The ReGeneration Fund was launched in 2020 as another way to help decolonize wealth. It’s a donor-advised fund managed by the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois. The Fund aims to support young people, especially youth of color +/or Indigenous youth, to work with non-profit organizations to
- Address climate change and ecological degradation;
- Foster racial and economic justice.
This effort is just getting started. So far, the Fund has contributed to a plan for a greenhouse in north Champaign (see below), supported a six-week-long youth camp in the Fall of 2021, provided support to the 2022 Victory Fest, Urbana Freedom Schools and the Imagining Freedom Project.
CoCo Harmon (pictured above) shared her work at Victory Fest 2022 in November 2022.
In 2021, Dr. Bianca Bailey collaborated with the Urbana-based non-profit Dream Girls Academy, Inc., to offer a series of sessions–the B-STEAM Accelerator Camp–to make objects (often using recycled or cast-off materials), learn about water quality, and create a pop-up shop for girls to market their products. Dr. Bailey’s camp was co-sponsored by another non-profit, the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. So, two non-profits get some love, and the girls get great free programming! Perhaps some of the girls in the camp will then pitch other ideas for the Fund to support.
The Champaign Church of the Brethren is actively raising funds to build a greenhouse next to the church on North Neil Street. Produce grown in the greenhouse will supplement their food pantry, in addition to providing hands-on training in year-round growing. If you are able to contribute to that effort, go here.
The Fund may be tapped by young people to develop leadership, conflict management, facilitation, and financial and technological skills that help them meet their needs and interests, aligned with the focus areas above. Funds need to come through a non-profit organization; we can help connect people to an appropriate non-profit in Champaign County, if needed.
At this stage, there is no formal application process. Project proposals will be developed with the fund advisor (Sharon Irish), defining a timeline, goals, and objectives, what is needed in the way of materials, training, and staff to achieve those goals and objectives, what success will look like and what accountability measures need to be in place, for the Fund and for the recipients. The hope is that those who receive funding will join a circle that will inform future funding, similar to the Crossroads Fund.