Start:Empowerment (S:E) is a rapidly growing 501c3 nonprofit dually located in Austin, TX and NYC.
S:E provides learning experiences that foster self-reflection, mindful relationship building, and sustainable community participation in local justice work. We utilize project based learning in the classroom that allows students to explore their interests and identities in relation to social-environmental justice as they demonstrate their knowledge. Our informed activism project helps students navigate digital organizing spaces and practice abolitionist SEL in their virtual relationships and communities. Our courses and projects center the indispensability of Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth. This principle guides our community development micro-grant project, which gives Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth the opportunity to transform their innovative community development ideas into practical activities that will positively impact their local neighborhood and disrupt inequality. We aim to connect students with professional practitioners and other resources that enable them to develop their voice and agency as community change makers.
In 2021, S:E expanded from its two founders to include an eight-person volunteer staff team managing everything from publications to community engagement (including grants, events, newsletters, and more). 2021 growth initiatives include the funding and building of our Climate Justice Community School set to launch in the Summer of 2022. The school aims to raise public consciousness on social and environmental justice issues, nuances and intersectionalities within the environmental and climate spaces, while providing accessible, radical community education on a wide range of topics for the general public, expanding the reach of our publications teams’ work and micro-grants program for youth-driven community projects.
Learn more about:
Who We Are
An Overview of Our Work
Start:Empowerment received the Tory Burch Foundation Grant and NYU Office of Sustainability Green Grant in response to the lack of environmental and social justice programming in NYC schools.
Hired our staff team and expanded our programs to Publications, Micro-Grants, Social Media & Campaigns, and Curriculum Development.
Was invited to the Climate and Resilience Education Task Force.
And crushed our records going into 2021!
Implemented our pilot program at the High School for Teaching and Professions (HSTP) in Bronx, NY.
To this day, they are still a current partner of ours :)
We are growing exponentially and we need your support!
Help us grow by: