The Renewal Project

About the Contest

The na­tion­al sys­tem may be mired in stale­mate, but that doesn’t mean Amer­ica has lost its ca­pa­city for self-re­new­al. At the grass­roots, prag­mat­ic prob­lem solv­ers con­tin­ue to make pro­gress against the greatest chal­lenges fa­cing Amer­ica, from edu­ca­tion and eco­nom­ic op­por­tun­ity to health care to re­vital­iz­ing neigh­bor­hoods. 

With The Re­new­al Awards, At­lantic Me­dia is look­ing to identi­fy and cel­eb­rate the most ef­fect­ive and cre­at­ive of these in­nov­at­ors. We are look­ing for non profit and vo­lun­teer or­gan­iz­a­tions, loc­al gov­ern­ment, busi­nesses, pub­lic-private part­ner­ships and in­di­vidu­als who are find­ing new paths to pro­gress on the coun­try’s most en­dur­ing chal­lenges.

Tell us: what’s hap­pen­ing in your ho­met­own that Amer­ica needs to know about? The one busi­ness that has found a bet­ter way to help work­ers bal­ance home and work. The non-profit help­ing needy fam­il­ies get back on the lad­der of op­por­tun­ity. The state or loc­al gov­ern­ment pro­gram that is re­think­ing the way it de­liv­ers ser­vices. The in­di­vidu­al who has mo­bil­ized his or her com­munity to tackle its prob­lems.

Help us spot­light Main Street in­nov­at­ors who are im­prov­ing their com­munit­ies and re­new­ing Amer­ica from the ground up.

Winners

Win­ners will re­ceive a $10,000 grant from The All­state Found­a­tion to con­tin­ue their pro­ject or fur­ther their or­gan­iz­a­tion’s reach. They will also re­ceive an ex­penses paid trip to The Re­new­al Awards cul­min­at­ing event in Des Moines, Iowa in Janu­ary 2016, where win­ners will be re­vealed to the pub­lic. Fi­nally, win­ners will be pro­filed in a spe­cial edi­tion of Na­tion­al Journ­al magazine, to be re­leased at the 2016 event.

Read the Full Con­test Rules.

Imerman Angels

Through a unique match­ing pro­cess, Imer­man An­gels part­ners any­one seek­ing can­cer sup­port with a “Ment­or An­gel” - a can­cer sur­viv­or or care­giver who is the same age, same gender, and most im­port­antly who has faced the same type of can­cer. Ment­or An­gels can lend sup­port and em­pathy and help can­cer fight­ers and care­givers nav­ig­ate the sys­tem, de­term­ine their op­tions and cre­ate their own sup­port sys­tems.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter | You­tube

Dunbar Learning Complex

The Dun­bar Learn­ing Com­plex em­ploys a com­pre­hens­ive ap­proach to en­sur­ing young chil­dren are learn­ing and on track to be­come pro­fi­cient read­ers by the end of third grade. This ap­proach in­volves strategies and sup­ports around ef­fect­ive teach­ing, child-centered learn­ing en­vir­on­ments, par­ent em­power­ment, evid­ence build­ing and phys­ic­al, so­cial and emo­tion­al health. The com­plex is em­ploy­ing a two-gen­er­a­tion ap­proach that com­bines high-qual­ity early edu­ca­tion and sup­ports for chil­dren, pro­grams to im­prove the care­giv­ing skills of par­ents and oth­ers and to provide eco­nom­ic sup­port ser­vices for par­ents — all to im­prove out­comes for the en­tire fam­ily.

Web­site | Face­book

Platform to Employment

Plat­form to Em­ploy­ment (P2E), de­veloped by The Work­place, ad­dresses the need for the long term un­em­ployed to re­turn to work and the em­ploy­er need to re­cruit skilled work­ers. Plat­form to Em­ploy­ment provides work­shops and per­son­al coun­sel­ing while pla­cing par­ti­cipants in sub­sid­ized work ex­per­i­ences in fields for which they are qual­i­fied. The pro­gram gives busi­nesses a risk-free op­por­tun­ity to eval­u­ate and con­sider hir­ing par­ti­cipants dur­ing an eight-week work ex­per­i­ence pro­gram.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

Hope House

Hope House began in 1998 provid­ing cut­ting edge pro­grams to strengthen fam­il­ies and, in par­tic­u­lar, the re­la­tion­al bonds between chil­dren and their fath­ers im­prisoned far from home. In ad­di­tion, the goals in­clude re­du­cing the isol­a­tion, stigma, shame and risk these fam­il­ies ex­per­i­ence when fath­ers and hus­bands are im­prisoned, and to raise pub­lic aware­ness about this most at-risk pop­u­la­tion. Hope House DC of­fers pro­grams to pris­on­ers and their fam­il­ies aimed at de­creas­ing re­cidiv­ism and keep­ing in­car­cer­ated men con­nec­ted to the com­munity as stud­ies have shown that pris­on­ers who re­main in con­tact with their fam­il­ies while in­car­cer­ated have a lower re­cidiv­ism rate.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter 

Project Helping

Pro­ject Help­ing uses the joy of pur­pose cre­ated by vo­lun­teer­ing to im­prove men­tal well­ness. Pro­ject Help­ing be­lieves that help­ing oth­ers is the most power­ful means by which you can cre­ate change. If you need a dra­mat­ic change, or you’ve just been feel­ing down, chan­ging your men­tal well­ness can be as easy as help­ing oth­ers. They or­gan­ize and lead group vo­lun­teer events to lever­age the be­ne­fits that help­ing oth­ers has on men­tal well­ness. 

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter | You­tube

Champlain Housing Trust

Champlain Hous­ing Trust (CHT) formed in 1984 when a group of loc­al act­iv­ists ban­ded to­geth­er to fight gentri­fic­a­tion of their neigh­bor­hood. They worked with the City of Bur­l­ing­ton, Ver­mont’s newly-es­tab­lished Com­munity and Eco­nom­ic De­vel­op­ment Of­fice to seek a new way for neigh­bor­hood re­new­al and pre­ser­va­tion by provid­ing op­por­tun­it­ies for low-in­come res­id­ents to build wealth and sta­bil­ity through sus­tain­able homeown­er­ship. CHT has 565 homes in our shared equity port­fo­lio, the largest in the na­tion and many cit­ies, counties and oth­er loc­al gov­ern­ments are pur­su­ing this mod­el.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter | You­tube

Champlain Housing Trust

Generation Citizen

Gen­er­a­tion Cit­izen (GC) works to en­sure that every stu­dent in the United States re­ceives an ef­fect­ive ac­tion civics edu­ca­tion, which provides them with the know­ledge and skills ne­ces­sary to par­ti­cip­ate in our demo­cracy as act­ive cit­izens. GC teaches teen­agers how to take ef­fect­ive polit­ic­al ac­tion. Through an in­nov­at­ive in-class cur­riculum, stu­dents work with loc­al lead­ers to fix loc­al prob­lems. Through this real-world ex­per­i­ence, our teens are build­ing an act­ive demo­cracy.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

Cure Violence

Cure Vi­ol­ence is guided by clear un­der­stand­ings that vi­ol­ence is a health is­sue, that in­di­vidu­als and com­munit­ies can change for the bet­ter, that com­munity part­ners and stra­tegic part­ner­ships are keys to suc­cess, and that rig­or­ous, sci­entif­ic, pro­fes­sion­al ways of work­ing are es­sen­tial for ef­fect­ive­ness. The pro­gram wants to change the mind­set of every­one away from “bad” people and to­ward un­der­stand­ing vi­ol­ent be­ha­vi­or as people with health prob­lems and shift the world­view of vi­ol­ence away from pro­sec­u­tion and fo­cus more on pre­ven­tion. Cure Vi­ol­ence pro­grams in 25 U.S. cit­ies have re­duced shoot­ings and killings by as much as 73 per­cent.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter | You­tube

P-Tech (Path­ways in Tech­no­logy Early Col­lege High School)

P-Tech re­vo­lu­tion­izes the struc­ture of high school by en­cour­aging stu­dents to at­tend the school for grades 9 through 14. Over those six years, the goal is for stu­dents to com­plete both a high school dip­loma and an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree. Gradu­ates can either enter the work­force equipped with a post­sec­ond­ary de­gree—no tu­ition, so no stu­dent debt—or con­tin­ue on to a tra­di­tion­al col­lege with a bevy of class cred­its in hand.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

Girlstart

Girl­start’s mis­sion is to in­crease girls’ in­terest and en­gage­ment in STEM through in­nov­at­ive, na­tion­ally-re­cog­nized in­form­al STEM edu­ca­tion pro­grams. Girl­start as­pires to be the na­tion­al lead­er in design­ing and im­ple­ment­ing in­nov­at­ive, high qual­ity in­form­al STEM edu­ca­tion pro­grams that in­spire girls to trans­form our world. Through its com­pre­hens­ive pro­gram­ming, Girl­start provides a year-round, in­tens­ive suite of STEM edu­ca­tion pro­grams for K-12 girls.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

ServiceWorks

Ser­vice­Works – powered by Ameri­Corps, the Citi Found­a­tion and Points of Light – is a ground­break­ing, na­tion­al pro­gram that uses vo­lun­teer ser­vice as a strategy to help 25,000 low-in­come youth and young adults in 10 cit­ies de­vel­op the skills they need to pre­pare for col­lege and ca­reers. Citi Found­a­tion Pres­id­ent Brandee McHale calls Ser­vice­Works a jobs pro­gram in dis­guise. A joint pro­ject with Ameri­Corps and Points of Light, the pro­gram uses vo­lun­teer ser­vice as a way to trans­ition low-in­come young adults in­to jobs. 

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

EnCorps STEM Teachers Program

The En­Corps STEM Teach­ers Pro­gram re­cruits, se­lects, de­vel­ops and sup­ports the best and bright­est STEM pro­fes­sion­als and mil­it­ary vet­er­ans, as an in­nov­at­ive, long-term solu­tion to the short­age of high qual­ity, im­pact­ful edu­cat­ors for un­der-re­sourced stu­dents in high need com­munit­ies.  The STEM crisis En­Corps ad­dresses is na­tion­al: un­der-qual­i­fied STEM teach­ers, poor stu­dent per­form­ance in math and sci­ence, and low num­bers of col­lege stu­dents de­clar­ing STEM ma­jors. En­Corps’ work to date demon­strates a thor­oughly vi­able pi­lot that war­rants un­pre­ced­en­ted ex­pan­sion across Amer­ica, in­stalling top-qual­ity edu­cat­ors as the true cata­lyst for our next crop of en­gin­eers, cre­at­ors and vis­ion­ar­ies.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

EnCorps STEM Teachers Program

Edu­care of Cali­for­nia at Sil­ic­on Val­ley

Edu­care of Cali­for­nia at Sil­ic­on Val­ley is a new branch of the Edu­care mod­el, the first of the net­work schools in Cali­for­nia. Fun­ded by vari­ous found­a­tions, non­profits, loc­al gov­ern­ments, and school dis­tricts, the fa­cil­ity will care for roughly 168 chil­dren, from in­fancy to 5 years. In ad­di­tion to provid­ing high-qual­ity child care to at-risk kids, the fa­cil­ity will also of­fer a train­ing in­sti­tu­te to coach day-care work­ers in child de­vel­op­ment and best teach­ing prac­tices. Cent­ral to Edu­care’s mis­sion is to in­volve fam­il­ies in their chil­dren’s edu­ca­tion and care. 

Web­site | Twit­ter

Nurse Family Partnership

Nurse Fam­ily Part­ner­ship, now in 43 states, pairs low-in­come, first-time moth­ers with trained nurses, who coun­sel the moms throughout preg­nancy and un­til their chil­dren’s 2nd birth­day. The nurses of­fer guid­ance on everything from nu­tri­tion dur­ing preg­nancy to breast­feed­ing to caring for a new­born. They play the role of so­cial work­er and en­cour­age moth­ers to fin­ish their edu­ca­tions, so they can sup­port their fam­il­ies.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

B-Lab

B Lab is a 501(c)3 non­profit that serves a glob­al move­ment of en­tre­pren­eurs us­ing the power of busi­ness to solve so­cial and en­vir­on­ment­al prob­lems. B Lab serves these en­tre­pren­eurs through three in­ter­re­lated ini­ti­at­ives—cer­ti­fic­a­tion, le­gis­la­tion, ana­lyt­ics — that provide them the leg­al in­fra­struc­ture and help them at­tract the cus­tom­ers, tal­ent, and cap­it­al to scale. This non­profit group cer­ti­fies com­pan­ies as “B Corps,” which means they are be­ne­fi­cial for people and the plan­et (The B stands for Be­ne­fit.)

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

Managed by Q

Man­aged by Q helps com­pan­ies work ef­fi­ciently through a smart of­fice clean­ing and man­age­ment plat­form. Man­aged by Q con­siders every em­ploy­ee an op­er­at­or, wheth­er they work in the field clean­ing an of­fice or in HQ as an en­gin­eer. The op­er­a­tions team looks through all the highest rated Q op­er­at­ors in your area and per­son­ally se­lects the team that will be staff­ing your of­fice to en­sure it’s a per­fect fit.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

Managed by Q

Bluegrass Eco­nom­ic Ad­vance­ment Move­ment

The Bluegrass Eco­nom­ic Ad­vance­ment Move­ment (BEAM) seeks to build on the re­gion’s ex­ist­ing strengths of ro­bust man­u­fac­tur­ing and in­nov­a­tion. BEAM was launched by May­or Greg Fisc­her and May­or Jim Gray of Lex­ing­ton in 2011. Bring­ing to­geth­er the 22 counties that in­clude and sur­round Lex­ing­ton and Louis­ville, this stra­tegic part­ner­ship im­ple­ments a re­gion­al eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment ap­proach for the state’s two largest met­ro­pol­it­an areas. Work­ing to­geth­er, the May­ors be­lieve they can foster in­creased growth in man­u­fac­tur­ing and strengthen the found­a­tion of a pros­per­ous fu­ture for com­pan­ies, em­ploy­ees, and en­tre­pren­eurs.

Web­site | Face­book

University of Chicago’s Employer Assisted Housing Program

The Uni­versity of Chica­go’s Em­ploy­er As­sisted Hous­ing Pro­gram is de­signed to strengthen the Uni­versity’s con­nec­tion to the nine neigh­bor­hoods that house and sur­round
its mid-South Side cam­pus, by provid­ing homeown­er­ship and rent­al as­sist­ance to its Uni­versity and Med­ic­al Cen­ter staff. Since its in­cep­tion, EAHP has helped at­tract over $47 mil­lion in home pur­chases by Uni­versity em­ploy­ees and was re­cently re­vamped to provide more flex­ib­il­ity and in­cent­ives for em­ploy­ees in­ter­ested in be­ing part of com­munity re­vital­iz­a­tion ef­forts. Through this pro­gram, the Uni­versity in­vests in the loc­al com­munity, re­tains valu­able em­ploy­ees, and helps staff op­tim­ize their work-life bal­ance.

Web­site

Tumml

Tumml is an urb­an ven­tures ac­cel­er­at­or with the mis­sion of em­power­ing en­tre­pren­eurs to solve urb­an prob­lems.  Dur­ing the last two and a half years, the or­gan­iz­a­tion has sup­por­ted 33 star­tups work­ing to solve com­munity is­sues from home­less­ness to work­force de­vel­op­ment for blue-col­lar work­ers - these star­tups have built com­pan­ies that have touched the lives of 2.2 mil­lion people, cre­ated hun­dreds of com­munity jobs, and lever­aged Tumml cap­it­al 53x.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

Global Detroit

Glob­al De­troit is a key in­nov­at­or in the re­vital­iz­a­tion of South­east Michigan’s eco­nomy and is a na­tion­al lead­er in an emer­ging eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment field centered on wel­com­ing, re­tain­ing, and em­power­ing im­mig­rant com­munit­ies as val­ued con­trib­ut­ors to re­gion­al growth. Since 2010, Glob­al De­troit has been launch­ing ini­ti­at­ives con­ceived in the Glob­al De­troit Study that tap in­to im­mig­rants’ tal­ent, in­nov­a­tion, en­tre­pren­eur­i­al spir­it, and de­term­in­a­tion to foster re­gion­al job growth and prosper­ity.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

DirectConnect to University of Central Florida

Dir­ect­Con­nect guar­an­tees part­ner col­lege gradu­ates ad­mis­sion and a smooth trans­ition to the Uni­versity of Cent­ral Flor­ida. The pro­gram of­fers joint ad­vising avail­able to help with ad­mis­sions, fin­an­cial aid and aca­dem­ic sup­port, and pref­er­en­tial ad­mis­sion to se­lect bach­el­or’s de­gree pro­grams at UCF. Dir­ect­Con­nect was se­lec­ted by Ex­celen­cia in Edu­ca­tion as Amer­ica’s top pro­gram for in­creas­ing aca­dem­ic op­por­tun­it­ies and suc­cess for Latino stu­dents at the as­so­ci­ate level.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

MyCity Academy

With the help of his New Amer­ic­ans Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil, May­or Dean in 2012 launched a free pro­gram called My­City Academy. The first of its kind in the na­tion, My­City em­powers New Amer­ic­ans to un­der­stand and par­ti­cip­ate in Nashville’s gov­ern­ment. Par­ti­cipants of the pro­gram gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how their gov­ern­ment works and learn how to re­solve is­sues and ob­tain in­form­a­tion.

Web­site | Twit­ter

MyCity Academy

Institute for Career Transitions

The In­sti­tute for Ca­reer Trans­itions’ mis­sion is to gen­er­ate ef­fect­ive strategies, of­fer prac­tic­al sup­port, and in­crease pub­lic un­der­stand­ing of the chal­lenges fa­cing pro­fes­sion­als in ca­reer trans­itions. ICT de­vel­ops stra­tegic ini­ti­at­ives that ad­dress the most crit­ic­al and per­tin­ent ca­reer trans­ition chal­lenges, en­abling af­fil­i­ated aca­dem­ic schol­ars to re­search mul­tiple strategies and pro­duce sound re­com­mend­a­tions to ca­reer pro­fes­sion­als and policy makers. Their vis­ion is to be­come the pree­m­in­ent source for provid­ing data-driv­en stra­tegic guid­ance and policy re­com­mend­a­tions for pro­fes­sion­als un­der­go­ing ca­reer trans­itions.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

The Institute for Career Transitions

Do The Right Thing

Do The Right Thing of Miami, Inc. (DTRT) re­cog­nizes and re­wards Miami youths for their ex­em­plary be­ha­vi­or, ac­com­plish­ments, and good deeds through a unique part­ner­ship with the City of Miami Po­lice De­part­ment, the Miami-Dade Schools Po­lice De­part­ment, and oth­er par­ti­cip­at­ing law en­force­ment agen­cies in Miami-Dade. The DTRT Awards Pro­gram dis­tin­guishes ex­cep­tion­al school-age chil­dren who choose to be drug and crime free, ex­hib­it non-vi­ol­ent be­ha­vi­or, do well in school, make a dif­fer­ence in their com­munit­ies, and demon­strate turn­around be­ha­vi­or.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

Jeremi­ah Pro­gram

Jeremi­ah Pro­gram of­fers one of the na­tion’s most suc­cess­ful strategies for trans­form­ing fam­il­ies from poverty to prosper­ity two gen­er­a­tions at a time. Jeremi­ah pre­pares de­term­ined single moth­ers to ex­cel in the work­force, read­ies their chil­dren to suc­ceed in school, and re­duces gen­er­a­tion­al de­pend­ence on pub­lic as­sist­ance. Through a com­bin­a­tion of qual­ity early child­hood edu­ca­tion, a safe and af­ford­able place to live, and em­power­ment and life skills train­ing, their fam­il­ies are sta­bil­ized and able to find a path out of poverty.

Web­site | Face­book | Twit­ter

Jeremiah Program
×