The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation‘s monthly $1,000 mini-grant was formally awarded to the Ypsi March for Love, Resilience, and Action on February 6, 2017.
A group of Ypsilanti residents planned the march as a response to the inauguration of President Trump. The march was conceived to mobilize citizens to prepare creatively for the incoming Trump administration, to focus on local issues and build local resilience, to further alliances and express support across Ypsi, and as an option for local residents who were unable to travel to marches planned in Washington, D.C.
On Saturday, January 21, the march route passed by Ypsilanti sites that honor abolitionists, women of color, and other members of marginalized communities. The march also featured a theatrical performance, booths and spaces for community and social service resources, voter education/registration, a cozy space for breastfeeding, a nonviolent security team, a women-only (trans-inclusive) space, and more. The march attracted a crowd of 1,200.
The march planning committee planned two other events as well. On Monday, January 16, marchers also gathered to support Ypsilanti Community Schools’ teens in their Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and art show commemorating Frederick Douglass. And on Friday, January 20, marchers were invited to make banners and signs, share music, and express their responses to the election at Bona Sera.
Awesome Foundation funds were used for art supplies, permitting for the January 21 march, publicity, food and beverages at the event, and renting space for the event. Given the time-sensitive nature of the event, grant funds were awarded early on January 8.
The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation is the Ann Arbor chapter of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization known as the Awesome Foundation. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.