This year, New Sun Rising’s (NSR) Vibrancy Awards will honor Brown Mamas, Triboro Ecodistrict, and South Hilltop Men’s Group/Hilltop Rising LLC for cultivating Culture, Sustainability, and Opportunity in their communities.
Each will receive $5,000 in unrestricted funds to be used to support their continual work and create stability within their communities as they cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our administrators are brainstorming some ways to help Black mothers in the wake of COVID-19. Right now, we’d really like to focus on first responders and moms who’ve lost employment,” said Muffy Mendoza, Executive Director for Brown Mamas.
Honorees were selected from a list of nominees by a committee of NSR staff and board. Having begun in 2019, the awards support the exceptional work of organizations evaluated by the criteria of New Sun Rising’s Vibrant Communities strategies. This year’s awardees were also chosen based upon their history of meeting critical needs of vulnerable populations.
“The three awardees are nothing short of community heroes. They fearlessly take on risk and put in the work, time and ingenuity to inspire lives and places that have faced marginalization. By relating their own lived experience and talents to their respective causes, they are champions and leaders of their communities that will have a lasting impact,” said Katie Grimm, Board of Directors Vice Chair of New Sun Rising.
Last year, over 170 nonprofit and small business leaders benefited through the capacity building support of NSR’s Ignite workshops, Launch incubators, and Grow residency programs. NSR also made $1.9 million of critical, early stage funding more accessible through fiscal sponsorship, grant, loan, and award programs.
Recently, NSR provided up to $5,000 to 24 small businesses and nonprofits that demonstrated critical economic needs due to COVID-19 through the Crisis Mitigation Relief Fund, thanks to $100,000 in seed funding from the Hillman Foundation.
Due to social distancing precautions, NSR is evaluating options for the annual celebration and fundraiser, which was originally scheduled for the summer solstice on June 20 this year. The 2020 Vibrancy Awards are made possible through the support of our Impact Award Sponsors: UPMC Center for Engagement and Inclusion, BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern PA, and Jack Buncher Foundation.
About New Sun Rising
New Sun Rising supports nonprofits and small businesses to build vibrant communities through culture, sustainability, and opportunity. NSR believes that people and communities hold the knowledge and power to make positive change. We envision a future where regenerative community development practices create the conditions for true social, environmental, and economic justice.
About Brown Mamas
Brown Mamas is a brand, a blog and a community that reaches over 5,000 women in the Pittsburgh region and more than 10,000 women nationally. It was created by Muffy Mendoza in 2012 to provide positive socialization opportunities to Black mothers and connect moms with resources and information that helps them raise happy, healthy adults.
About Triboro Ecodistrict
A partnership between New Sun Rising, Etna Economic Development Corporation, and Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization, the Triboro Ecodistrict promotes coordinated sustainable community development throughout the Boroughs of Millvale, Etna and Sharpsburg. With over 10,000 residents combined, these Allegheny River Towns are building on a strong collaborative history to promote sustainable community development through the shared lenses of: Equity, Food, Water, Energy, Air Quality, and Mobility.
About South Hilltop Men’s Group/Hilltop Rising LLC
The South Hilltop Men’s Group is a non-profit project of New Sun Rising, directed by Beltzhoover native Jmar Bey. The organization was founded in 2015 by Jmar and Christian Nowlin. They provide job training, employment opportunities and promote environmental protection through community programs that teach sustainable practices. Since 2015, the South Hilltop Men’s Group has been working to support the responsible and inclusive revitalization of Pittsburgh. The organization’s mission statement is, “Creating hope and opportunity for those who have little.”