2020 Fennie Community Fund
Legal-name: Earthlodge Center for Transformation
Address: 235 E. Broadway, Suite 800
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501 C 3
Officer-title: Board Chair
Mission: The Earthlodge Center for Transformation is a black led organization that was established in 2004. We are a volunteer-run non profit located in Long Beach, CA. We provide a healing hub for the BIPOC LGBTQI+ community and all allies, elders and children. Our grounding principle of Healing Justice provides a space where movement work and spirituality can be honored in an intergenerational manner in a nature based setting in the heart of Long Beach. We provide wellness and regeneration and a safe place to heal, recoup, be inspired, get grounded and remain rejuvenated for underserved Black, people of color and women’s communities.
ContactTitle: Executive Director
Grant-purpose: To provide support for curriculum materials, food, and small guest teacher stipends for teaching at the children’s homeschooling project during COVID 19 at the Earthlodge while school districts are closed and throughout the summer. Furthermore, to support the continuation of our organization’s core children’s programming the Girls Rites of Passage and annual Children’s Ceremony.
What-is-project: The purpose of the project is to provide a meaningful teaching curriculum to the youth associated with the Earthlodge as schools are closed during shelter in place. Usually, the children learn about nature and how to meditate in a safe and loving environment at the Earthlodge. Since shelter in place during COVID, we have had to be creative in engaging the children in our community. There are currently 5 students in the Earthlodge homeschool program and we are unable to expand it due to lack of resources. The Earthlodge school teaches children (age 6 – 8 yrs) how to read, meditate (to keep anxiety down after students have been out of a classroom setting for over 3 months in a drastically changing world), math, science, yoga, CPR, planting and groundskeeping at the Earthlodge. All of those in attendance are children of color.
The Earthlodge also runs the Girls Rites of Passage Healing and Self-Empowerment group for at-risk girls of color ages 12-17. This support group was established in 2016 to gather young girls in a safe space to talk about challenges most present for them, process traumatic experiences, and receive counseling and guidance through significant cycles of growth. We teach arts, crafts with a lens on wellness, and have taken our members to cultural performances. We have had 50 girls pass through this program.
How-will-you-succeed: We know that we are succeeding by the brightness in the eyes and enthusiasm to learn during Earthlodge homeschool. Maintaining that our children are happy and healthy and anxiety free is key during a time like this. Our children are learning in a classroom setting and are remaining school ready so that they are ready academically and emotionally to return to school when the schools reopen.
The Earth School, although developed during COVID, is part of a larger children’s curriculum that the Earthlodge runs year round to teach our children about environmental justice and sustainability in an urban setting and provide emotional wellness and balance for happy and healthy children. In terms of our Girls Rites of Passage Program, we will know we are successful by their level of engagement and sharing.
We have also often held circles where girls open up about issues they can not share with their parents. Peer discussion and adult guidance has been critical to the growth and development of the youth in our programs.
I’ve added pictures in the Executive Director letter to demonstrate this.
Who-are-you: The Earthlodge Center for Transformation is a black led organization whose founding principle is to connect with nature is one of the best ways to ground the mind and soul. Our Board Chair began this work over 25 years ago and continues to provide programming for the needs of the community. Earth School evolved as a community need. Ensuring that healing remains an accessible right for all is our core mission and providing a safe space for children during school closures and shelter in place ensures both their acadmic and mental well being having a rippling effect to their parents and to the community at large. We were established as an organization in 2004. We are a volunteer-run non profit located in Long Beach and provide an intergenerational healing hub for the BIPOC LGBTQI+ community and all allies. The majority of participants who come to the Earthlodge are activists and organizers who engage in racial, gender, immigration, and economic justice movements. Our grounding principle of Healing Justice provides a space where movement work and spirituality can be honored in relationship to one another. We provide wellness and regeneration for the children of our community as well and we have an Earth based land steward curriculum that they participate in year around.