The Coalition is pleased to announce that four Sites of Conscience were awarded Project Support Fund grants (PSF) in 2021. Awardees will each receive grants of up to $10,000 to implement innovative Sites of Conscience projects that enable local communities to emerge stronger from COVID-19.
Since 2008, the Coalition has funded over 100 PSF grants, including exhibition projects on the Martial Law era under Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, youth-targeted radio and digital media programs addressing social issues like HIV/AIDS, and memorialization projects honoring the thousands of Georgians who were imprisoned during “Stalin’s Purge”.
Below are the recipients of this year’s awards.
In June 2020, following George Floyd’s murder, peaceful protestors in Philadelphia gathered to march on I-676, only to then be entrapped and brutally attacked by police officers. The project “I-676 Community Conversations – Use of Force, Reconciliation, and Consensus” addresses these acts of violence committed by the Philadelphia Police Department during the Black Lives Matter protests. To promote community healing during a difficult time such as Covid-19, the Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust will carry out a series of community meetings over a period of six months with activists, social justice leaders, and local law enforcement to establish a dialogue among these groups through art-driven methodologies.
Devoir de Mémoire (Haïti) :
“Nostalgia: commemoration through music, a podcast”
In Haiti, school closures and lack of access to education due to the security situation in the country and Covid-19 have further isolated youth from the truths they yearn to know. The “Nostalgia: commemoration through music, a podcast” project will address Covid-19’s impact on the Haitian youth while confronting the effects of revisionism and correcting false narratives of everyday struggles in Haiti. Over a period of nine months, Devoir de Mémoire will develop a podcast to memorialize forgotten histories and give Haitians the right to know the legacies of abusive systems so that they can reshape their futures and change history. The podcast will use music as a story-telling vehicle and an inter-generational bridge.
Kdei Karuna Organization (Cambodia):
“Community Social Welfare Support during Covid-19 Pandemic”
Amongst survivors of the Khmer Rouge (KR) regime (1975-1979) in Cambodia, the habit of silence for
the sake of appearance, peace, and stability continues. Covid-19 and the country’s response to the ongoing pandemic have caused KR victims to relive their trauma. As a result, mental health support is needed now more than ever. “Community Social Welfare Support During Covid-19 Pandemic” will provide direct mental health relief to individuals and communities affected by the KR regime by strengthening community-based support and online counseling. Over a period of nine months, Kdei Karuna will identify needs; train fifteen local facilitators, and lead online trainings and in-person counseling services to build community resilience among KR survivors and their extended families, who face issues of re-traumatization, filling a gap of specialized welfare support for KR-survivors, especially in rural areas.
“Empowering children and communities to lead in creating a safe and GBV free environment during the COVID 19 pandemic”
Sexual and domestic violence negatively impacts the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of children; it violates their right to dignity, freedom and peace, and a life free of inhumane treatment. In Kenya, cases of sexual and domestic violence against children have been on the rise due to Covid-19, with children in poor households facing the greatest risks. Through creating safe spaces for intergenerational dialogues and human rights education, the project seeks to strengthen the capacity of parents, children, and community leaders in the slums of Majengo to design and implement community-level actions that protect children from violence.