LWVA Gives First Civic Action Grant for Restorative Justice Program

The LWVA grant program was developed in 2019-2020. In September 2019 the LWVA created the Civic Grant Committee to develop a grant application, agreement terms and a process for distributing the money to successful applicants and that year the League budget included $5000 dollars for up to 5 grants. However, no qualifying applications were received until 2022. The LWVA Grant committee consists of Ann Kieser (chair), Bonnie Isman, Deanna Pearlstein and Rebecca Fricke.

This April the committee met to discuss the Restorative Justice Leadership Grant Application. Prior to this meeting Rebecca spoke with the grant applicant, Aaron Buford who is the Amherst Regional High School Restorative Justice Coordinator. Rebecca was able to ask for a few clarifications which she passed on to the Grant Committee. All committee members agreed to recommend that the LWVA award $1000 to the Amherst High School Restorative Justice Leadership Program.

The grant money will go towards giving 10 students a stipend for participating in one week of summer programming as well as a year-long, school-wide project which will begin in September and go through the school year. The Restorative Justice Program work aligns with our Education and Schools (2012) Program (as stated on page 11 of our Program Book) in multiple ways, including:

  • "The primary goals of education are to encourage all students’ potential in problem solving, creativity, and social interaction."
  • "The League is committed to a just and equitable school system for all students with particular attention to ethnic, racial, and linguistic minorities, lower socioeconomic households, and to those with special educational needs."

In May the SC approved the grant. Following the vote the Grant Committee wrote an award letter which restated our requirements which are described on our website.

This is the first Civic Action Grant the LWVA is funding and we are looking forward to hearing how the program develops. The committee is hopeful that more groups will apply for funding in the near future because as we all know, there is much work being done and the LWVA has the ability to provide financial support.

On behalf of the Civic Grant Committee,
Rebecca Fricke