Inspiration for the grant.

The inspiration for the grant came from three places.

The first, from the idea that we all have the opportunity to give back, no matter how small, and help the next generation rise. From my time as an educator, I know the impact that intentional investing can have on an emerging student or creative. Secondly, as an artist myself, I know that equipment can be one of the biggest barriers to starting a project. While I thought that I’d be more “established” and well taken care of myself before starting something like this (would be dope but not at all close, ha the struggle is real), I believe too much in this work to let that hold this grant/work back. I deeply believe in this small grant and its potential to make a big difference.

The grant is an intentional way to 1. Invest in community growth and 2. Make sure that we continue to be the storytellers of our stories and legends. For the sake of that point, we need to be investing in our storytellers from the beginning and throughout their career. Creating independent media is a constant struggle; We need to invest in emerging BIPOC artists for our stories to be told properly, accurately, and FIERCELY with pride. 

The final inspiration came when I met someone doing it in real life. Last September, I met Christine @christineliuart from @twophotonart, who was also a presenter at the metcalf institute. I quickly learned that through her platform and artwork, she also has a mini-grant program; the two artist-scientists of @twophoton give mini grants to folks using funds they raise through the art they create. 

Seeing a form of it in action was enough. I was inspired and i worked on making this a reality. Thank you to all who are sharing and participating.

Transparency note:

Brown Environmentalist is not a non-profit. it’s an independent project and platform, like many activist movements that have been created online. as of 2019, it’s registered as an llc. For all intents and purposes, this mini-grant is a grassroots endeavor: one platform trying to make a difference. I’m trusting in the community and applicants to submit honest requests and to treat the process with integrity. Funds are coming from individual donations that were donated directly for this project (which originally began as a raffle), and from myself, as well. — michael