Meet New Profit’s 2023 Mental Health Equity Catalyze CohortMay 22, 2023
New Profit, with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Pinterest, in collaboration with the Deloitte Health Equity Institute are pleased to announce the visionary social entrepreneurs that lead the sixteen organizations in our 2023 Mental Health Equity Catalyze Cohort.
This group of early-stage innovative leaders has a specific focus on promoting health equity addressing upstream factors that affect mental and behavioral health specifically – such as access to basic needs, mental health literacy, access to culturally competent mental health services, level and quality of social connection, and the impacts of system-involvement. These organizations operate in various geographies across the United States and utilize diverse approaches to create change on a systems level.
Over the next year, each social entrepreneur in the cohort will receive leadership and strategic coaching to help them build organizational capacity and take aim at changing the broader systems in which they operate. Additionally, cohort organizations will receive $100,000 in unrestricted funding and have the opportunity to convene regularly as a peer learning community.
Members of this cohort are working across a variety of target populations, including, but not limited to: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQIA+ youth; youth in foster care; BIPOC women; survivors of gender-based violence; formerly incarcerated individuals; Latinx communities; rural communities; people experiencing social isolation; and educators of color. Several organizations are already connected to or are interested in working in school settings, given how many young people are experiencing mental health challenges in the wake of the pandemic.
For this investment cycle, New Profit has prioritized investing in leaders of color, emphasizing Black, Latina/o/x, and Indigenous Leaders. We were also interested in ensuring that the perspectives of women, LGBTQIA+, and rural-based social entrepreneurs are reflected in this cohort.
The 2023 Mental Health Equity Cohort includes:
- Beats Rhymes & Life, Rob Jackson, Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder: Beats Rhymes & Life cultivates dynamic culturally-congruent services, through the therapeutic power of Hip Hop, that inspires youth to recognize their own capacity for healing.
- Black Girls Smile, Lauren Carson, Executive Director: Black Girls Smile Inc. is a nonprofit organization that empowers the mental well-being of Black women and girls. Black Girls Smile provides gender-responsive and culturally-affirming mental wellness education, resources, and support geared toward Black women and girls.
- Black Women’s Blueprint Inc, Farah Tanis, Co-Founder/CEO: Black Women’s Blueprint (BWB) is a 501c3 organization administering Restore Forward, a land-based cooperative entity that holds the greater vision of advancing mental health and well-being through journeys where all people can be seen, held and heard by each other and the Earth. Our work is to repair harm and create the space where all people can achieve wholeness. Black Women’s Blueprint has become the sanctuary for the protection of Black women’s body sovereignty and dignity. BWB empowers Black women, girls, and gender-fluid people to advocate for human rights and to secure gender and racial justice through the eradication of sexual violence, and through access to reproductive health services.
- Centro Unido Latino Americano, Margarita Ramirez, Executive Director: Centro Unido Latino Americano’s mission is to create safe spaces, establish cross-cultural partnerships and promote social justice, health equity, and inclusive education opportunities for its Latino community and beyond. Centro Unido Latino Americano has 13 programs designed to break systematic barriers, these programs are born from the needs of their community and from their six strategic areas which are education, health, leadership, advocacy, workforce, and art/culture. With these programs Centro Unido Latino Americano provides around 2,500 services during the month that directly impact the community and build bridges of resources and equity.
- Fathers’ UpLift, Inc., Dr. Charles C. Daniels, Jr., Chief Executive Officer: Fathers’ UpLift provides mental health counseling, coaching, advocacy, and resource support to assist fathers with overcoming barriers (racism, emotional, traumatic, and addiction-based barriers) that prevent them from remaining engaged in their children’s lives.
- Found Village, Iloba Nzekwu, Co-Executive Director: The mission of FV is to empower youth from hard places to reach their full potential. This happens through establishing strong-tie relationships with youth to build a sense of belonging, power & autonomy and ultimately the realization of self-sufficiency.
- Healing Schools Project, Wenimo Okoya, Executive Director: Healing Schools Project is a nonprofit dedicated to helping schools integrate anti-racist mental health and well-being practices to improve retention for teachers, especially teachers of color. They use evidence-based approaches that are tailored and culturally relevant through healing circles, trainings, and strategic planning so that teachers can thrive, grow, and support every student.
- Insight Garden Program, Andrew Winn, Executive Director: IGP’s vision is to restore connection to self, community, and nature and build a world that embraces our diverse, interconnected, and multifaceted humanity. Grounded in the belief that access to nature is a human right, IGP’s mission is to transform the lives of people in prison, prison environments, and the communities to which people in prison return. IGP is a grassroots racial justice non-profit led by people most impacted by mental health inequity, mass incarceration, and environmental injustice who are transforming these intersectional systems of oppression.
- PROUNITAS INC., Adeeb Barqawi, President & CEO: ProUnitas’ central mission is to collaborate with public school districts to actualize a comprehensive system for student support and mental health, so that every student can unlock their fullest human potential. ProUnitas provides a technology called PurpleSENSE and best practices coaching support to districts, aiming to put the student at the center and make access to mental health and student support quicker and more coordinated.
- PurpLE Health Foundation, Anita Ravi, MD, MPH- CEO, Co-Founder: PurpLE Health Foundation advances health equity for survivors of gender-based violence — including human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault — through an integrated model of direct services, research, training, and advocacy.
- Sista Afya Community Care NFP, Camesha L. Jones, LCSW, Executive Director: Sista Afya Community Care’s (SACC) mission is to build sustainable mental wellness communities through providing affordable and culturally-centered community mental wellness care and education. SACC addresses the health inequities that prevent Black women from receiving mental wellness care in their communities. SACC’s holistic approach engages individuals, communities, and systems-level change to make mental wellness care accessible and achievable for any woman that needs it.
- Social Creatures, Rose Perry, PhD, Founder/Executive Director: Social Creatures’ central mission is to improve health equity outcomes by ensuring that any individual can socially connect with others, no matter the circumstances. They leverage a systems-level theory of change to work towards this mission that combines science communication, advocacy, and community-led social innovation. Through this multi-pronged approach Social Creatures build bridges between communities with lived experiences of loneliness and health disparities, academics, practitioners, payers, and policymakers, to foster an ecosystem where social health is understood and deeply valued through a health equity lens.
- Taller Salud, Tania Rosario-Mendez, Executive Director: Taller Salud is a feminist grassroots organization that works to enhance women’s access to healthcare, reduce violence in community settings, and foster community economic development through direct service, organizing, and advocacy. Their mission is to elevate women of color’s leadership to co-create health, wellbeing, and opportunities for individual and collective growth.
- The Arthur Project, Jessica Greenawalt, Executive Director: The Arthur Project’s mission is to create a replicable model that professionalizes traditional mentoring by using clinically-focused mentors to work intensively with youth throughout middle school. Through the science of relationship-based learning, they foster a profound sense of mattering that expands opportunities in the lives of children. The Arthur Project’s vision is to redefine youth mentoring to expand the power of relationships in a child’s life.
- We Are Family, Domenico Ruggerio, Executive Director: We Are Family (WAF) cultivates safer spaces for South Carolina’s LGBTQ+ and ally by providing life-affirming and life-saving programs through direct services, leadership development and community engagement opportunities that have a lasting and measurable impact. Since 1995– as the oldest LGBTQ+ youth organization in the state– WAF has responded to the needs of young people, with a focus on those who are low-income, and BIPOC. In particular, WAF’s Mental Health Assistance Program, includes free short-term therapy for youth, crisis intervention and linkages to care, three social support groups for queer and trans youth, and a peer discussion group for parents and guardians of LGBTQ+ youth.
- Weird Enough Productions, Tony Weaver, Jr., Founder: Weird Enough runs a national education program that combines diverse comic books with anti-racist and equity-based social-emotional learning curricula. Using the narrative ability of graphic novels, they help students learn to love themselves, so they can use that love to help others and their communities.
The Mental Health Equity Cohort held our first convening at New Profit’s Boston office on May 9-11th. Our convening focused on relationship-building and on getting to know one another as individuals and organizational leaders as we collectively create a strong foundation for the rest of the year. We also started to assess organizational strengths and growth areas to inform future programming.
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About New Profit
New Profit is a venture philanthropy organization that backs social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. New Profit exists to build a bridge between these leaders and a community of philanthropists who are committed to catalyzing their impact. New Profit provides unrestricted grants and strategic support to a portfolio of organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs to increase their impact, scale, and sustainability. It also partners with social entrepreneurs and other cross-sector leaders to shift how government and philanthropy pursue social change to ensure that all people can thrive. Since its founding in 1998, New Profit has invested over $350M in 130+ organizations and unlocked over $1.7B in government funding for social innovation through the America Forward Coalition’s collective advocacy efforts.
About the Deloitte Health Equity Institute
Recognizing the imperative for immediate and sustained effort, and grounded in Deloitte’s acknowledgment of racism as a public health crisis, Deloitte established the Deloitte Health Equity Institute (DHEI) in Spring 2021. DHEI is dedicated to creating public good through data-driven pro bono services, philanthropy and research. DHEI builds on Deloitte’s commitment to advance health equity, informed by work with clients, a decade of impact made by our Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, and our perspective on how life sciences and healthcare organizations can activate health equity.
The DHEI reinforces Deloitte’s purpose of making an impact that matters by creating trust and confidence in a more equitable society. By collaborating with local and national organizations, DHEI is a catalyst, helping advance health equity at scale. Each of our initiatives aims to help everyone achieve their full potential in all aspects of health and well-being. This collaboration with New Profit is part of Deloitte’s 10-year, $1.5 billion social impact investment to support individuals and communities facing the greatest barriers to social and economic prosperity. Learn more about the investment here. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of their legal structure.
About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.
Carnegie Corporation’s Education Program aims to ensure that American public education prepares all students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to fully participate in democracy and thrive in the global economy.
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