New Chair and Vice-Chair for Noyes Board
Wendy Holding was elected as Chair of the Noyes Foundation Board. She is a Trustee and Partner with Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge in Boston, with a particular emphasis on socially responsible investing in the firm’s Sustainability Group. Her career began in Bozeman, MT, where she worked at Wild Forever, a grizzly bear conservation group. After witnessing the role economics play in driving conservation policy, she decided to pursue a career in finance as a means of achieving social change. Wendy is a graduate of Princeton University and the National Trust School. She is a CFA charterholder and a founding member of Sprout Lenders, LLC.
Brook Beardsley was elected as Vice-Chair. She is part of the Muma branch of the Noyes family (4th generation). She is with Travelers Insurance in San Antonio, TX, where she helped vreate opportunities for employees to volunteer and provide financial support to several organizations in the community. She also facilitated a diversity and inclusion program that was widely utilized throughout the community.
Tirso Moreno Wins Rollason Award
“Poverty is not only struggling to have the means to support the basic needs of your family. Poverty is living each day feeling and knowing that you, unjustly, are judged by others, and that you, unfairly, don’t have an equal voice. Poverty = fighting for dignity. Poverty = imposed second-class citizenship. Poverty = powerlessness.” Tirso Moreno (March 2014 Cesar Chavez Day Hero)
Tirso Moreno, co-founder and general coordinator of the Farmworker Association of Florida, is the 2014 winner of the Florida Rural Health Association’s Wendell N. Rollason Achievement Award.
The award was established in 1995 to honor Wendell Rollason, a powerful force in Florida on issues of rural health, migrant farm workers, and education for poor and minority children. In the spirit of Rollason, the winner is honored for his or her compassion, unselfishness, and commitment in seeking solutions in the delivery of rural health care and quality of life in rural Florida.
Under Moreno’s leadership, the Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) has grown from a local organization to a statewide one with over 10,000 members and a 31-year history of contributing to the health and well-being of farmworker communities in 15 counties across Central and South Florida.
“With deep commitment to community organizing, popular education, and farmworker leadership development, Tirso has led FWAF to many social, environmental, and economic justice accomplishments,” said Holly Baker, Moreno’s colleague and nominator for the award.
Moreno is himself a Mexican immigrant and former farmworker, and, therefore, has an innate understanding of the health challenges faced by farmworker families, she said.
Under Moreno’s leadership, FWAF has trained more than 5,000 farmworkers on health, safety, and their rights in the workplace, and trained more than 620 health care professionals on the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and reporting of pesticide exposure among farmworkers.
Moreno contributed to the successful passage of the Florida Farmworkers’ Right-to-Know Law in 1995, which gave farmworkers the right to information about health effects of pesticides used in the workplace, and to the successful re-enactment of the Right-to-Know Law in 2004, which included workplace protections for farmworkers that are stronger than federal protections.
Moreno said he accepted the award on behalf of fellow farmworkers, whose hard work made the victories possible.
He said FWAF has worked in partnership with healthcare providers and researchers to improve health conditions, living conditions, practices, and policies. However, farm work is still considered one of the most dangerous jobs, he said. There is a high probability that farmworkers will be hurt on the job and even become disabled. It’s not only pesticides, which is one of the biggest issues, but weather conditions and the way farm work is done, he said.
“The problem with my knees that I have and all farmworkers have are not necessarily because of the weather, because of the pesticides. It’s also the way farm work is done. So we still have to make changes,” he said.
“We fix a problem, then we have another one coming,” Moreno said. Life expectancy is lower for farmworkers than for other residents, and most farmworkers don’t have health insurance coverage, because employers do not have to provide it and some workers are not documented.
“So I challenge you to continue working on improving things and improving health for our rural communities,” Moreno said, addressing participants at the 21st annual FRHA Educational Summit. “I appreciate what you have done but I challenge you to continue working on and improving things for our communities,” he said.
Anti-Racism Work Recognized
Cecilia Martinez, director of Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy received an honorable mention for the St. Paul Foundation Facing Race Ambassador Award. Five Minnesotans were recognized for their efforts to confront racism and promote community-wide conversations about race. Cecilia's leadership on the Twin Cities Environmental Justice mapping research was one of many areas of her work highlighted.
Corbin Hill Food Project – 2015 Innovator Award
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Big Apple Innovation Award focuses on the creative solutions of organizations and individuals working to revitalize low-income communities. This year its “Building Greener, Staying Healthier” awards pays tribute to groups like the Corbin Hill Food Project that are creating unique approaches to developing healthy places to work, live and raise families.
CHFP’s food advocacy work with community-based programs was its incentive for finding a way to bridge the gap between farm communities growing produce and city communities in need of access to fresh, healthy food. It has accomplished this through food hub and community supported agriculture (CSA) retail models, as well as its “farm share” program, which connects family-owned farms in upstate New York to black, Latino, and immigrant residents in NYC. The award to CHFP acknowledges its “innovation worth celebrating and elevating as a best practice in the field.”
New York Governor Says NO to Fracking
New Yorkers Against Fracking,along with its many partners, ecstatically announced that Governor Andrew Cuomo prohibited fracking in the state of New York, citing the Department of Health’s review of the public health impacts of fracking. Released on the same day, the report, A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development was instrumental in pointing out substantial data indicating potential dangers and significant risks to health, water and air. Although this report also addresses the existing gaps in the available data, a multitude of fracking-related problems were documented, including increased seismic activity, soil contamination, noise pollution, and respiratory complaints among those living near drilling and fracking operations in other states. This momentous accomplishment was the direct result of public engagement used to give notice to the Governor, other elected officials and the industry itself that communities will not give up until their voices are heard. The decision for New York State to keep fracking out will no doubt set a national precedent encouraging other communities at risk to get the facts and take action.
Mentoring Indigenous Youth
The Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy and the 7th Generation National Tribal Mentoring Program joined forces to launch the Peace Carriers for Mother Earth Program for Indigenous youth. Each participant received a stipend, as well as a certificate for a week-long training on energy and environmental justice. CEED Climate Justice organizer Sammie Ardito Rivera guided the five young people through a variety of workshops and together they created interactive presentations for community education on climate and energy justice. The youth will be doing presentations in the community through February.
Young Educators' Alliance a Success
Albany Movement's Next Step: a Food Hub
Southwest Georgia Project is acquiring a full-sized former supermarket on the outskirts of Albany to transform it into a food hub facility for the aggregation, storage, processing and distribution of produce grown by women, African American and other socially disadvantaged farmers. The food hub will enable these farmers to access new markets, including the region's school districts. The site contains 46,890 square feet of building space on four acres – enough space for other potential uses, including youth leadership and racial healing, alongside activities more directly related to the food hub, such as helping farmers develop sustainable businesses. A portion of the food destined to flow through the hub will originate from demonstration fields situated on Resora, a 1,638 acre former slave plantation near Albany, purchased as part of the Pigford settlement that was received by New Communities (SWGP's parent organization) in 2011. Resora and the food hub form key elements of a community-controlled local food system to advance the movement for racial justice that began in the 1960's. In order to redevelop the supermarket site, SWGP will pursue New Market Tax Credit financing and is seeking support to pay for the process. For more information, contact Ms. Amber Bell.
Vic De Luca, President, spoke in a Confluence Philanthropy webinar, The Power of an Overlooked Tool: Grants for Shareholder Action. He also moderated a webinar sponsored by the Environmental Grantmakers Association entitled, EGA and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategies.
Millie Buchanan, Program Director for Environmental Justice, was selected as the Planning Committee Co-Chair for the 2015 Environmental Grantmakers Association’s Retreat.
Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights Holds Annual Meeting
The Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights held its 2014 annual meeting in New Orleans with a record number of participants, including two Noyes Foundation Board members (Gregg Houston, left, and Dorothy Anderson, right), and Noyes Program Director, Wilma Montanez, and Dr. Willie Parker (center). This meeting was of particular importance because Louisiana is one of the most restrictive states on reproductive freedom in the region and country.
Another inspiring highlight of the meeting was the Lani Shaw Award for Courage and Compassion in Pursuit of Reproductive Justice. The sudden passing of Lani of the General Service Foundation this past spring was deeply felt by Funders Network members and staff. The Network created the award as a way to honor her important work with the group. The recipient was Silvia Heriquez, a principal with Conway Strategic, former executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and a trustee of the General Service Foundation. It was a joyous evening with Lani’s presence in the room.
The Foundation Center's most recent report showed that in 2012 there were 86,192 foundations in the United States with assets of $715 billion. Giving that year amounted to nearly $52 billion, $3 billion more than in 2011. It is estimated that foundations will have given $55 billion in 2014.
Total private giving in 2012 was $316 billion. More than 70 percent of giving that year came from individuals with five percent from corporations, seven percent from bequests and 16 percent from foundations.
More than 25 percent of U.S. foundations are in the South. There are nearly 10,000 foundations in New York, highest among the states. New York foundations made about $9 billion in grants.
The largest foundation in the country is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with $37 billion in assets. Gates gave out over $3 billion in grants in 2012. Following Gates in asset size are the Ford Foundation ($11 billion), J. Paul Getty Trust ($10.5 billion), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ($9.5 billion) and W.K.Kellogg Foundation ($8 billion). The largest community foundation is the Tulsa Community Foundation with just under $4 billion.
As a point of reference, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation had $41 million in assets in 2012 and made $1.9 million in grants.