Everyday, Burners Without Borders transforms communities through innovative disaster relief programs and community initiatives that make a lasting impact. 



BWB Grant Awards 2013

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BWB is excited to announce this year’s grant recipients. For the past five years, BWB has awarded grants of $100-$1,000 for innovative civic initiatives that grow community while making a lasting impact. Check out this year’s grant recipients and get ready to  be inspired!

$700 Shoot Cameras Not Guns – Myanmar (Burma)

Shoot Cameras Not Guns is a project that teaches photography as a tool for social change and empowerment.  They teach people how to fight oppression by finding a voice, rather than by using violence. This grant will support the purchase of  cameras, camera accessories, memory cards, card readers & cords necessary to to make the program a success.

$1,000 Free Write Jail Arts – Chicago, Illinois

Free Write Jail Arts & Literacy Program, together with Circles & Ciphers Leadership Training Program, has developed a community-based music and poetry recording project for youth who have been incarcerated or otherwise involved in the juvenile court of Illinois.  This project, Circles & Ciphers Studio Sessions, employs improvisational hip-hop freestyle ciphers, restorative justice-inspired  peacemaking circles, creative writing workshops, and recording of the youth’s creative writing in a professional studio. BWB’s grant will remove the barrier to participation by providing transportation services for the youth.

$700 Muros en Blanco Urban Art – San Miguel, Mexico

The BWB grant will support a new urban arts and gardening initiative,  Muros En Blanco (White Walls), which aims to promote the artistic talents of underprivileged and urban youth as well as educate this sector in urban gardening initiatives in disused lots around their neighborhoods.

$700 Lost and Found Youth and Infinite ARTS – Atlanta, Georgia

Burners Without Borders leaders in Atlanta have partnered with two community organizations to help support their unique programming. 

Lost and Found  Youth is the only Atlanta based non-profit whose mission is to take homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth off the streets and transition them into more permanent housing situations. The BWB grant will support the construction materials and initial supplies for a container garden at their safe house. The container garden will help teach the youth about plants, gardening, and basic care. The lasting impact will be to teach the youth about responsibility and healthy food choices.

Infinite ARTS promotes theater as a tool for active and analytical learning and is centered on a pedagogical and community development approach which emphasizes a culture of inclusivity and service through the arts. This grant will be used for the supplies needed to continue their mission in economically challenged neighborhoods.

$700 Centro Guanin Community Center – Dominican Republic

This center was created in order to help young people to discover, develop, and achieve their full potential as adults, citizens, and leaders. They do this by engaging youth  in activities that challenge and enrich their minds, bodies, spirits, and nurture their self-esteem.The community is an inclusive Dominican and Haitian community that provides meals, clothing and literacy projects to children and adults who have structural barriers that prevent them from accessing these services otherwise.

$700 DC Commons – Washington DC

South East DC continues to struggle with the lack of community based development. Despite a few major building projects, this area is plagued by a lack of super markets, boarded-up and dilapidated storefronts, as well as few recreational and entertainment facilities. The impact of the poverty and lack of opportunities mostly unfolds with little attention. DC Commons seeks to shift this dynamic by bringing  healthy food to communities that need it most, creating a space for residents across DC’s four quadrants to work collaboratively and provide local solutions to local problems, and finally makes a difference for individuals in the community through knowledge sharing, empowerment, and community love. BWB’s grant will provide the start-up costs that will support the first phase of this project.

$300 Revitalize Toothbrush Collective – US Elementary Schools

 This program seeks to  to educate children on the importance of recycling by teaching them to recycle a product they use everyday of their lives: The plastic toothbrush. This program will take place in schools all over the country and will start with active Burners  and there friends taking  drop off boxes to elementary schools for collection. The  toothbrushes will then be used in a  large art project on the Playa with professional photos taken that will inspire children to continue to recycle for years to come.

$700 Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA) – Columbia, Missouri

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA)  facilitates the development of local and urban agriculture food systems, as well as their community, environmental, economic, and health benefits. CCUA uses many approaches to reach this mission including empowering community ambassadors. These community leaders inspire their neighbors who often ask how to apply to the program. The ambassadors volunteer their time helping install new applicants’ gardens, and even help translate when English is a second language. BWB’s gdrant will  ensure longevity in the program and give CCUA a broader reach purely from their own passion.  With the grant from BWB, more ambassadors will be enabled to participate in the program and spread gardening throughout the community.

$500 Buklod Ng Kabataan – Banaba, Philippines

Our friends at International Disaster Volunteers have partnered with a  youth group, Buklod Ng Kabataan, to help expand their environmental activism in the Filipino community of Banaba. Banaba is an extremely flood-prone community on the outskirts of Manila which has seen increasing devastation from floods in recent years because of the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. Check out this short video that the youth group sent thanking BWB for the grant.

$300 Urbanland Toy Drive – Las Vegas, Nevada

The URBANLAND Toy Drive is a BWB Project that was initiated by its founder Onnoleigh Sweetman in October of 2012. An avid participant in the arts and community service, Onnoleigh held a community dance party at The L’Ocatine Urban Apartments in downtown Las Vegas. The event included live DJ’s in the quadrant along with poi dancers, drummers and dancers  to name a few. From that party spawned the vision to have quarterly community events in downtown with a foundation in a community cause.  It was then decided the next party was to be a toy drive to benefit a local orphanage and to expose the public to the needs and services offered by Zion’s Safe Haven. BWB’s grant will help get the word out to even more children in Las Vegas

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