Sara E. Rios is an experienced policy advocate and litigator in civil rights and constitutional law. Before joining the Ruth Mott Foundation as president in April, she served as director of the Human Rights, Equality and Justice Unit at the Ford Foundation in New York, overseeing 19 grantmakers in 11 countries. She also served as legal director of LatinoJustice PRLDEF (Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund.)
Sara has great passion for the rights and opportunities of under-served people and a track record of working with disenfranchised communities. She is committed to inclusivity and grassroots work. She has traveled widely and worked across many cultures and ethnic groups, and she embraces the role of philanthropy as a vehicle for social change.
Sara Ríos, President, Ruth Mott Foundation
Applewood’s outreach efforts bring us in partnership with the community. Assisting our neighbor, Longway Planetarium, allows us to support a gardening experience for students, a learning laboratory for the Planetarium’s summer science programs and a beautiful garden space for the community to enjoy.
Planetarium Outreach Garden, Applewood Outreach
This Flint native was born to dance! Alfred “Bruce” Bradley is a performing artist and educator and the founder of Tapology Tap Festival for Youth and the Flintstone Hoofers. He also co-founded Creative Expressions Dance Studio, all in Flint. Tapology is the study of tap dance, from its history to its impact on contemporary life, art and entertainment. Think you can’t dance?
Think again! Master tap dancer Bruce Bradley says everyone is welcome, and you might just find you have more music inside you than you thought!
Bruce Bradley, Tapology
SAGE is a collaborative of local advocates, non-profit, private and government organizations working together to advocate for and support active living initiatives that promote safe opportunities for people to be physically active throughout Genesee County.
SAGE, Safe and Active Genesee for Everyone
Yes, you could drive to and from classes, but why not bike or walk? The Gilkey Creek Trail provides safe passage for foot and bicycle travelers and a picturesque path between Mott College and Applewood for exercising.
Gilkey Creek Trail
Talented Hip Hop artist, Natasha Thomas-Jackson, has fused youth development with performance art to help young people address issues such as relationships, class, race, body image, violence and health that affect their daily lives.
Her program, Raise It Up!, brings kids together at arts workshops to analyze these issues in creative ways, and to express their feelings through performing. In doing so, the program helps elevate the participants’ self-esteem, nurtures youth leadership, and promotes creative and critical thinking. In short, young people are learning, through performance art, how they can make positive changes in themselves and in their community.
Natasha Thomas-Jackson, Raise It Up!
In 2009, the edible flint food growing network emerged as a grassroots collaborative of growers and institutional and community partners to support urban farming and increased access to healthy food in this post-industrial city. Its mission of supporting Flint residents in growing and accessing healthy food is realized in an informal cooperative of food producers in and around the city with the purpose of increasing the presence and success of urban gardeners and farmers by collectively producing and distributing locally grown produce. About 20 growers currently participate. The co-op sold produce at the Flint Farmer’s Market in 2010 and will be doing so again beginning in July 2011, and is exploring some initial relationships with local school districts.
Soil Sampling, edible flint
This high-tech “hub of hope” on the east side of Flint offers support and classes for Hispanics and others needing assistance. It was created in 2001 by the Flint Chapter of the American GI Forum (AGIF) - the oldest Hispanic non-profit organization in the country – and with the help of a federal grant and the support of Mott Community College. The mission of the local AGIF chapter is to champion and advance the education and training of Hispanics and other citizens in metropolitan Flint to ensure the democratic ideals of equality and justice.
Programs at the Hispanic Technology and Community Center include computer-based educational services, bi-lingual instructions in English and Spanish, Spanish translation services and tax preparation service.
Mott Community College provides technological equipment, support and oversight.
Eduardo Zimmerman, Hispanic Technology Center
The ambitious 100 Men 100 Boys program is a mentoring effort of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint aimed at pairing boys, ages 6 to 17, with a positive role model to spend time with while they await a more permanent Big Brother match. It is run by lifelong Flint resident, David McGhee, who has received much recognition for his civic involvement and work with at-risk youth. In a 2011 interview with The Black Man Can, a website founded by Brandon M. Frame, David said, “All that we do, all that we accomplish and all that we believe should be for the well being and the benefit of others. This is the true essence of leadership. As we lead our lives, it is imperative that we keep in mind the spirit of Rosa Parks – a woman who has received a countless number of awards and honors. However, she isn’t remembered for what she received, but for what she has given.” This program serves 100 boys annually in this community.
David McGhee, Big Brothers Big Sisters
Nothing beats a thriving farmers’ market for teasing all your senses, and the Flint Farmers’ Market is recognized nationally as one of the best! This gem was built in 1940 and serves as a year-round gathering place and a hub for local growers and shopkeepers who offer everything from produce, meat and dairy products to flowers, specialty foods, wines and crafts. Locally-funded programs make it possible for low-income families to buy groceries here, which puts more locally-grown, healthy food on their tables and more resources in the hands of local growers.
Flint Farmers' Market