We’re building a culture of resilience by shifting the narrative and joining in solidarity with our neighbors around Iowa City. We offer grants of space, time, money, and we are sticking with folks for the long haul.
Below are some specific examples of how we’re joining our neighbors to help shift our culture!
Tamarack Discovery School
Tamarack Discovery School is a new K-6 school in downtown Iowa City, co-founded by Katie Christiansen and Liz Ernst, that immerses students in a place-based education. Drawing on decades of experience in education and community-centered set of values, they incorporate the work of local residents, businesses, the government, and our natural resources to help students find their own path and their own connections here in Iowa City.
From our vantage point at RSFIC, it makes a lot of sense to invest in figuring out ways to teach our kids in connection with our community, because kids that grow up immersed in the opportunities and threats to our resilience will be more likely to find their part in the system and ultimately be more likely to stick around and contribute back. We think raising kids to understand the value of diversity at a pragmatic, systems level will in turn increase diversity in our community!
Through our Building Equity program, Tamarack has access to a beautiful school building in the middle of downtown. We’re trying to show that investments like this can be a normal way to improve our entire community. The financial risk profile for RSFIC is on par with conventional real estate investment, but the returns we expect include stronger and longer-lasting relationships, more engaged community members, a lower overall cost of education, and the benefit of getting more kids helping make our community better before they even graduate high school!
If you’re interested in joining Katie & Liz in building this kind of community, you can help them raise scholarship funds, share their website with a K-6 grader, or send Katie an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Multicultural Development Center of Iowa
The Multicultural Development Center of Iowa, founded & run by Tracy Jon Sargent, provides free community services ranging from free STEM training to mentoring programs and business incubation to underserved communities. They are working to make mentorship, skills, tools, and physical space available to empower a diverse set of local folks.
MDC Iowa is a member of the Nexus space, a new intentional community of leaders on Keokuk street. RSFIC established the space and welcomed MDCI into it, because we’re trying to show that low-cost, high-care investments like this could be a normal way to improve the diversity of our community. The financial risk profile for RSFIC is on par with conventional real estate investment, but the returns we expect include an increase in diversity in our community’s leadership, more collaboration between different organizations, a decrease in rent and other resources leaving the city, and a shift in our overall culture towards solidarity.
If you’re interested in joining Tracy in solidarity with MDC Iowa and their mission to empower the underrepresented and increase diversity in STEM, you can make a donation, sign up for their newsletter, or send Tracy an email at email@example.com!