rex Foundation grant supports the investigation of environmental and human rights abuses in the Congo and various nearby countries in Africa. The research is relayed to a wide variety of non-governmental organizations such as Project Censored and Amnesty International, who then use the source material to document concerns that would not otherwise be identified or documented.
Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity
PO Box 2278
Mill Valley, CA 94942
The mission of AHO is to prevent homelessness of youth ages 18-25 by providing a personalized “safety net” of stable housing, guidance and community connections to build a meaningful life. AHO addresses the needs of this unique demographic culture in Marin County who are not served by traditional mainstream institutions, despite the growing number of homeless young adults. The focus is a healthy support system of parent partners, weekly meeting and personalized mentors. All AHO staff have a shared expertise as they have all been previously homeless themselves and understand the issues with this unique demographic.
Berkeley High School Student Court
1980 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
BHS Student Court seeks to provide a more positive alternative to out-of-school suspensions for students who face disciplinary action for violating school rules. The court represents a shift from a purely punitive to an instructional and preventive approach to school discipline. Students are held accountable for school offenses through helping them understand how their offenses have harmed others and the community, and providing ways for them to repair the harm done. The Student Court’s goal is to improve achievement by keeping students in school and engaged in academics rather than keeping them away through suspension where they become behind in their schoolwork. Participation is voluntary and improves school culture by providing a role for students in the discipline system, increasing their sense of empowerment, responsibility and belief in the fairness of consequences they have helped define.
Black Rock Arts Foundation
3450 3rd Street, Suite 2A
San Francisco, CA 94124
The mission of Black Rock Arts Foundation is to support and promote community-based interactive art that generates social participation. The process whereby this art is created, the means by which it is displayed and the character of the work itself should inspire immediate actions that connect people to one another in a larger communal context. Black Rock Arts Foundation helps connect artists with other kinds of resources, offers support in finding sites for public display, educated the general public about the value and spirit of interactive art and helps artists document and publicize their work.
Give Me Back My Rights Campaign
c/o US Pirg Education Fund
218 D Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
The Give Me Back My Rights Campaign seeks to end the use of unfair, binding mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer, employee and small farmer contracts. Mandatory arbitration may be appropriate when negotiated in contracts between equal-sized parties but has been increasingly and unfairly used to restrict the legal rights of consumers, employees and farmers in disputes with powerful corporate interests. Mandatory arbitration clauses are increasingly inserted as “take it or leave it” provisions in form contracts such as for health insurance, cell phone, credit cards, etc. and must be accepted as a condition with no Constitutional right to go to court.
Kids on Broadway
PO Box 3461
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
A year round performing arts company, Kids on Broadway seeks to enrich the lives of children and teens in the greater Santa Cruz community by offering the opportunity to learn about and participate in quality professional theater. KOB provides a supportive environment where young people can acquire communication, performance and technical skills, develop character and self-esteem and experience the pride of accomplishment. The program values teamwork, creativity and diversity while promoting a strong work ethic, expecting everyone to do their share and encouraging respect between all members of the KOB community.
O’Neill Sea Odyssey
222 East Cliff Drive, Suite 222
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
O’Neill Sea Odyssey’s mission is to provide a hands-on educational experience to encourage the protection and preservation of our living sea and communities. The free program engages 4th-6th graders with lessons in navigation, sailing, conservation and marine science, integrated into an education program that teaches them about the marine habitat and the importance of the relationship between the living sea and the environment.
Project Avary
1018 Grand Ave.
San Rafael, CA 94901
Project Avary is a year-round support and enrichment program for Bay Area children, ages 8 to 15, who share the difficulties presented by a parent’s incarceration or ongoing involvement in the criminal justice system. Project Avary consists of three, integrated main components: Camp Avary, Avary Adventure Days–field trips that take place monthly during the school yea –and the Avary Mentoring Program. The mission is to discourage cycles of violence and criminal activity by providing a consistent, nurturing community in which children may: express themselves creatively; cultivate trusting relationships with peers and adults; build self-esteem and self knowledge and gain a broadened sense of what is possible in their lives.
Project Help Mexico
414 Park Street
Nelson, BC Canada
Project Help Mexico is a service club in a rural high school that wants to make a difference in the world by contributing to both local and global communities. Members raise money by performing local community service and then donate all that they earn to house-building projects in Mexico. Participants learn important leadership, social interaction and community activism skills that will help them all their lives. The families they help in Mexico benefit not only by having much needed housing, but also by being able to educate their children, who then have a chance to break out of their cycle of poverty.
Seven Tepees Youth Program
3177 17th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
The mission of Seven Tepees is to work with urban youth to foster the skills they need to make lifelong positive choices and to create their own opportunities for success. The program design features a seven-year commitment to each student from 6th grade through graduation from high school and a scholarship for college or trade school. Each youth participates in academic tutoring 3-5 times weekly, college advising, year round one-on-one adult mentoring, personal counseling, family support, job training and outdoor resource program. The purpose is not only to prevent high-risk youth from entering the criminal justice system but to have them thrive in their personal lives, attend college or trade school and give back to the community.
Tule Elk Park Project
2110 Greenwich Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Tule Elk Park provides a high quality early childhood education that values the importance of relationships, diversity, literacy, creativity, high individual expectations, and the natural world so all children will realize their full potential. TEP offers both all-day and after-school programs for pre-kindergarten and elementary children, who reflect the ethnic, racial, economic, cultural and linguistic diversity of San Francisco. Priorities are Literacy Development and Project Learning, Parent Involvement and Community Building, and Professional Development and Leadership. Programs aim to provide an environment-based curriculum and increase public awareness about the vital connection between nature, outdoor learning, and school success. TEP is committed to “greening” schools and creating the outdoor learning environments that every child deserves.
UPAYA Center for Wellbeing
478 Santa Clara Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
The goal of UPAYA Center for Wellbeing is to provide a holistic approach to wellbeing through non-drug and alternative healthcare. UPAYA established a walk in clinic to provide comprehensive holistic health care services to under-served and low income communities in Alameda County at reduced rates. Practitioners work in collaboration with other providers at Youth UpRising to provide quality, preventive, supportive and acute health care services to individuals and families who otherwise would not be able to afford or have access to such services.
Working Playground
414 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10013

By supporting underserved schools and communities, Working Playground inspires, enlivens and enriches students’ educational experiences with the in-depth study of an art form. Through a dynamic range of programs including instrument building, animated music video production, documentary and fiction film, Spanish theater, science cartooning, dance performance and spoken word, Working Playground empowers youth to develop the creative and analytic impulses that will serve them as students, professionals and citizens.


Conservation Value
1474 University Avenue #132
Berkeley, CA 94702
The mission of Conservation Value (CV) is to promote the benefits of sustainability by helping consumers, companies and government agencies find opportunities to simultaneously benefit the environment, save money and improve their health and quality of life. CVs primary service is to synthesize and disseminate information, specifically focusing on the use of green products and services, and improving sustainability in the home, business and in land management practices.
Council on Aging
30 Kawana Springs Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
The mission of the Council on Aging Services for Seniors is to provide services that support the independence and well-being of older adults in Sonoma County, and to be a strong advocate for the quality of life of elders locally and nationally. The Rex Foundation grant is specifically awarded to the Meals on Wheels Kitchen Campaign to support funding of a new kitchen facility to address the growing challenge of food preparation and increasing demand for services and efficiency of operations to meet the current and future needs of Sonoma County’s growing senior population.
Educacion para la Paz A.C. (EDUPAZ)
c/o International Rivers Network
1847 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94703
EDUPAZ works with indigenous and peasant communities in Chiapas, Mexico on issues of health, education, capacity building, fair trade, agroecology, alternative technologies and sound and safe environment. The organization centers their actions on the principles of democracy, justice, gender equity, solidarity, human rights, sound environment, peace and sustainable development.
Eyak Preservation Council
PO Box 460
Cordova, AK 99574
Eyak Preservation Council’s (EPC) mission is to protect the inherent rights of culture, heritage, language and ancestral lands needed to preserve and restore the Eyak tribes’ continued existence as an independently recognized Alaskan tribal nation. EPC was founded in 1989 following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The people of the Sound began to rally, finding hope, courage, and strength. Their collective voices grew. The fisherman united with Natives and environmentalists to convert tragedy into cutting edge conservation, preserving nearly 700,000 acres of endangered wild salmon habitat. Since that time, EPC has continued to produce tangible and cutting edge results in the Copper River watershed. Today, EPC is recognized as the leading Native founded and led conservation organization in the region.
Good Cents for Oakland
PO Box 21290
Oakland, CA 94620-1290
Good Cents for Oakland strives to engage Oakland’s school children in community service through its Penny Roundup Program. Youth are taught that they have the power to make change in Oakland by being aware, informed and involved in their community. Good Cents for Oakland provides programs to preschools and elementary schools. While working to improve their community, children participating in the Penny Roundup Program also have the opportunity to develop and exercise valuable life skills, including teamwork, critical thinking, presentation and leadership skills. The Program also provides a natural platform from which to teach children important financial literacy, mapping and math concepts.
New Economy, Working Solutions (NEWS)
PO Box 6298
Santa Rosa, CA 95406
NEWS was established to raise the living standards of low and moderate-income families in Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa counties and to promote greater equity and fairness in the regional economy through policy research, public education, leadership training and community organizing. NEWS is committed to building a regional economy that ensures economic opportunity for all and to provide access to good jobs, public transit, a healthy environment, affordable housing and comprehensive, affordable, health care.
New Old Time Chautauqua
PO Box 334
Port Townsend, WA 98368
New Old Time Chautauqua’s mission is to build community through laughter, entertainment and education. The goals are to present programs to diverse communities with a focus on under-served areas; to partner with local groups to organize and present community events and to promote interaction within communities. The Rex Foundation award recognizes New Old Time Chautauqua’s “Jambalaya Vaudeville Tour” in New Orleans and Mississippi that provided free vaudeville shows and workshops for hurricane survivors and relief workers to help nourish and fortify the spirits of people who are dealing with incredible loss, confusion and change.
1 Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
NextCourse was founded on the belief that there is a health crisis in this country, especially among young people and in the poorest neighborhoods, that is largely due to the poor quality of what we eat and the nature of our food supply systems that promote the consumption of overly processed food products. NextCourse’s goal is to make a positive difference in the food supply systems serving our communities and to educate youth and child-care providers about healthy eating and nutrition. NextCourse has a strong commitment to the social justice aspect of its mission and seeks to combat the acute food crisis in low income communities, while at the same time promoting and supporting local farmers who can supply fresh, wholesome food products.
ShadowLight Productions
22 Chattanooga Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
ShadowLight Productions’ mission is to bring world stories to light by building diverse collaborative performing ensembles and choosing stories from many cultural traditions to create original, interdisciplinary shadow theater performances. The documentary video work is intended to discover and support artists who are keeping traditional performance styles alive, as well as those bringing new life to their cultural heritage. ShadowLight trains and educates people of all ages in the art of shadow theatre through workshops, lectures, residencies and DVD series.
Young Volunteers for the Environment
c/o International Rivers Network
1847 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94703
YVE was established as an environmental advocacy organization for committed youth in the village of Kpele Tsiko in Togo. It is now an international coalition with 13 branches, the majority concentrated in Africa. YVE engages government, donors and private investors to allow for a participatory approach towards the development of the country’s damming program and to consider other options before implementing additional dams. YVE has organized various events and international forums to shed light on the adverse impacts of mining exploitation and other free zones industrial activities.

October 2006

Advocates for Victims of Assault
PO Box 1859
Frisco, CO 80443
The mission of Advocates for Victims of Assault is to provide support to victims of abuse and trauma in Summit County, Colorado. Services are immediate, confidential, culturally relevant and compassionate, with victim safety and offender accountability as essential components. The primary goal is to assist victims by providing them with support, outreach sources, education and safety measures. Advocates educates the community about domestic violence, sexual assault, healthy family dynamics and the impact that victimization and trauma has on survivors. All services are non-discriminatory.
Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI)
59 Washington St, #119
Santa Clara, CA 95050-6138
BAWSI’s mission is to create programs and partnerships through which women athletes bring health, hope and wholeness to the community. Founded by professional women’s sports leaders, BAWSI utilizes the existing community of women athletes in practical programs demonstrating the valuable societal benefits of sports aimed at making a difference in each other’s lives. Programs include girls fitness teams in underserved neighborhoods, community involvement and leadership programs, Dads and Daughters shared sports experiences, and advocacy programs.
Kid Connects Child Development
1333 Iris Avenue
Boulder, CO 80304
The mission of Kid Connects is to provide prevention and early intervention services to children birth through five in Boulder County, CO. The program uses an integrated health and mental health consultation model which is delivered in child care centers and family daycare homes. Services are available free of charge to child care center staff, parents and children. Consultants understand the importance of social and emotional development and parents are encouraged to contact staff for assistance with developmental concerns and diagnoses. Staff facilitates children’s group and, if needed, work individually with children who need additional support.
Okanogan Highlands Alliance (OHA)
PO Box 163
Tonasket, WA 98855
The Okanogan Highlands Alliance is dedicated to educating members and the public about the threat of chemical leach mining to the quality of air, soil, water, human health, wildlife and natural ecosystems. OHA participates in decisions involving the integrity, sustainability and prosperity of the community and the environment and takes decisive legal action when necessary to protect the Okanogan Highlands and other areas against environmental degradation. OHA has been effective in stopping what would have been the first large-scale open pit, cyanide leach gold mine in Washington State, thereby empowering the conservation community and changing the way mining had been done nationally.
People Power
c/o Hub for Sustainable Transportation
703 Pacific Avenue, Suite B
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
People Power promotes the use of bicycles, utility tricycles, bike-trailers, skateboards, walking and other non-motorized transit. They are committed to helping government, citizens and businesses overcome their dependence on the automobile. The goal is to demonstrate that better alternatives to the car exist, while improving conditions for bicyclists in Santa Cruz count
Rhythm Village
76 Spruce Road
Fairfax, CA 94930
The mission of Rhythm Village is to help institutions and communities reach a new paradigm of co-operation through music making; to preserve cultural wisdom and help others benefit from its application in a contemporary context; to evolve the form and meaning of music through cross-cultural integration and collaboration. Programs in the North Bay area provide performances and ongoing classes designed to teach cultural awareness, promote health, reduce stress and engage participants in a fun learning modality.
Sage Community Partnership
3980 Broadway, Ste 103, PMB 127
Boulder, CO 80304
Sage Community Partnership provides services for Boulder County at-risk children, adolescents and young adults who have histories of abuse, neglect, mental health and substance abuse issues, juvenile justice involvement or homelessness. Sage is committed to providing each person the opportunity and support necessary to lead healthy, independent and sustainable lifestyles through the creation of collaborative community partnership programming. The goal is to prevent homelessness, recidivism and adult system dependence by providing the core elements essential for a successful transition to adulthood: safe affordable housing, educational and vocational opportunity.
Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls
45 Main St, Ste 614
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Willie Mae Rock Camp offers girls aged 8-18 the chance to learn how to play musical instruments, write songs, perform and learn about different types of music in a supportive environment that fosters self confidence, creativity, tolerance and collaboration. Rock camp is dedicated to the proposition that music belongs to everyone. Girls are made to feel they can just jump in and play guitar, work the soundboard, direct music videos, and write songs about what matters to them. They are encouraged to explore the openness and freedom of homemade music, to make it their own and to carry that feeling with them in whatever they do.