The $600,000, three-year grant will support the continued efforts of The Corps Network’s Moving Forward Initiative.
Washington, DC – The Corps Network (TCN) is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support The Corps Network’s Moving Forward Initiative: a program to assist the Service and Conservation Corps community in addressing racism, advancing equity, and authentically supporting young people of color on the path to careers in conservation.
The Corps Network launched the Moving Forward Initiative in 2017 with the assistance of a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Over the course of this new, three-year grant period, Moving Forward Initiative activities will include assisting Corps in implementing racial equity plans, facilitating meaningful conversations around race and racism, and providing young people with learning and workforce development opportunities that can equip them with the confidence and skills to pursue environmental jobs and higher education.
Specifically, one activity The Corps Network will undertake is expanding the implementation of “Corpsmember Liberation and Leadership.” Corpsmember Liberation and Leadership is an interactive workshop program that looks to address the impact of structural and institutional racism on the young people of color Corps serve. This workshop illuminates the impact that trauma as a result of racial discrimination can have on an individual and provides tools participants can use to identify negative patterns and learn how to interrupt and replace them with new, life-giving patterns.
“Service and Conservation Corps have a responsibility to provide each young person they engage with a meaningful service and learning experience and the tools to succeed on their education and career path. We must acknowledge and address the fact that the young people of color we serve face barriers. We cannot be blind to the biases and racism that can influence the experiences of our Corpsmembers, staff, and partners from communities of color,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “Through the Moving Forward Initiative, we aim to transform the Corps movement into one in which our programs are constructed around equity and awareness. We are grateful for the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on this journey.”
“We appreciate this opportunity to continue to evolve and advance the Moving Forward Initiative,” said Capri St. Vil, The Corps Network’s Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “This grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will help us continue our work and our focus on expanding opportunities for sustainable careers for youth and young adults in the fields of conservation and resource management through the implementation of a racial equity and healing framework and through the training of a cadre of Corps partners to sustain the Corpsmember Liberation and Leadership model over time.”
During the first three years of the Moving Forward Initiative, The Corps Network’s activities included curating a resource library of materials, launching a blog series around race and equity, and – with the assistance of The People’s Institute and other partners and consultants – providing the Corps community with numerous in-person and virtual learning opportunities around equity, diversity, and inclusion. Other recent activities have included exploring competency-based education programming for Corps and launching discussion groups for Corps staff across the country to collectively confront the realities of racism and learn and heal together.