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Vital Voices is proud to announce the seven awardees of the Grassroots Voices program grants, funded by the Sarva Rajendra Foundation. These funds will drive and sustain projects implementing grassroots initiatives in participants’ communities, where they will apply what they learned from the program. 

Grassroots Voices participants are young women, ages 18-25 and based in the U.S., who are already engaged in grassroots justice work on some of the biggest obstacles American society faces today, like mass incarceration, social inequity, pay gaps, reproductive justice, and more. Click the link to learn more about the Grassroots Voices program.  

Congratulations to the grant winners:  

  1. Aliyah Saleem, Founder of Hope for Health and Hygiene works to address hygiene poverty in underserved communities by increasing engagement, awareness, and education. Through coordinated efforts, her goal is to create sustainable solutions, raise awareness about hygiene poverty, and contribute to improving the overall well-being of communities within her home state and beyond who are facing these challenges. 
  2. Diadji Diawara, Founder of Kaara, is creating a summer camp experience for young children in the country of Mali. ‘Kaaratow ka Summer’ will create a safe space for children to learn new subjects and receive mentoring support, while still engaging in fun, constructive activities.
  3. Harmony Hoogs, Director of Engagement at Here N Queer, will use the grant funds to administer research on policy to support LGBTQ+ youth and hold a Pride Rally against the use of conversion therapy in certain states.
  4. Nancy Bosnoian, founder of End No Sleep, is creating a set of virtual curricula surrounding the importance of sleep health. Her organization empowers high school students to optimize well-being and preventative care through prioritizing sleep habits and learning about the benefits that sleep provides.
  5. Nicole Li, lead organizer at Collierville Community Justice, will engage high school and college-age students in Collierville, TN, with a civic mentorship and training program. The program is newly developed, and the funds will help expand participation within the community while supporting initiatives surrounding voter education and cultural organizing.  
  6. Olivia Storz, co-founder of Survivor Fund, will run an inaugural evaluation of financial care programs for student survivors of gender-based violence. This project will build an evidence-based approach to direct funding for student survivors, informing the distribution of such funds. 
  7. Sana Askari is the founder of the Esheel Stitching Circle, an organization that provides support to Hazara Afghan women refugees who are seeking employment and a sense of community. With the support of the grant, Sana will develop a website for the Esheel Stitching Circle and secure property rights for the organization. The website will showcase the inspiring stories of Hazara Afghan women who have benefited from the program and will also serve as a marketplace for the handcrafted products they create. 

Congratulations again to all the grant recipients. Vital Voices would like to thank Sarva Rajendra and Sarah Johnson for their commitment and funding to make this program possible. Look forward to the success of these inspiring grassroots projects.