Grantee & Partner News

Grass, Soil, Hope A Journey Through Carbon Country

June 30, 2014

Grantee News From Quivira Coalition:

by Courtney White

Foreword by Michael Pollan

“As anyone paying attention now knows, we will be facing numerous new challenges in our agriculture and food system in the near future. The most important ‘journey’ we all need to make in preparing for that future is, as Courtney White points out, to restore the biological health of our soil. The hopefulness in Courtney’s journey comes from his demonstration of the practical ways in which we can accomplish this task. Anyone interested in the future of food should read this remarkable, heartwarming book.”—Fred Kirschenmann, author, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher

Where people are fighting climate change and growing food with pasture cropping, permaculture, wetland restoration, rooftop farms, biodiesel, beer, and sweaty dancing.

This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability?

The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Soil scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet’s soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible?

Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long- term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy.

Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low- tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food.

In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co- benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil then we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.

- See more at:

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Launching TODAY! Sovereign Bodies, an innovative, transmedia companion website to Young Lakota

June 11, 2014

Grantee News From Incite Pictures/Cine Qua Non:

We are excited to announce the launch of , SovereignBodies a companion site to the documentary, Young Lakota.

Sovereign Bodies is a new transmedia website highlighting Native women health leaders who are fighting for reproductive justice and bodily sovereignty, despite often being overlooked. Using videos, interviews and blog posts, these trailblazers are opening up a discussion for future generations. Each woman featured on Sovereign Bodies has dedicated their lives to resisting violence against women as well as combatting gender, racial, and health inequalities.

Contributors to the website include the first female president of The Oglala Sioux Tribe, Cecilia Fire Thunder;  founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Jessica Danforth; as well as an array of other leading Native bloggers and activists. Throughout the summer, additional videos and blogs will be added to the site, making Sovereign Bodies a catalyst to spark further advancement of Native women’s bodily autonomy.

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New book out today!

June 10, 2014

Grantee News From The Lexicon of Sustainability:

The New Face of Food and Farming in America

Our current way of producing food isn’t healthy for us or our planet. Paying closer attention to how we eat, what food we buy, and where we make these purchases are important first attempts in creating a  better food system. LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America discusses the steps we can take toward sustainable living by explaining the basic terms and principles of this movement.  Douglas Gayeton—a cofounder of the Lexicon of Sustainability and Project Localize—has  traveled the country, interviewing and photographing farmers, fishermen, dairy producers, and educators  to better understand American food and farming today. The stories of their groundbreaking work, along with Gayeton’s stunning collage like photography, are inspirational in their advocacy for change.  LOCAL not only demystifies today’s food-making processes and vocabulary, but can also help everyone  make changes in their lives that will lead to healthier, safer, and more sustainable food production for generations to come.


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April 28, 2014

Grantee News From Real Food Media Project:

Food Stars Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and Alice Waters

Join Judging Panel to Select Top Digital Super Shorts on Sustainable Food

SAN FRANCISCO — April 22, 2014 — Stories about sustainable food are popping up everywhere as more Americans seek a deeper understanding of the nation’s food system. The Real Food Media Project is celebrating this interest with a call for entries beginning today to its second annual competition of digital super-short food films.

The 2015 Real Food Media Contest invites a new crop of digital submissions from 30-seconds to four minutes that tell unique food stories, with original voices and creative cinematography. Diverse formats for submission range from documentary to advocacy and experimental. This year’s contest also seeks animated submissions in honor of the 10th anniversary of The Meatrix, a digital short on factory farms watched 20 million times to date. Entries must be submitted online at by 12 pm PST on January 5th, 2015.

“Last year’s inaugural contest was a resounding success,” says Anna Lappé, director of the Real Food Media Project, and award-winning author and sustainability advocate. “The 156 submissions from 26 states featured content from 19 countries and were a testament to the powerful stories about food, farming, and community around the world. The more great minds we have thinking about these issues and producing creative ways to deliver the messages, the better.”

A panel of food and film luminaries will select the top films and the public will vote online for the “People’s Choice Award,” starting February 3rd, 2015. Winners will be announced in early March 2015.

Contest judges include:

Thelma Adams, Yahoo! Movies contributing editor
Michel Nischan, President and CEO, Wholesome Wave
Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of Craft Restaurants and executive producer of A Place at the Table
Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, co-founders, Food52
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post chief film critic
Byron Hurt, director and producer, Soul Food Junkies
Padma Lakshmi, cookbook author, actress, model, and television host
Jamie Oliver Food Foundation USA
Michael Pollan, journalist and author, Omnivore’s Dilemma
Aarón Sanchez, award-winning chef, cookbook author and judge on Food Network’s “Chopped”
Eric Schlosser, journalist and author, Fast Food Nation
Susan Ungaro, President, James Beard Foundation
Alice Waters, owner, Chez Panisse, founder, The Edible Schoolyard Project
Emily Zweber, organic farmer, first AgChat Foundation executive director

“More and more people are curious about the story behind their food,” says Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of Craft Restaurants and executive producer of A Place at the Table. “The Real Food Media Project’s short films competition inspires filmmakers to make creative short films and provides a platform to get these important stories seen and heard by a huge audience. We can’t wait to see the new crop of films.”

The contest seeks entries that bring a fresh take on a topic of the filmmaker’s choosing or respond to the following style prompts: Documentary style shorts focused on a local food hero or showcasing an innovative community food project; advocacy shorts that take on diverse themes, from food workers rights to junk food marketing to kids; and experimental entries that bring to life the concept “you are what you eat.” For more information about submission guidelines, visit

The Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000 and distribution opportunities with the contest’s media partners, including the Food and Farm Film Festival, Disposable Film Festival, GOOD, Slow Food USA, James Beard Foundation, Food Book Fair, and more. Other cash prizes will be awarded along with prizes for Best Cinematography, Best Student Film, Best Underreported Issue, Best Food Producer Profile, and Best Innovative Initiative Profile.

The 2014 award-winning films – including stories of oregano farmers in Mexico, youth gardeners in the Bronx, and a family raising hogs sustainably in North Carolina – are currently touring in the Real Food Media Project’s Pop-Up Film Festival. More information can be found at


The Contest is directed by leading sustainability advocate and award-winning author Anna Lappeì and is an initiative of the Real Food Media Project, a national initiative to spread the story of our food with creative movies, an online film contest, a web-based action center and grassroots events. The Project’s mission is to educate, inspire, and grow the movement for sustainable food and farming around the country and the world. Visit to learn more about the Contest and to enter the competition. Follow us on Twitter, @realfoodfilms, and like us on Facebook, at realfoodmediaproject.




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Leaders of the 100% Club: The Compton and Heron Foundations on 100% Mission Investing

April 10, 2014

Grantee News From the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy:

This post is the first in a three-part series following up on the recent winter issue of Responsive Philanthropy, which was all about mission investing. Be sure to check back here over the next few weeks for more on this important topic.

We got in touch with two foundations, the Compton Foundation and the F.B. Heron Foundation, that are committed to 100% mission investing – meaning they only invest their endowment assets in opportunities that align with their missions.

NCRP has long applauded the efforts and values of both organizations. The Compton Foundation was founded in 1946 to promote world peace. Today the Foundation makes grants that support transformative leadership and courageous storytelling in pursuit of social and environmental change. Last year, Compton trustees voted to move their portfolio to 100 percent mission investing. F.B. Heron was founded in 1992 to stimulate job growth and encourage systemic change throughout the U.S. economic system. As part of their goal for full accountability, they made the switch to 100 percent MI in 2011.

We asked their leaders one simple question: Why did your foundation decide to go 100% on mission investing? Read on to learn their inspiring responses!

Ellen Friedman, Executive Director, Compton Foundation:

The movement to align all foundation resources with mission has many names – socially responsible investing, impact investing, mission aligned investing – but at its heart what it’s about for the Compton Foundation is “All-In Philanthropy.” We want to use every asset we have – grants, investments, people, networks – to strategically and urgently advance our mission. It is not morally consistent to make grants with just 5 percent of our resources while 95 percent of our resources are invested in ways that undermine the movements we hope to propel with our grants. Our investments and our grants are part of one overarching ecosystem of strategies to advance change. Using our market power as investors is a critical, if under used, tool in the kit available to all foundations that seek to advance a social and environmental change mission.

Read more about Compton’s “All-In Philanthropy” approach here.


Clara Miller, President, F.B. Heron Foundation:

Heron has for years focused on equipping families at the bottom of the economic and social scale to join “the mainstream.” Our efforts presumed the existence of a healthy and growing labor market – a reliable main stream that, if it could be entered, would flow steadily toward opportunity. In 2011 we concluded that our strategy had outlasted the premises on which it was founded. The evidence showed that the mainstream was unreliable for many and that poverty was on the rise.

We have changed our approach. Business as usual – with respect to both strategy and the way we operate as a foundation – is no longer an option. We no longer define ourselves primarily as a grantmaking foundation. Philanthropic assets have always been a source of investable capital for fostering the enterprises that may be able to help overcome economic challenges, so our philanthropic tool kit now includes every investment instrument, all asset classes and all enterprise types. Every Heron asset is mission critical.

Alison Howard is communications associate at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). Follow NCRP on Twitter (@ncrp).

Photos courtesy of the Compton Foundation and F.B. Heron Foundation.



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Grantee News From One Million Bones:

One of the things that is most important to us in wrapping up One Million Bones is to be able to share with you and the over 150,000 people who participated in the project what the installation on the National Mall looked like. Your efforts, and those of your students, classmates, family members and friends, are what made One Million Bones possible. The 20 minute film that has been created, and that we are so happy to be able to share with you, is our way of honoring your work, your compassion, and your effort on behalf of peace and justice in the world.

Please watch it.  Please share it.  Please screen it for your classroom, friends and family. Above is a link to the trailer.  If you’re interested in making it a public event, we’re happy to provide whatever support we can so that you can do a community screening.  We have a press release template, and posters that you can print out.   If you’re doing a public screening, you can contact us to decide the best way to share the film with your audience. By sharing it widely, you can help us thank and honor everyone who participated and continue to raise awareness of the ongoing genocides and mass atrocities. We’re planning our Albuquerque screening for Sunday, May 4th. We suggest you schedule public screenings the same day, and school screenings on Monday, May 5th.  Of course, whenever you can screen it is fine, we’d just love to create a buzz! You can email us and let us know the best way for you to access the film, and how we can help.

We are so very grateful to Sarah Skibitzke-Donnell and Bryan Donnell who volunteered tirelessly for months leading up the installation to film around the country, and then spent more than a week filming with us on the National Mall. They have created a beautiful and meaningful film that captures both the project and the installation, and we thank them!

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Magnum Foundation announces 2014 Emergency Fund Grantees & Human Rights Fellows

March 26, 2014

Grantee News From Magnum Foundation:

The Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund (EF) awards grants to a diverse group of independent photographers who anticipate critical stories ahead of the media and seek to extend ongoing projects on underreported issues. We believe that powerful images and rigorous documentation can open minds, galvanize communities to action, and plant seeds for positive social change.

Our 2014 EF Grantees are:

Oscar B. Castillo
Our War, Our Pain, Venezuela
Qinggang Chen
Patients at Muli County, China
Edmond Clark
Unseen Spaces of the Global War on Terror, USA/Afghanistan
Carolyn Drake with Ashley Cleek
Invisible Bus, USA
Zann Huizhen Huang
Remember Shatila, Lebanon
Kai Löffelbein
Death Metals, Indonesia
Laura Morton
Wild West Tech, USA
Ed Ou
North, Canada
Alessandro Penso
Refugees in Bulgaria, Bulgaria
Christian Werner
Depleted Uranium – The Silent Genocide, Kosovo

2014 Human Rights Fellows

Fragile Minds: Inside an Iranian Mental Hospital, Tehran, Iran, 2012.
Abbas Hajimohammadisaniabadi

Magnum Foundation offers scholarships to photographers
from non-Western countries to support their participation in the six-week Photography and Human Rights Program.
Co-organized by MF and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, this intensive program focuses students on strategies for creating effective visual storytelling that advances human rights in their home countries.

This year we received nearly 600 applications from across the globe and are excited to announce the following photographers will be joining us this summer:

Mohammed Elshamy,19, Egypt
Abbas Hajimohammadisaniabadi, 30, Iran
Yuyang Liu, 22, China
Loubna Mrie, 22, Syria
Pedro Silveira, 29, Brazil
Sumeja Tulic, 28, Bosnia & Herzegovina

New Partners & Initiatives
Call for Entries:
The Arab Documentary Photography Program

The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC), in partnership with the Prince Claus Fund and the Magnum Foundation, is launching The Arab Documentary Photography Program, to support creative documentary photographers in the Arab region. A jurors’ committee comprised of Arab and international experts will select up to 10 grantees for financial and professional support to complete their proposed documentary photo-essay projects. Proposals are now being accepted. Click here to apply!

The Abigail Cohen Fellowship in
Documentary Photography

At a moment when the world is more engaged with China than ever before, ChinaFile and the Magnum Foundation are pleased to announce the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in documentary photography. We have joined together to provide grants to enable photographers to address pressing social issues that are impacting China and that have not received the attention they deserve. ChinaFile and the Magnum Foundation will offer two Fellowship grants each year to support the creation of new work. This year’s inaugural Fellows are Ian Teh, a Chinese-Malaysian photographer based in the UK and Tomoko Kikuchi, a Japanese photographer based in China.

Launched in February 2013, ChinaFile is a project of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society. ChinaFile’s mission is to broaden its readers’ understanding of China and to spark new conversation about China’s place in the world.

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The Lexicon of Sustainability: Know Your Food Web Series Episodes

Grantee News From The Lexicon of Sustainability and PBS:

Watch these short films!! The Lexicon of Sustainability’s Know Your Food series introduces consumers to key terms and principles that can help them make more informed decisions about the food they eat. PBS Food will release a new episode every Thursday until June 19th.

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Announcing the premiere of our PBS short film “Economies of Community”

March 12, 2014

Grantee News From the Lexicon of Sustainability:


The Know Your Food short film series continues to premiere this season on PBS Food. One film will be released every Thursday until June 19, 2014. Click here to watch!

Please share with your network, and help us bring transparency to the food we eat.

With many thanks to our film series supporters including ITVS, PBS & KQED!

Use Your Words.

You are the Lexicon from lexicon of sustainability on Vimeo.

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The ballots are in! (Drumroll please)

March 4, 2014

Grantee News From: Real Food Media:

This year, you helped us launch a whole new kind of project: a grassroots truth-telling platform where people submitted more than 150 powerful short movies, sharing their stories about the good and bad of our food system, as part of our Real Food Media Contest.

And these past few weeks, people around the world (from more than 40 countries!) watched and voted on the top submitted films. Over 100,000 viewers have put the spotlight on a stunning range of food and farming stories, and now we’re announcing the winners.

Watch the top films and congratulate the winners by spreading these inspiring stories far and wide!

The winning films are diverse in style, perspective, and place, but they share common themes at the core: revival of pride in farming as a way of life, resilience of rural communities and cities growing food sustainably, and renewal of respect for the labor and natural resources at the heart of food production.

The powerful winning films are streaming online now on Will you watch and share their stories?

Seen through the lens of the filmmakers, these stories illustrate the deep connections between all of us to our food, farmers, beekeepers, seeds and soil. Thank you for being a part of launching this project with us! We look forward to sharing more stories and taking on more food myths with you.

Happy watching!
Anna and the Food MythBusters team

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