ISI Project Results

Sonoma Valley Sun Newspaper

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The Sonoma Valley Sun has been published for nearly twenty years. It will resume publication in June, following the sudden, unexpected death of Owner-Publisher-Editor Val Robichaud, a beloved member of the Sonoma Valley media community.

To preserve Val’s legacy, and to build on the newspaper he poured his heart and soul into, four of his friends and Sun associates have committed to carrying the paper forward while lifting it to new heights to make it bigger, better, and stronger than ever, as a community owned and community operated not-for-profit publication.

To that end, the paper has obtained fiscal sponsorship of the non-profit of Inquiring Systems Inc. and can now receive tax-deductible contribution to underwrite its efforts.

David Bolling, former editor and publisher of the Sonoma Index-Tribune, Sonoma magazine and Valley of the Moon magazine; Larry Barnett, former Sonoma Mayor and City Council member, current chair of the Sonoma City Planning Commission, 20-year sun contributor and a retired local business owner; Anna Pier, non-profit executive, bilingual teacher, journalist and civic
volunteer; and Alyssa Conder, a multi-faceted graphic designer, web developer, marketing manager, Facebook group developer and 2021 recipient of the Spirit of Sonoma Award from the Sonoma Chamber of Commerce, collectively represent more than 150 years of living in the
Sonoma Valley have joined together to pursue this task.

The re-launched Sonoma Valley Sun will be an independent, community-driven, nonprofit, bi- weekly newspaper free to the public, incorporating numerous community voices and addressing an agenda of community concerns that will help inform public policy on a wide range of key
issues and subjects of widespread interest.

For more information, email David, Larry, Anna or Alyssa @ sonomasun.com.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to the Sonoma Valley Sun! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Sonoma Valley Sun” included in the memo. 

Grazing School of the West

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Grazing School of the West (GSW) is a nonprofit multidisciplinary vocational training program for aspiring livestock and land stewards. With learning hubs in both southern and northern California, GSW provides agricultural education that addresses the specific needs of varied landscapes across the West, using an ecologically prescriptive approach to sheep, goat and cattle grazing. GSW also offers a working methodology that can be shared with other organizations and institutions with a common vision.

Our mission is to provide meaningful land- and animal-based learning experiences to inspire a new generation of practitioners who understand science, risk, ecology, animal husbandry, and community care. Through building a workforce in prescribed grazing, our goal is to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis by preventing wildfires and restoring biodiversity in depleted and fire-prone landscapes, while also providing opportunities for regionalized food and fiber production.

Our vision is to create a culture of care for the land, for animals, and for each other through experiential education in the fields of land stewardship and regenerative agriculture, leading to rewarding and impactful work opportunities.

Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to the Grazing School of the West! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Grazing School of the West” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Collective Resilience

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With ecological and social challenges, humanity is at a crossroads. People from all sectors – community leaders to government officials – must come together to build resilient, regenerative & equitable communities.

Collective Resilience is a Bay Area-based nonprofit organization working on a place-based, community-driven approach to the Climate Crisis.

The purpose of Collective Resilience is to inspire people-powered, nature-inspired and equity-based resilience through place-based projects. Our intention is to help guide resilience hubs, spaces and blocks to evolve and flourish through training workshops, equitable funding distribution and authentic cross-sector collaborations.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to Collective Resilience! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Collective Resilience” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Intergen

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Generational wealth plays a vital role in engaging long-term structural challenges and opportunities few other actors can anticipate and address. Unique to family offices is the responsibility to evaluate risk over an extended timeline, so as to manage wealth across generations. 

At a moment when it is possible to identify clear signs that our existing infrastructure and ways of life are at risk of undergoing significant and unprecedented changes, Intergen. Family bridges a crucial gap in succession planning by supporting families to align legacy with flourishing futures. It does so by informing and resourcing the long-term goals of family office stakeholders while providing short and medium-term activities that empower the rising generation (Rising-Gens) to engage in initiatives that take multiple generations to realize.

Intergen’s core competence is facilitating leading-edge learning and action, centered in human development and flourishing that honors freedom of choice and individual purpose.

Please consider making a donation to Intergen! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Intergen” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Myth School

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The mission is to provide top-quality educational and entertaining online instruction in the field of mythology, including gods, demons, and mythological animals, in the service of the evolution of human consciousness for the benefit of all Life.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to Myth School! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Myth School” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

The Institute of Relational Being

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Many individuals in contemporary Western societies, particularly those in the Global North, are grappling with a profound crisis of context. Navigating reality from a human-centered perspective and dominant story in which our species is detached from the rest of nature, and in most cases, believing they are in charge of everything. A shift is needed where humanity moves away from an ownership belief system towards a companionship way of thinking, living, and being. Where we humans humble down and appreciate that we are nature, too. From there we open ourselves up to navigating reality with awe and reverence, in active relationships and collaborations with the rest of this living world.

The Institute of Relational Being and the ReBe App offer platforms and frameworks for nurturing and merging holistic practices and processes which help recombine humans with nature, and culture. Our goal is to honor, highlight, and celebrate the profound interconnected entanglement that binds us all. This is a journey we embark on together with our more-than-human companions. Where every breath is enriched by our awareness and reverence for the multi-species, ecological community we are a part of.

Grounded in relationships, our mission is to embark on a vulnerable exploratory process of reorientation and remembrance. Involving practices rooted in a devotion to being present. Through this process, you, as a human being, can gain a clearer understanding of your place as part of this shared journey, not only as a human being, but also as a Relational Being. Our goal is to encourage mindful and caring engagement, in collaboration with the shared ecology you are intimately intertwined with. From an eco-centric framework, moving outwards, this allows you to embrace the magnificent relationships you have all around you that exist beyond the human-centered realm. Through navigating reality in this way, ideally you are better able to see that you belong as part of this living planet, along with the rest of nature.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to the Institute of Relational Being online or by check.
You can make checks payable to ISI with the Institute of Relational Being included in the memo & send checks to ISI.

Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Our Lived Experience

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  • Our mission is rooted in the conviction that every person’s lived experience is a valuable asset, capable of driving positive change and shaping a world that reflects the principles of justice, equity, and progress. We spent our careers in social justice work. As we rolled up our sleeves and dug into hard social problems across the country, we met the most authentic, real-deal social innovators, with groundbreaking outcomes, but they’re not Google-able.
  • For lived experts, we are a space where our stories matter, our voices resonate, and our lived experiences shape the narrative. At Our Lived Experience, we are not just a community; we are a movement, a collective force for change, progress, and social justice.
  • In a world that sometimes struggles to truly listen, we’ve created a haven where every voice finds its chorus, and where your unique journey contributes to the vibrant tapestry of our shared existence.
  • For organizations, systems, and institutions, we are phone-a-friends when you’re wrestling with complex issues that impact the good of humans where you live. We offer everyone ONE FREE HOUR, and will curate you a team of practical-wisdom consultants who will make sure you don’t step in the rabbit holes.

Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to Our Lived Experience! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Our Lived Experience” included in the memo.
 
​Mailing Address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23 Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Mindful of Nature

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Mindful of Nature Mission

Mindful of Nature is a nature based organization, that helps foster people’s connection, awareness and love of the natural world through offering mindfulness-based nature practices, programs and retreats, which in turn helps people develop a care and stewardship for the earth and all species.

Mindful of Nature origins

Mindful of Nature draws on the work and teachings of Mark Coleman, Buddhist meditation teacher, author and founder / director of Awake in the Wild, an organization dedicated to delivering mindfulness in nature retreats, programs, classes and teacher trainings for over twenty years worldwide.

Mindful of Nature Objectives are: 

  • To educate and guide people in the techniques and practices of mindfulness in nature that support a deeper and more engaged relationship with the natural world.
  • To offer programs where people access a natural sense of well-being, healing, joy and peace through meditation in nature.
  • To increase access to nature for underserved populations, elders and communities who have diminished access to the outdoors.
  • Offer programs encouraging youth and young adults that foster understanding and connection to their local environment.
  • To offer programs to first responders, health care workers, teachers and other service professionals as a support for resilience, mental health and well-being.
  • To work with leaders, change-makers and environmental visionaries and support them using nature-based practices and perspectives.
  • Delivering evidence-based programs and courses available in various formats, from half-day to one day offsite programs, to multi-week courses, to residential retreats.
  • To conduct research on current nature meditation programs that demonstrate the efficacy of cultivating mindfulness in nature

Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to Mindful of Nature! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Mindful of Nature” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Great Green Way

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Empowering farmers through regenerative agriculture

The Great Green Way project focuses on developing resilient rural farming communities in various bioregions. The program promotes knowledge transfer of regenerative farming methodologies to create food security and economic independence for rural communities in various bioregions in Colombia. 

Since 2018, the project has supported female rural farmers in the bioregion around the community of Almaguer, located in Colombia’s South Cauca region, by improving their access to resources and facilitating the transfer of agricultural knowledge. By prioritizing the empowerment of rural farmers and women, our efforts served as a testament to systemic change and advancements in rural communities.

In the last few years, the Great Green Way Project has supported 960 rural female farmers and their families in developing self-sufficiency, stability, and self-confidence. 10,377 trees have been planted, and the women gained knowledge in regenerative agriculture methods such as crop care, natural fertilization, pest and disease management, harvesting, and distribution of the harvest to local markets.

Download the program brochure here.

Project Director: Claudia Meglin

You can make checks payable to ISI with the project name included in the memo & send checks to ISI.
Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Network of Applied Pharmacognosy

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The mission of the Network of Applied Pharmacognosy is to share the real-world applications of the synergies of nature by analyzing data and communicating research and educational information to the public.

We prioritize promoting and integrating within the natural medicines community and will communicate research findings through the lens of scientific advocacy and lived experience.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

The Eco-Institute at Sanctuary Farm

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The Eco-Institute at Sanctuary Farm offers educational programs and resilience-building gatherings dedicated to healing the human-Earth relationship.  We strive to be a presence of social and ecological awareness here on Sanctuary Farm, a 28-acre retreat center in central North Carolina- ancestral home of the Occaneechi Saponi, Sissipahaw, Eno, Shakori, Saura, and others who lived in mutually enhancing relationship with the Earth.

Educational programs include a Community Garden Cooperative, Seasonal Celebrations, and Regenerative Permaculture Immersion with a Decolonization Lens co-taught with Indigenous Partners. Our approach has been shaped by relationships with elders such as Joanna Macy, and Thomas Berry, and numerous indigenous teachers who explore the cultural and spiritual roots of the current ecological crisis.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to The Eco-Institute at Sanctuary Farm! You can make checks payable to ISI with “Eco-Institute” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

ReclaimRestorePointReyes

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ReclaimRestorePointReyes advocates for the gradual sunsetting of ranching leases (permits) in Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) and for increasing funding for this severely underfunded park. Ultimately, ReclaimRestorePointReyes wants to see all of the lands within the park boundaries be used for the natural world and for recreation, not commercial activity. However, we acknowledge the need to collaborate with the local West Marin community, a community that is predominantly agricultural.

Our advocacy work takes place in person at the Bear Valley Visitor Center (in PRNS), at other appropriate locations, and on social media. PRRR also advocates by organizing and producing events and by some lobbying of state and federal agencies.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Zero Waste Hawaii Island

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Zero Waste Hawaiʻi Island’s mission is to connect diverse Hawaiʻi Island communities to support equitable systems redesign and policy change to achieve zero waste.

ZWHI began in 2019 as a community group, hosting monthly meetings and doing community outreach. They grew to address Hawaiʻi Island’s waste problem by working to reduce packaging waste through policy and systems change.

ZWHI works closely with cultural advisement to engage the Kumu Honua Mauli Ola’s Honua ʻEkolu framework to impact change in the home, the larger community, and the global community. Their approach to shifting away from a single-use waste culture is to model systems of waste reduction that are grounded in Hawaiian value systems of Kanaka,`Āina, Akua Connections  (humankind, land, and spirit) – recalling the ancient relationship between land and humanity as a zero waste system. In 2022, ZWHI launched NO POHŌ, a pilot project to reuse refillable glass beverage bottles with The Locavore Store in Hilo.

Since Fall 2022, ZWHI has partnered with the non-profit Perpetual to work with county government, businesses, and Native Hawaiian communities to design a community-based reusable foodware program in Hilo.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to ZWHI! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Zero Waste Hawai’i Island” included in the memo. 

Mailing address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Poco Farm

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OUR MISSION is to create a culture of ecological inquiry that reconnects all humans to the wholeness of life on our planet, our community, and ourselves.

OUR VISION is of a neighborhood farm as a laboratory, meetinghouse, and heart home, inviting the community to explore and change our food and social systems through experiential, collaborative, cross-cultural learning.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to Poco Farm! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Poco Farm” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

SolPods

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SolPods is a sustainability-focused education platform created to inspire and empower a global community of changemakers.

INTRODUCTION:

Part social media and part education, SolPods offers workshops, corporate and individual training, inspiring podcasts, a curated job board, weekly eco challenges, and more. Our goal is to increase eco-friendly living at home, at work, and in the community. We also aim to educate individuals and businesses on the importance of incorporating sustainable practices in the short and long-term.

OUR VISION:

At SolPods, we are cultivating a sustainability community where positivity sparks solutions to protect and regenerate our planet for future generations. Our long-term goals include:

  • Supporting communities to more efficiently navigate their local sustainability resources
  • Providing free and enriching sustainability education for all
  • Expanding our platform as a safe and reliable source for sustainability education, connectivity, and community

OUR MISSION:

Empower a community of change-makers through sustainability education

OUR PLAN:

Our long-term objective is to offer sustainability education to a broad audience to help support a clean and prosperous transition for our planet. We plan to further build out our workshops, podcasts, and educational events. We will harness the power of students, professionals, and enthusiasts as well as partner with other nonprofits to help organically grow our community.

SPONSORSHIP AND POLICY FUNDING:

We are seeking donations and grants from individuals, organizations, and foundations to support the expansion of our educational resources including workshops, podcasts, and sustainability-related events that will drive impact both at a local level and on a global scale.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to SolPods! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “SolPods” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative

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We strive to facilitate a shift to a more sustainable food system, working from the perspective of faith-based values. Our mission is to reconnect people to a sustainable food system through their faith communities and to expand the base of the sustainable agricultural movement to improve public policy.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

ISFC Logo

Please consider making a donation to Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “ISFC” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Woman with her hands held up against a blue sky.

Village is Possible

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Village Is Possible seeks to address and heal cultural roots through the restoration of families and community (village) destroyed through colonization and genocide of Black and Brown Bodies.

Village Is Possible provides culturally sustaining, holistic, and intergenerational communal healing to youth and their families that have experienced sexual exploitation and community displacement by the child welfare system. When California Senator Lee created the first known State Bill in 2012 to address survivors of sex trafficking, he referenced his experience as a psychiatrist and noted that sexual trauma is one of the most invasive traumas we can experience to our identity and sense of selves. Youth who have experienced the foster care system are particularly susceptible to being recruited into the sex industry due to unmet needs around love, community, belonging, stable housing and a higher disposition to trauma bonding. “Child welfare involvement, specifically out-of-home foster care placement, is one of the top contributors in increasing the chances of sex trafficking (Davey, S. 2020).” Traffickers take advantage of this natural need for love and belonging, and manipulate their victim’s sense of self to the point where brand new identities are created as part of the survival mechanism. “A report conducted in 2016 by NCMEC found that 86% of the likely sex trafficking victims were in the care of social services when they went missing” (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children). Even with this knowledge, there are few consistent direct services provided for youth who have experienced exploitation. Staff shortages, funding scarcity and lack of cross system coordination serve as barriers in delivering services these youth deserve. Village Is Possible stands in the gap.

Village Is Possible cultivates healing-centered spaces of BEing for families caught within systems of human trafficking, child welfare, and incarceration, that allows them to heal and build bridges of connection to identities stolen from them by systems of oppression. We utilize a community-driven approach that involves grounding through collective healing, listening and acknowledging the hearts and needs of children, youth, and families, and restoring well-being through the development of intergenerational villages of care around them and the providers who care for them. We embody a sankofa approach of restoring connection to ancestral and future versions of ourselves, our community, and the land to achieve outcomes of liberation. Through this intentional and holistic process of re-connection, we are able to produce DEEP MEDICINE that can heal generations to come as well as the land we are connected to.

Our Services: 

  • Capacity Building & Program Development: Partnerships that facilitate the embedding and advancement of liberation in public and private organizations and systems.
  • Reconnecting with the Land: Opportunities for system impacted youth to develop a relationship with plants through herbalism and regenerative farming.
  • Community Participatory Action Research: Collaborative approach to research that involves all stakeholders throughout the research process, from establishing the research question, to developing data collection tools, to analysis and dissemination.
  • Nourishing Village Roots (coming July 2023): Culturally relevant services provided weekly to families impacted by the child welfare system and human trafficking.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Village is Possible logo

Please consider making a donation to Village is Possible! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Village is Possible” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Multiple hands clasping each other at the wrists.

WILDR

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Women in Leadership for Diverse Representation – WILDR – was launched in early 2022. It is led and supported through the efforts and contributions of core volunteers and other community members. 

Mission 

WILDR is committed to realizing more diverse representation by women in elected and appointed positions in Santa Cruz County. We support progressive women who reflect the communities they serve through training, networking, and leadership development. 

Vision 

Our vision is a democracy where elected officials and other leaders reflect the population, serving in roles that uplift all people in equity and justice. 

Where We Focus 

WILDR provides information, connects people to resources, and, most importantly, builds networks of support in Santa Cruz County and all of its jurisdictions. 

Values 

WILDR works to create the conditions for women with aligned values to enter and be supported in leadership roles, with a focus on elected and appointed positions in government. WILDR engages people that align with our core values, regardless of party. WILDR does not support specific candidates through endorsements or campaign funding. 

WILDR participants support and work to uphold:

racial and gender equity,

reproductive justice,

lifespan education funding,

voter access,

housing justice, and

equitable and shared economy for all.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to WILDR! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “WILDR” included in the memo. 

Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Illustration of a woman with flowery bright hair and headphones.

Medicinal Media

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Medicinal Media is a social benefit corporation committed to illuminating the art and science of beneficial media. We believe that artists and scientists around the world are crafting solutions to promote well-being within our society and we want to share their stories. Through our online publication and educational programming we seek to spread the word about media regenerating our connection to ourselves, communities and the earth.

We believe that scientists and artists around the world are crafting solutions to promote well-being within our society. 

We want to share their stories and advocate for their creations.

We do this through: 

  • Online Publication 
  • Digital Therapeutics Collaborative
  • Educational Platform
  • State and Federal Advocacy


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Please consider making a donation to Medicinal Media! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Medicinal Media” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Woman playing soccer

Accelerate Equity

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Title IX has greatly increased opportunities in education for girls and women. But 51 years in, most colleges and universities are not providing equitable opportunities or support for female student-athletes.

In 2021, women made up close to 56% of all college and university students but received fewer than 43% of spots on teams. As a result, women missed out on over 200,000 spots on teams they would have had if proportional opportunities were provided. Also, female athletes received $400 million less in athletic scholarship aid than male athletes in 2021.

Among the main reasons for the ongoing discrimination are a lack of understanding about Title IX and a lack of visibility into how schools are doing. Accelerate Equity aims to change that by providing an engaging, easy-to-understand look at how post-secondary schools are doing in providing gender equity in athletics. Once the data is accessible, it will support new approaches to achieving equity and be a powerful tool for all ongoing education and advocacy efforts. It will provide a basis to celebrate success, encourage improvement, expand awareness, and bring about change.


Mailing address: 887 Sonoma Ave, #23, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Accelerate Equity Logo

Please consider making a donation to Accelerate Equity! You can donate online or make checks payable to ISI with “Accelerate Equity” included in the memo. 

​Mailing Address:
887 Sonoma Ave, #23
Santa Rosa, CA 95404