CORE 2022 Highlights: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access

As part of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s (CFSA) 2022 CORE Grants round, several local nonprofit organizations working to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and inclusion (IDEA), received funding to maximize their impact and improve the quality of life in Southern Arizona.

CFSA’s IDEA Impact Fund supports our belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our purpose, are a fundamental tenet of our work, and are critical to improving the lives of future generations in Southern Arizona. We seek to challenge and change the practices, norms, and structures that create or perpetuate past, present, and future inequities. Learn more about this Impact Fund here.

2022 CORE Grantees: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access

Arizona Justice For Our Neighbors welcomes immigrants by providing affordable, high-quality immigration legal services to low-income immigrants, engaging in advocacy for immigrant rights, and offering education to communities of faith and to the public about immigration.

Alba Jaramillo, Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors, shared, “This funding helps us to reach more community members to emphasize the importance of getting legal advice and contracting a lawyer to represent them in immigration court. This grants means we can reach more families seeking asylum and help them finally find a safe place to live their lives and raise their families – free from persecution.”

Arizona Sonora Border Projects for Inclusion mission is to provide medical devices, made by individuals who use the same device, to alleviate barriers and enhance the potential of those with a disability.

Burris Duncan, Arizona Sonora Border Projects for Inclusion, shared, “Native Americans who have had an amputation of a lower extremity need some form of ambulation. A conventional wheelchair cannot transverse the rough terrain of the reservation and is not sturdy enough to withstand the abuse of that terrain. They need the best of chairs for theirs is the worst of terrains. All of the funds from this grant will be used to construct 90 RoughRider all-terrain wheelchairs (75 adult chairs and 15 customized chairs for children with neuromuscular problems like cerebral palsy) for the Pascua Yaqui Nation. The RoughRder will allow Native Americans to get out of their homes, re-enter society, and engage in tribal ceremonies.”

Cihuapactli Collective purpose is to provide healing for urban Indigenous Peoples from the diaspora. This is done by sharing wisdom, connecting resources, revitalizing Traditional Knowledge, promoting and advocating for health & wellness.

Maria Parra Cano, Cihuapactli Collpurpose is to provide healing for urban Indigenous Peoples from the diaspora. This is done by sharing wisdom, connecting resources, revitalizing Traditional Knowledge, promoting and advocating for health & wellness. ective, said, “The support from the CFSA CORE Grant directly impacts community members in need of our Collective Birth Fund and Food Equity efforts in Southern Arizona. The resources will directly impact expecting parents, birth workers of color, and families in need.”

Friends of Aphasia strives to enhance the lives of those living with aphasia, including individuals who have aphasia, their families, and their community.

Fabi Hirsch Kruse, Friends of Aphasia, shared, “This CORE Grant from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona couldn’t have come at a more important time for us here at Friends of Aphasia. With the recent announcement from Bruce Willis’ family that he is stepping down from acting because of aphasia, we have been inundated with requests for information about aphasia and the services that we provide. The CORE Grant will help us expand our programming to address the growing interest and needs in the community.”

Growth Partners Arizona helps nonprofit leaders and small business owners (mainly in economically distressed communities) gain the operational resources and business guidance they need to improve the economic wellbeing of Arizona residents.

Lesli Pintor, Growth Partners Arizona, said, “Growth Partners Arizona is not yet big enough for program income, which is loan interest and fees, to fully support operations. A CORE grant helps Growth Partners Arizona continue building capacity to become more operationally sustainable. A CORE grant also helps us provide programming for which we don’t earn income. Without general operating support grants, Growth Partners Arizona wouldn’t be able to provide technical assistance or loans to nonprofits and underserved small businesses.”

Iskashitaa Refugee Network’s mission is to reduce food waste in southern Arizona while integrating refugees into the community.

Amelia Natoli, Iskashitaa Refugee Network, “For years we have struggled to grow from grassroots to a sustainable, forward-thinking non-profit, and the CORE grant helps us take that giant step! In 2020 we actually increased our harvesting in terms of food sources, as well as expanded our partner organizations who distribute food. The Refugee Garden Art Program (RGAP) was added because of the need for a lower-risk activity during the pandemic that would help refugees with social isolation, or who were unable to participate in our harvest programs.”

Just Communities Arizona (formerly AFSC-Arizona) is creating new models for justice and safety outside of Arizona’s punishment system. Their purpose is to affirm the inherent and undeniable dignity of every person and the immeasurable worth of every community.

Caroline Isaacs, Just Communities Arizona, said, “As a newly established organization doing groundbreaking work on community safety, the CFSA CORE Grant will provide crucial stability for us in our first year. We are proud and grateful to have this support.”

Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports believes in the power to adapt and achieve, and aims to transform lives through adaptive sports.

Mia Hansen, Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports, said, “Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports (SAAS) is the community leader in providing adaptive sports, recreation, fitness, peer mentoring, community engagement, leadership, and durable medical equipment support services. With the support of the CFSA CORE Grant, SAAS has become the go-to resource for many people living with disabilities who seek ways to overcome challenges, break through barriers, and live more independent, healthier lives.”

Southern Arizona Senior Pride celebrates, supports and unites LGBTQI+ older adults.

Keith Ashley, Southern Arizona Senior Pride. stated, “We are honored to see the community investing in our mission, and in older LGBTQI+ adults, so generously and supportively. These funds are arriving at a critical moment as Senior Pride spreads its wings as an independent 501(c)3 — they will help us to build critical infrastructure, professionalize our administration, and strengthen our participant and donor network. The CORE Grant presents a wonderful opportunity for our continued growth and development as an organization serving older LGBTQI+ adults in southern Arizona.”

Southwest Center for Economic Integrity builds economically strong communities for all and opposes unfair corporate and government practices.

Kelly Griffith, Southwest Center for Economic Integrity, said, “It is essential to our organizational mission to lift up the voices of people who experience economic injustice, especially low-income workers, women and children, who are pushed to the margins of our society. Direct community engagement and outreach will ensure our policy and advocacy work reflects real people’s real experiences. CFSA CORE grant funding will allow us to reach more deeply into impacted communities and to partner more effectively with client and partner communities, as we work together to create strategies for systemic change.”

Step Up to Justice builds connections between clients, attorneys and community partners through careful financial stewardship and technology designed to bring civil legal services to clients where and when they need them.

Michele Mirto, Step Up to Justice, said, “SU2J brings  qualified free attorney advice to residents living at or below the poverty line with meritorious civil legal claims in housing, family law, domestic violence, employment, bankruptcy, end-of-life planning, and other areas. With this CORE grant, we will expand our high impact, upstream approach by delivering outreach education in civil legal rights and responsibilities, to intervene, inform, and above all, prevent future legal disputes in Pima County.”

Tucson Jewish Free Loan provides interest-free financial assistance empowering people to achieve self-sufficiency with dignity.

Allison Wexler, Tucson Jewish Free Loan, stated, “Receiving a CFSA CORE Grant is a game changer for Tucson Jewish Free Loan. We’ll now be able to help more individuals and families in Southern Arizona achieve financial stability with dignity. With the help of our interest-free loans, more people will stay in their homes, pay off high interest debt, cover unexpected expenses, put food on the table, and so much more. This grant will truly deepen Tucson Jewish Free Loan’s community impact. We are grateful for this opportunity.”