An experiment of democratized, power-shifting philanthropy to reimagine the Los Angeles economy.
The NEW ECONOMY Flow Fund is designed to support groundbreaking for-profit / for-purpose social enterprise organizations and individual changemakers committed to empowering human potential by providing services and products that advance a more just, sustainable, and equitable economy across communities and causes, markets and movements.
Social enterprises and entrepreneurial changemakers work to solve critical social problems and address basic unmet needs through innovation. Their entrepreneurial endeavors create systems change through regenerative economics, improving the lives of underserved or marginalized communities.
During the open call for proposals between October 27th, 2020 and January 20th, 2021, NEW ECONOMY received over 100+ proposals from social enterprise organizations and changemaker entrepreneurs across Los Angeles County. Ultimately, 10 social enterprise grantees were selected by the fund’s Flow Funders to receive grants for their innovative models that balanced mission and margin while demonstrating a breadth of experiences and skills, a spirit of innovation and creativity, and an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.
Join us in celebrating the 2021 NEW ECONOMY grantees…
Meet The Grantees
Alma Backyard Farms
ALMA’s mission is to re-claim lives of the formerly incarcerated, re-purpose urban land into productive urban farm plots, and re-imagine disenfranchised communities as a hub for transformation. In Los Angeles County, ALMA creates opportunities to serve historically disadvantaged groups through its three core programs: Urban Agriculture Job Training for those re-entering; Youth Education Programs; Farm Stand Social Enterprise: growing and distributing fresh, organic whole foods to the community.
Lost Angels Children’s Project (LACP)
Lost Angels Children’s Project (LACP) serves disadvantaged youth, young adults, families, and distressed communities through innovative vocational training, social enterprise, and traditional outreach programs. LACP developed Good Life Manufacturing as a day-work program for youth ages 18-24 to learn the industrial arts with job skills that will significantly increase their chances of finding employment that pays a living wage.
Educate U builds capacity for youth of color to obtain sustainable careers in industry sectors including media, public office, investing, entrepreneurship, academia and tech. Educate U’s mission is to empower youth through culturally sensitive career exploration programs and training to transform their lives and their communities.
Ethos Innovation Lab
Ethos Innovation Lab’s mission is to elevate, accelerate and sustain existing BIPOC-owned businesses and provide recent BIPOC graduates with job experiences that will jump-start their careers. Collectively, their business consultants have assisted over 100+ entrepreneurs and business owners to achieve their business objectives, ranging from early stage start-up ventures to Fortune 500 companies.
Future City Pantry
Future City Pantry is an in-progress Social Enterprise Grocery Market and Community Space, aiming to shift the narrative within the food industry by addressing food insecurity in Downtown LA through the creation of an inclusive, affordable, accessible and quality grocery market built for the community, by the community. Our enterprise uses food as a driver to promote economic development and a commitment to reinvestment into communities that have had little opportunity for growth. With people at the forefront, Future City Pantry strives to empower and uplift lives through education around food preparation and the power of healing through food.
Meztli Projects is an Indigenous based arts & culture collaborative centering Indigeneity into the creative practice of Los Angeles by using arts-based strategies to support, advocate for, and organize to highlight Native/Indigenous Artists and systems-impacted youth. Meztli Projects operates out of Apachianga (East Los Angeles) in Tovaangar (Los Angeles County), lands stewarded since time immemorial by families and villages now known as the Acjachemen, Chumash, Tataviam and Tongva Tribal Nations.
Originals Nation is on a mission to organize Black America for economic progress. Consisting of 2.2k natIonal members demonstrating group economics, skills exchange and identity consciousness for the purpose of advancing the diaspora’s economic position to $15T, Originals Nation provides continual education programing, social enterprising activities and in the future – community venture funding.
Prosperity Market is a farmers market on wheels and a food truck in one! The market features black farmers, food producers, and chefs and it travels throughout Los Angeles conveniently bringing a curated farmers market experience to you! Prosperity Market’s mission is to transform our local ecosystem through economy, food access, agriculture, nutrition education, and community.
Radical Womxn is an education platform, project incubator, and creative studio for nonprofits, grassroots initiatives, community leaders, and purpose-driven brands. Radical Womxn’s mission is to create revolutionary change by bringing socially impactful projects to life that help people and our world through art, media, community, and events. Radical Womxn creates, consults, and takes on projects that share their core values of respect, equality, justice, and inclusion. Their work centers at the intersection of social, racial, gender, health, economic, environmental, and immigration justice.
SÜPRMARKT LA’s mission is to eradicate health injustice and food deserts in America’s major cities by 2040. By providing affordable access to healthy food in low-income communities, SÜPRMARKT LA’ supports an increased sense of personal health and well-being through events and experiences, and educates the public about healthy eating habits and wellness practices. As a vegan organization, it does not promote or provide animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs.
NEW ECONOMY was designed to be an active experience in new ways of giving that we believe holds the power for positive and transformational social change. The fund supports democratized decision-making, participatory grantmaking, and supports social enterprises—for-profit/for-purpose initiatives—in the Los Angeles area through the emerging philanthropic model of Flow Funding.
“Flow Funding is a grantmaking approach which empowers social visionaries outside of typical philanthropic institutions with funds to re-allocate to the communities and organizations of their choice. We’ve noticed that, all too often, the same philanthropic actors make funding decisions and that, all too often, funding is directed to similar, or even the very same, recipients. Flow Funding seeks to break open the often predictable patterns of decision-making in funding to allow for the democratization of funding-power and resources to reach unlikely and unusual places.” – Kindle Project
MOZAIK Philanthropy is honored to announce the following NEW ECONOMY Flow Funders…
Vice President of Social Enterprise, Homeboy Industries
Arlin joined the Homeboy staff in 2012 as a kitchen manager, looking for some down time after running kitchens at Whole Foods. But she fell in love with the people of Homeboy and is now the Director of Social Enterprise for the Culinary Division, managing the day-to-day operations of virtually every business Homeboy owns.
Arlin had her first business when she was 14 and hard work is nothing new to her. She starts her work day at 4 in the morning and spends the rest of her day attending to the needs of all her employees. When everyone goes home for the day, she stays late to finish anything else that needs to get done. This job has taught her to balance her entrepreneurial spirit with the compassion-based mission of Homeboy. Leading with love has been her main priority here and in her words, “I don’t want anyone to ever look down at any of these people…they’re stronger than most of us.”
She would like to move development forward for more women-focused social enterprises and become more of an advocate for businesses with a social mission. Women who used to struggle with prison and drug problems are now leading million dollar businesses and this is thanks to the trust, support, and respect that Arlin gives the employees she works with every day. Arlin has taught Homeboy so much of what she knows about business, but Homeboy has taught her unconditional love.
Cindy Montanez entered politics in 1999 as a San Fernando City Councilmember. She later became the Mayor of San Fernando and, at the age of 28, became the youngest woman elected to the California State Legislature. As chair of the Assembly Rules Committee, Cindy ushered key legislative initiatives through the State Legislature. Cindy has been a strong advocate for high-quality education, the environment, middle-class jobs and community development. She played an important role in historic legislation addressing climate change, cleaning up contaminated sites, investing in California’s infrastructure, increasing travel and tourism and modernizing school facilities throughout the state.
Upon leaving the legislature Cindy was appointed by the Mayor to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission and also served on the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board where she helped resolve unemployment appeals for thousands of workers and employers throughout the state. While on the Planning Commission, Cindy worked with Los Angeles city departments to guide good planning, development and more efficient permitting processes.
As a changemaker and CEO of TreePeople, the largest environmental movement headquartered in Los Angeles, Cindy is privileged to partner with top business leaders, philanthropists, public agencies, and diverse communities on viable solutions to climate change, sustainability, healthy urban forests, reforestation, fire resilience, clean energy, water, equity and community.
Executive Director, Piece by Piece
Southern California artist Dawn Mendelson has been creating and teaching mosaic art for over twenty years, specializing in the pique assiette style, which uses recycled materials. She is the managing director of Piece by Piece, a non-profit arts program and social enterprise that brings mosaic art to the neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles and Skid Row. She also leads art projects through ArtWorksLBC, a healthy neighborhood initiative using art as a conduit to building community and promoting wellness. Dawn works on both big and small projects, from fine small pieces to large-scale murals for public and private spaces, and has been featured on PBS and HGTV. Her passion is working with people, especially those who are new to art, and enjoying their moments of self-discovery.
Founder & Executive Director, Cause Affects
Hermon Farahi is a multi-award winning, first-generation Iranian Korean American filmmaker,
creative director, scholar-activist, organizer, and former candidate for U.S. Congress (NV-03) trained as a cultural anthropologist and documentary filmmaker grounded in critical race theory and decolonization praxis (MA & MAc, The George Washington University, DC).
His lived experience raised in a multicultural immigrant family has deeply informed his work as a storyteller and change-agent. Faced with family separation due to the “Muslim Ban” in 2017, Hermon was inspired to run for U.S. Congress, ultimately suspending his campaign to apply his skills on the Emmy-nominated, Academy Award shortlisted, Netflix Original film, KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE.
In 2020, as a senior advisor to then-candidate Cori Bush (MO-01), Hermon’s multidisciplinary skill-set helped propel her campaign to a historic victory over a 52-year political dynasty to become Missouri’s first Black Congresswoman. Genuinely committed to equity and antiracism, Hermon has collaborated with many impacted BIPOC communities in sensitive trauma-informed environments.
His award winning feature-length documentary, WHEN THEY AWAKE, chronicles a generation of emerging Indigenous musicians in a moment of cultural resurgence. He has also consulted on global initiatives for international organizations such as The World Bank and USAID, and filmed a cancer foundation’s journey to Mt. Everest.
Executive Director, United Roots Oakland
Rosalyn Reed is a proud daughter of Oakland, California. It has in fact, been the impact of growing up in a community with such a rich history of overstanding oppression, that has fueled her lifelong commitment to grassroots community activism. Rosalyn currently serves as the Executive Director to United Roots, whose mission is to equip marginalized young people with the competencies, knowledge, resources and vision to become active participants in creating positive social change in their communities. Reed is the founder/ CEO emeritus of Uniting Youth Leaders, a non-profit consulting organization dedicated to the healing and revolutionary transformation of disenfranchised communities. Her career has been dedicated to addressing the needs of people while promoting social justice within underserved communities.
Rosalyn also previously worked as the Community Support Services Director at Richmond District Neighborhood Center (RDNC) in San Francisco. She oversaw the Neighborhood Family Services, Case Management and Youth Employment and Leadership programs, in addition to directing several community food programs which help minimize food insecurity in the neighborhood.
Rosalyn is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, New Leaders Council, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and President Emeritus of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, San Francisco Bay Area chapter.
In her spare time, Rosalyn enjoys traveling, reading and taking her 2-year old tri-colored Chihuahua, Kingston, on strolls through her native city.
Founder & CEO, Plant Prefab
Steve Glenn is the founder and CEO of Plant Prefab, the first prefabricated home factory in the nation dedicated to sustainable construction, materials, processes, and operations. Plant was born out of LivingHomes, the award-winning design agency Glenn founded in 2006 that now serves as Plant’s in-house studio. Before LivingHomes and Plant Prefab, Glenn was founder and CEO of PeopleLink, a leading provider of enterprise community solutions; founding partner of idealab, a business incubation firm that raised and invested $1 billion in a number of successful companies; co-director of the Virtual Reality Studio at Walt Disney Imagineering; and co-founder of Clearview Software, which was sold to Apple Computer in 1988. Glenn is also a co-founder and chair of the Sustainable Business Council, co-founder of the Kaia Parker Dance Endowment, and a co-founder and former board member of Hope Street Group and the Brown University Entrepreneur Forum.
Steve Glenn holds two patents and his company’s work has garnered many of the industry’s top honors, including the AIA Top Sustainable Award and the Sustainable Quality Awards Grand Prize. Twenty-seven LivingHomes have been certified LEED Platinum and five more LEED Gold.
Press awards include Architizer’s Jury and People’s Choice Awards, Green Builder Magazine’s “Home of the Year,” Business Week’s “Architectural Wonders of the World,” Huffington Post “Greatest Person of the Day,” Clean Tech “CEO of the Year,” and “Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year” by LA City Council/Faith2Green.
Glenn holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Brown University, studied Urban Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was a Coro Fellow.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR NEW ECONOMY PARTNERS
NEW ECONOMY was facilitated through a partnership with Kindle Project, an outside-the-box grantmaking organization supporting wild solutions by unusual suspects, in the attempt to move mountains. Kindle Project works with donors and grantees who are catalyzing change — those who are addressing our most pressing problems but who would otherwise fall outside-the-box of traditional philanthropy. At Kindle Project, we partner with donors and foundations, like MOZAIK Philanthropy, to co-create dynamic programming and tailored opportunities for engagement with our partners.
NEW ECONOMY grants were issued through Los-Angeles-based fiscal sponsor SIMA Studios, a global curator and impact media agency working to amplify creative projects that advance positive social change and support content creators, activists, educators and changemakers worldwide.