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Impact Austin makes first grant to collaboration

Friday, November 8, 2019 by Tai Moses

A collaborative initiative has received a grant to address a widespread yet rarely acknowledged societal problem: the adultification of black girls. The women’s philanthropic organization Impact Austin awarded its first-ever social innovation grant of $110,000 to the Innocence Initiative, a partnership between MEASURE Austin, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Hearts 2 Heal, Lone Star Justice Alliance, and Community Advocacy and Healing Project. A press release from Impact Austin announcing the award describes adultification “as a social or cultural stereotype that is based on how adults perceive children in the absence of knowledge of children’s behavior and verbalization. With adultification, racial stereotypes become more important than the fact that they are children, depriving them of the safety and security they would be granted otherwise.” Meme Styles, the founder of MEASURE Austin, said, “Black girls receive disproportionate rates of punitive treatment in the education and juvenile justice systems. The Innocence Initiative will elevate the data, listen to the real-life stories of black girls, and address disparities that perpetuate adultification through advocacy, training, and a public awareness campaign.” Christina Canales Gorczynski, the executive director of Impact Austin, noted that this is the first time the organization has focused its grant-making on a collaborative effort rather than on a single nonprofit, which she said makes the award particularly meaningful.

Impact Austin awards its first-ever social innovation grant to the Innocence Initiative.

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