MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair State University and the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris Inc. (MHAEM) have been awarded the recipient of an Impact100 Essex award, officials announced.

Impact100 Essex has announced the four finalists for this year’s grant award. One of the finalists will be selected to receive a $100,000 grant during the organization’s Annual Meeting which will take place, virtually, on January 26.

“The proposed projects of this year’s finalists address the Covid-19 crisis, social justice training and mental health initiatives, all critically important areas as we close out 2020.” said Kate Shoemaker, co-chair of the Impact100 Essex grant committee.

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Montclair State University will use the funds to launch a social justice initiative for teachers. The “Newark Social Justice in Teaching Initiative” (NJSTI) is designed to train teachers in social justice, anti-racist training and healing centered pedagogy within the Newark school system. The program will be geared toward discussing racism and dismantling it in their teaching practices.

Located in Montclair, the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris Inc. (MHAEM). The organization expresses that they will use the grant award to create a hands-on art therapy-based program for children and teens ages 4 -18 impacted by the mental illness of a family member via curriculum development and implement workshops focused on psycho-education, support, skill building, and stigma-free dialogue.


The 2020 finalists are as follows:

Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris Inc. (MHAEM) To open the “The Cloud Club for Kids: Every Cloud has a Silver Lining,” a hands-on art therapy-based program for children and teens ages 4 -18 impacted by the mental illness of a family member. The program will develop curriculum and implement workshops and webinars--consisting of psycho-education, support, skill building, and stigma-free dialogue--that will impact some 80 children in the initial phase, and will allow MHAEM to advocate for funding for this underserved group.
 
Montclair State University To launch the “Newark Social Justice in Teaching Initiative” (NJSTI) which will create a diverse, highly prepared cadre of teachers trained in social justice, anti-racist training and healing centered pedagogy and commit to place 80% of trained teachers into the Newark school system. The NSJTI supports new teachers in understanding the full system of racism and dismantling it in their teaching practices, clearing the path for Newark K12 students to reach their highest potential, and will build a replicable model.


 
North Jersey AIDS Alliance, Inc. DBA North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI) To help stop the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable, poverty-stricken and homeless populations by providing free essential PPE and education on safe practices including CDC approved COVID-19 social distancing, safety and hygiene precautions to over 1000 clients through their drop-in centers and mobile units. This addresses the ongoing need for PPE and educational outreach in an area where COVID-19 is rampant.

Prevent Child Abuse NJ To implement a research-based, trauma-informed Children’s Wellness Initiative in five Essex County schools or childcare centers, with the goal of reaching 1500 students and their families. The multi-faceted approach builds on a successful methodology to equip schools, children, and families with tools to build resilience, adapt to stressors in a healthy way, promote social-emotional awareness, and to experience support from a more nurturing school environment.

“These four finalists are proposing particularly transformational projects that will substantially impact lives of our neighbors in Essex County”, said Mayuri Chandri, co-chair of the grants committee.

For more information about Impact100 Essex and to find out how you can join, go to: www.Impact100Essex.org.