Introducing the Next Incubator Project Cohort!
We are pleased to introduce the newest members of our Incubator Project cohort! These three emerging organizations will be working in our space—rent free!—over the next 18 months as we also provide capacity building support and a $5,000 stipend to help them increase their fundraising abilities, develop their Boards, grow their staff, and navigate all of the opportunities and challenges facing start-up nonprofits today.
The Alex House Project
- The Alex House Project (AHP) grew out of Founder and Executive Director Samora Coles’ own experience as a teen mom. She worked at Red Hook Initiative for 15 years, and created AHP in 2013 to help other young mothers in the community. AHP aims to increase self-sufficiency and independence for mothers 25 and younger by providing parenting and life skills classes, leadership development and employment opportunities in a safe and caring environment.
AHP’s program model is structured around a 24-week program that employs the "Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby" curriculum to guide young mothers through pregnancy and the early stages of parenthood. After the cycle, AHP continues its engagement with the young women by leveraging their expertise and experience to help them become peer facilitators for other young mothers. In 2015, AHP piloted a summer series in Red Hook for 10 young fathers and their children; this year it will replicate and grow the size of the program to serve even more. And through a new partnership with the Administration for Children’s Services, AHP is also working with 50 young mothers from three group homes in Red Hook, Crown Heights and Bushwick.
AHP recently received its 501C(3) nonprofit designation and is working to establish more robust organizational structures to support its network of peer parenting education facilitators.
Youth Advocacy Corps
- Youth Advocacy Corps (YAC) was founded in 2015 by Jennifer Magida, a former litigator who saw the systemic challenges that perpetuate poverty and was inspired to help young people to create change. YAC’s goal is to support youth in becoming community leaders and social justice advocates that respond to resource gaps in their own communities. YAC’s Youth Advocacy Summer Institute (YASI), is a six-week summer training program focusing on health justice for youth ages 15-19 that provides advocacy, communication and problem-solving training conducted by expert organizers, lawyers and advocates.
YAC is committed to supporting the development of youth-initiated projects that can eventually become standing programs, led and run by the youth themselves. Their newest program, Mental Health Service Project (MHSP), was created by a YASI participant from East New York. MHSP aims to address the stigma of mental health and ensure greater access to mental health care for immigrants from that neighborhood. The project is led by 6 young people from East New York who will be undertaking a community needs assessment and produce a policy report.
Among YAC's organizational goals are growing YASI and ensuring the successful launch of MHSP, which includes hiring a small youth corps for MHSP and expanding its community partner base. Operational goals include raising funds to expand programs and hire staff, and creating a board of directors from its Advisory Board.
- Movement Netlab helps develop strategies for decentralized social movements comprised of organizations and individuals. Netlab was started in 2014 by a collective of six activists and researchers with experience in building decentralized mass movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter that have no single individual or an organizational leadership. Netlab trainings focus on how organizations and movements can support each other and how they can build more effective networks united around a common social justice issue or a policy.
Netlab has three main program areas: SwarmLab, a nine month program for organizers that offers bi-monthly trainings, one-on-one coaching, and goal-setting support; Liberation Network, an open-source communications tool designed specifically for decentralized movements; and Open Trainings, one-off trainings to movements and organizations that have challenges maintaining infrastructure to support rapid growth.
Among Movement Netlab’s operational goals are to build programs and finalize its nonprofit status. Programmatic goals include working with funders to support decentralized and cross-sector movements, and adapting its training materials and tools into shareable modules.
We are so excited to welcome such exciting and diverse groups to our Incubator Project. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as each introduces themselves directly to you here on our blog and shares their hopes and goals for the next 18 months with us.