Five to Watch

Five to Watch was established out of a recognition of racial, cultural, and gender disparities within the leadership of the nonprofit sector and unequal access to organizational resources. In particular, the initiative seeks to bolster the leadership of women, people of color, and those with lived experiences of the challenges targeted, and to amplify the impact of their organizations.

As part of the ‘Five to Watch’ initiative, United Way GCR will issue grants annually to five such leaders whose organizations have less than $1 million in annual operating revenue. The selected organizations are innovators in their communities, implementing creative solutions to complex social problems. Alongside the grant, the initiative includes focused convening, technical, and peer support. Bringing the grantees and United Way GCR together as a cohort is a deliberate strategy to create a shared space for mutual learning and the cultivation of personal and professional networks.

We are proud to announce the 2020 Five to Watch Grantees:

BirthNet is a birth justice organization that works to eliminate the inequities in birth outcomes for all childbearing people and to ensure that all birthing families receive respectful and supportive maternity and infant care.

Learn more about BirthNet

Nakia Tillman

Co-Chair, BirthNet

BlueLight Development Group provides innovative development solutions to charitable organizations, corporations, and individuals who serve disadvantaged communities with notable concentrations of people of color and systemic developmental shortcomings.

Learn more about BlueLight Development Group

Travon T. Jackson

President, BlueLight Development Group

Mission Accomplished Transition Services prepares rising young professionals and entrepreneurs for the workforce by providing access to industry-specific coaching, mentoring, and sponsorship.

Learn more about Mission Accomplished Transition Services

Carmen Duncan

Chief Coach and Founder, Mission Accomplished Transition Services

Soul Fire Farm is a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)-centered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. It brings diverse communities together to share skills in sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice.

Learn more about Soul Fire Farms

Leah Penniman

Co-Director and Farm Manager, Soul Fire Farm

Youth FX works with diverse groups of youth from communities that have been historically under-served and in need of opportunities to learn filmmaking and acquire skills in emerging media technologies. Through hands-on programming and the collaborative and artistic process of making films, it amplifies the voices of young people in the Capital Region and beyond.

Bhawin Suchak

Co-Executive Director, Youth FX

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For more information and questions, email CommunityImpact@unitedwaygcr.org