Learning pods, virtual classrooms, and school PPE, oh my! As the school bell rings and students get ready to head back to class, our school supply lists might look a little different this year. But whether our kids will be walking into campus or logging onto Zoom on day one, one thing remains consistent: we want them to have a great start to the school year!
Right now, we’re seeing lots of ioby leaders working hard to provide the tools and technology that families need to ensure the learning doesn’t stop during COVID-19. They’re being flexible, creative, and responsive to the needs of their communities. Many are deepening the work they’re already doing as they pivot their projects, and we know their work is making a difference!
We’ve rounded up a few examples of how some folks are rising to the challenge of helping students and families prepare for the new school year. Many of these projects are still fundraising, and we invite you to learn more about how they’re empowering students and their families–and investing in a better future for us all.
Continue reading Five ideas to support kids as they go back to school during COVID-19
As our nation continues to reckon with a 400 year legacy of racism, you might be surfacing and grappling with some of your own feelings, and coming to a place of action. Maybe you’ve participated in a protest, supported local Black-owned businesses, or contributed to a bail fund. These are all important ways we can center our Black neighbors and show that Black Lives Matter, and we know our work won’t end when the headlines fade.
Anti-Black racism in America isn’t new, and it’s clear that it continues to this day in stark terms. Many American policies are deeply rooted in racist ideology and as a result have perpetuated racist beliefs and outcomes. This systemic racism affects all aspects of life for Black Americans. Extending far beyond the criminal justice system, it results in income inequality; disproportionately high Black maternal death rates; discrimination in the housing market; chronic stress from the psychological effects of racism; and much, much more.
Today, we’re talking about sustaining the fight for racial justice in the present, and we’re also highlighting some recent ioby projects that are doing just that. (By the way, some of them are currently fundraising, so you might consider donating to help them achieve their goals.) This is the second piece of our three-part series on fighting for Black lives, so check out our previous post about why it’s important to honor Black history and movements in our past, then stay tuned for our final installment about building a racially just and equitable future for us all.
Continue reading Organizing the Neighborhood for Justice: Projects that sustain the present
As we celebrate Black History Month this February at ioby, we want to celebrate the fact that Black History is a living history. It’s something to look back on to learn from and take pride in, but it’s also something that lives today—something to build on and to grow. Something that’s happening right now! Our neighbors are showing us the way to do that.
This year, we want to lift up the incredible work that neighbors are doing to honor Black history, celebrate Black culture and Black people, and fight back against anti-black racism. We’ve highlighted a few projects that are working to strengthen bonds in their neighborhoods and that are moving us all toward a more just world. Many of them are still crowdfunding, too! If you’re feeling inspired, we’ve also pulled together a few of our best tips for starting your own project that fights for racial justice.
Continue reading 3 crowdfunding projects that honor Black History Month, plus 3 tips to start your own project!
Art has a way of making a splash and bringing people together. When folks dedicate themselves to bringing a personal touch to a part of their neighborhood, it makes a place feel more like home. Public art can have a big impact on the people who make it as well as everyone who gets to experience a completed art project. Working together on a public project can help strengthen neighborhood bonds to each other, and to the physical place they share.
What is art education?
Art education is about learning and practicing new creative skills. These can be visual skills, like painting or drawing, as well as music, writing, dancing, even designing computer games. Art education can take place in a school or in organized programs led by professional artists, but you don’t have to be in a classroom to learn creative skills that help you express yourself better, explore your own ideas, and create art!
Continue reading 6 Bold Art Education Ideas To Brighten Your Community
By some measures Cleveland has one of the most expensive transit fares in the country. Even so, in 2015 the Regional Transit Authority—the agency in charge of Cleveland’s public transit system—proposed a 25-cent fare hike along with a 1.3% reduction in service. It was the latest in a series of tightening squeezes on riders to plug a yearslong decline in public funding for the system. “Since 2005 our transit fares have doubled while bus service has been cut by over 25%,” Chris Stocking, the treasurer and co-founder of Clevelanders for Public Transit, said. “Clevelanders are paying more and more for less and less service. We basically just said enough is enough.”
Around the same time of the fare hike proposal, funding for a collaborative that had been advocating for public transit alongside a slate of other environmental justice issues had run dry. That left a potential gap just as riders needed advocates most. So Chris and a group of volunteers decided to step up to keep fighting for public transit, bringing to life Clevelanders for Public Transit (CPT).
Continue reading Awesome Project: Clevelanders for Public Transit
It isn’t often that have the chance to come together to explore what it means to be a community, and explore what it would take to make our communities stronger together. This past Sunday, the Common Ground convening offered the exciting opportunity to do just that. Organized by our friends at the Cleveland Foundation, neighbors across the Cleveland region came together to share a meal, and tackle a common theme; the environments that shape who we are.
It was a powerful, and moving, day–as our Cleveland Action Strategist Dawn Arrington can attest to. But it’s just the beginning. With generous support from the Cleveland Foundation, we’re excited to announce a new match opportunity to help carry the energy forward.
Continue reading Double your donations in Cleveland
311 is a toll-free, non-emergency phone number that people in many cities can call to get information about municipal services (like trash collection), make complaints (like a pothole), or report urgent problems (like a downed power line). Even in cities where a number other than “311” is used, 311 is the most recognized name for this type of phone system. In many places, 311 is now also available as a smartphone app.
Residents are the natural eyes and ears of their neighborhoods, so any system that amplifies their voices straight to city hall gets a gold star from ioby. But what about those residents who want to do more than make a 30-second call to 311 when they notice something amiss on their block? What can neighbors do when they decide it’s not enough to make a report—they also need to take some action?
We’re proud to introduce you to three ioby Leaders who saw opportunities for improvement where they live, and who didn’t wait for someone else (even the government) to step in. While their projects are quite different in nature, they all used ioby’s crowdfunding platform to raise the money needed to make them happen.
Continue reading Alternatives to 311: a citizen-led movement for change
ioby works nationwide; through the magic of the internet and good old-fashioned phones, we are able to provide support to anyone in the United States with a great idea to bring more good to their neighborhood. We also have staff on the ground in Pittsburgh, Memphis, Detroit, and Cleveland–our City Action Strategists. They’re especially tuned into the cities they live in, are experts at supporting neighbors organize and fundraise online, and help residents turn great ideas into great community projects. Get to know our team!
Continue reading Meet our City Action Strategists
Since the launch of our Racial Justice Toolkit this past spring, we’ve posted several stories about racial justice work from the perspectives of some of our favorite Cleveland-based activists. Why Cleveland? Well…
Continue reading Cleveland is a Racial Justice Town
Like many ioby Leaders, Samaria Rice didn’t always think of herself as an activist. Until a few years ago, she was a busy single mom, taking care of her kids and studying to start a career in real estate in her native Cleveland. “I was living in a bubble,” she says.
Then, on November 22, 2014, Ms. Rice’s 12-year-old son Tamir was shot and killed by Cleveland police while playing with a pellet gun outside the Cudell Recreation Center.
Continue reading Awesome Project: Building Tamir’s Legacy