We could use your advice. How would you find and support the folks who are quietly showing up for neighbors, building connections and solving problems in their communities? Here’s one approach we are piloting.
In partnership with M&T Bank, we are offering Weaver Awards in Baltimore City. These are $7000 grants to support everyday people and community groups who are connecting neighbors and strengthening their communities.
We aim to find and help people who may never have received a grant before, because they have never had the time, support or connections. We want to reach people who may not have a title or be part of a nonprofit organization, but are known as the go-to person when folks need help or want to get something done in the neighborhood. We are looking for the people who are the trust brokers, the connectors, the neighbors who see a need and inspire others to come together and meet it.
We made the applications simple – answer a few short questions about you, your community and your project and then ask three people in your community to write a recommendation. Alternatively, someone in the community can get the ball rolling by nominating you and then we invite you to fill out the application online. You don’t need a budget and there’s no formal reporting - just occasional check-ins with the Weave team over the next year.
We have asked dozens of community groups to spread the word about the Awards to their followers. Our partner M&T Bank has put a digital ad for the Awards on the screens of their ATM machines in the city and posters in their branches. And local news outlets have done stories or interviews about the Awards.
A diverse group of local Weavers and long-time community workers will select ten folks to win the awards next month and we’ll announce and celebrate the Awardees by the end of July. (Stay tuned for word on the first winners in a future newsletter.) You can get a glimpse of the process by going to awards.weareweavers.org.
So what do you think? Reply to this email to share your feedback and offer other ideas on how we can find, support and raise the profile of Weavers doing the hard work of connecting us. If the Baltimore pilot Awards go well, we’ll spread them elsewhere. Would the Awards fit in your town?
Join with Other Weavers
- Join the We Are Weavers online community - find or invite in other Weavers from your area, join meaningful discussions and share resources to help support our growth as Weavers. You can learn more and introduce yourself now.
- Drop by and talk with us - If you don’t fully understand the Weave Project, want to meet the team, find out how to get involved, or have ideas to share, we are holding office hours monthly. Come say hello during our June office hours on Wed, June 23 at 2pm ET/11am PT.
- Take two days to start building a peaceful and just society - Join Weavers from the Twin Cities, like Marnita’s Table, and around the world to explore how we can transform our communities through peace building and weaving community. June 25 and 26, attend the free, virtual Smaby Peacebuilding Symposium hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute.
- Get a fellowship to create Civic Saturdays in your town - Through the Civic Saturday Fellowship, you’ll gather in small cohorts to learn howto bring friends and strangers together and nurture a spirit of shared purpose and deepen civic faith. Apply to be a fall fellow by July 18.
A Weaver’s Guide to Life – tips for changing our lives and culture
“For the last 20 years, my mother has frequented a diner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan near her home. It’s called Cafe 82,” writes Suzette Brooks Masters. “I was always puzzled by her devotion to this establishment, a modest one not known for its cuisine or decor. As time has passed, and I’ve shared more meals with my mother at the diner, I’ve slowly come to understand its lure. Like an old friend who accepts you as you are and extends a helping hand, the diner provides companionship, care and compassion.” Read more...
Let us know about any great resources you have found.
- Immerse yourself in a weekend of fellowship and bridge-building. Hands Across the Hills is holding its annual in-depth training in Western Massachusetts on October 9-11. You’ll learn skills to bridge geographic and ideological divisions that keep us from seeing one another fully and leave with tools to weave understanding in your community. Cost is $750 and some scholarships are available.
- What’s worse than being targeted with harassment because of your race, sex, religion, color, gender, size, orientation, disability, age, or origin? Being targeted while surrounded by bystanders who see what is happening, but do nothing. Here are 5 methods you can use to support someone who is being harassed and make our communities safer.
- From advocating for human rights on social media to using their purchasing power, Gen Z’ers (those under age 25) are moving to change society and weave community. Here are ways to encourage and support young changemakers to start weaving community.
Weavers have been sharing how they and their communities are showing up for others during the pandemic. Share your stories with us.
- With the pandemic restrictions easing, Weaver Charles Perry of Chicago has helped organize 11 weeks of block parties for the Austin Community, featuring free food, drinks and games. If you are in Chicago this summer, drop by any Friday from 4-9pm CT at 5500 W Madison St. through Sept 3.
- After getting a break from a judge when he was a teen, Chef Brandon Chrostowski made it his mission to give former inmates a second chance. His restaurant Edwins (short for EDucation WINS) is a six-month culinary training program designed for formerly incarcerated men and women. It offers free housing, recreation and a community of care.
- Learn more about the intentional neighboring model of creating connection and weaving community. Join Weaver Dylan Tête and author Dr. Brenda Eheart on Wed, June 30th from 3-4pm ET / noon-1pm PT.