By Allessandra Ghezzi, 11th Hour Racing Communications Director
As 11th Hour Racing enters its 11th year of philanthropic work, the organization announced today five new grants, funded by The Schmidt Family Foundation, to support environmental projects in Connecticut, Maryland, Hawai’i, and Rhode Island. 11th Hour Racing’s grantmaking strategy focuses on pilot programs that model sustainability best practices, advance ocean stewardship and create systemic change to restore ocean health.
These five grantees – Baltimore Compost Collective, Gather New Haven, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Movement Education Outdoors and Polynesian Voyaging Society – are first-time grantees of 11th Hour Racing and focus on providing experiential education, leading composting initiatives and offering youth development opportunities.
“At 11th Hour Racing, we believe that building a community committed to ocean stewardship and environmental sustainability starts with meaningful experiences for young people, particularly for communities that historically have had less access to the ocean,” said Michelle Carnevale, vice president of programming at 11th Hour Racing. “We know that experiencing oceans, rivers, and lakes firsthand and seeing all of the natural wonders our planet offers can be inspirational and lead to community-wide participation in sustainable initiatives. We are proud to support these organizations that provide these experiences for young people along with pathways to future career opportunities.”
11th Hour Racing is accepting new grant applications through Jan. 31, 2022. The organization awards grants globally and welcomes international organizations to apply. The current round of grants includes the following organizations:
• Baltimore Compost Collective (Maryland, U.S.) is a residential food scrap collection service with a youth entrepreneurship program that employs local teenagers and trains them in workforce skills, food sustainability programming, and community-scale composting. The workers receive guided, hands-on experience by managing a small-scale composting operation, and the compost they create is used in their local community garden to grow fresh produce.
• Gather New Haven (Connecticut, U.S.) hosts the Schooner Camp to teach students ages 6-14 experiential STEAM education with an environmental focus. The organization will develop a new curriculum incorporating composting and extending its marine ecology and on-water education activities into a year-round initiative. It also leads a Growing Entrepreneurs Program that empowers high school students to develop small-scale green ventures through urban farms, composting and carpentry activities.
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (Rhode Island, U.S.) nourishes, educates, and supports Newport County residents to improve their economic, social, and physical well-being. It provides student scholarships and will expand educational opportunities within its Early Childhood and After-School Academy childcare programs. MLK Center has recently added programs focused on movement and mindfulness, outdoor experiential learning, STEAM education, and environmental education.
• Movement Education Outdoors (Rhode Island, U.S.) provides youth of color and who have limited economic resources with equitable access to experience the outdoors. The organization will expand its Agua Day Camp for students grades 6-8 and MEO Paddles for students grades 9-12 to develop water safety skills, environmental stewardship, and place-based ecological and historical literacy.
• Polynesian Voyaging Society (Hawai’i, U.S.) will engage student navigators in storm training and the ancient science of non-instrument, wayfinding navigation while sailing through the ‘Alenuihāhā Channel between the islands of Maui and Hawai’i in preparation for crossing the Pacific Ocean. The project will galvanize action on climate change and inspire ocean protection.
Headquartered in Newport, RI, 11th Hour Racing works to mobilize sailing, maritime and coastal communities with an innovative approach to inspire solutions for the ocean. Driven by a philosophy of “local solutions to global problems,” the organization connects international sailing teams with global events and utilizes these platforms to spotlight a broad portfolio of community grant projects.
For more information, visit 11thhourracing.org. ■