Urban Democracy Feast seeks applicants for next round of crowdfunding

Child care services for single parents who work the second and third shift; urban farms that sell to local restaurants; worker owned co-operatives; independent community media, or scholarship requests to study abroad and return to implement the research results in Kalamazoo -- these are just some of the project that could be eligible for crowdfunding through the Urban Democracy Feast. 

The way it works is projects submit an application and four applicants are selected to make a five-minute presentation at the supper. Their presentations must exhibit evidence that they are addressing a shared need, have the support of other groups in the neighborhood, and that the project demonstrates direct democracy.

Those who want to be considered for funding have until Oct. 6 to apply. Applications in English and Spanish are available at the FEAST website. Hard copy versions are available at the Arcus Social Justice Center, Bilal Mosque, Eastside Neighborhood Association, Eastwood Library Branch, the Hispanic American Council, Kalamazoo Peace Center, People’s Food Co-op, Powell Street Library Branch, Vine Neighborhood Association, and the Washington Square Library Branch. Completed applications need to be returned to the same place where they were picked up. 

The next Urban Democracy Feast will take place Nov. 18 at First Congregational Church,  345 W. Michigan Ave., in Kalamazoo. 

Those who have previously sought crowd-funding through the Urban Democracy Feast include: Urban Exposure, Majyck Radio, Project X (Formerly Institute for New Leadership), Mama Sutra, Humans Beyond Boxes,  Kalamazoo Peace Center, the Hispanic American Council: Circles of Trust, Isaac: Future Leaders for Peace; JABS (Justice Against Bullying in Schools); La Amistad Farm;  and a group working to improve Black Infant Mortality Rate.

The Nov. 18 event is the fifth one to take place locally. It takes place over a meal so participants can exchange information about shared problems, discuss common obstacles and share ways to overcome them, organizers say. 
The goal of the organizers is to generate funds that provide the seed money for projects that might otherwise not get funded. Those who attend the feast vote on the presentations and projects receive funding based on the percentage of votes received. Applicants who do not receive funding are eligible to apply again at a future feast.

 Altogether, more than $3,000 has been raised and distributed at the feasts since they started in 2015. The Urban Democracy Feast defines social justice as equal access for all to resources and services. 

Doors open at 4 p.m. for the Nov. 18 feast and the event begins at 4:30 p.m. The process will be explained followed by announcements from organizations who have donated the food. Next there will be five-minute explanations from those seeking feast funding. They are asked to demonstrate that they are addressing a shared need, that they have support of other groups in the neighborhood, and the project demonstrates direct democracy. 

Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or online (with a service fee) at the feast website. Childcare will be provided.

Source: Urban Democracy Feast
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