FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
REFUGEE ARTISAN INITIATIVE SELECTED AS A RECIPIENT OF THE BECU FOUNDATION'S 2022 GREEN EQUITY INITIATIVE GRANT
September 9, 2022 | Seattle, Washington - On August 30, 2022 The BECU Foundation announced nine recipients of its inaugural 2022 Green Equity Initiative. The foundation committed up to $875,000 to support nonprofits with their sustainable economy endeavors. Refugee Artisan Initiative has been selected to be a grant recipient in the “Elevating Circular Economy” category.
The Green Equity Initiative grant will support RAI’s work in circular innovation helping to fund their Coffee Bag Reuse Project. This project diverts coffee bags from landfills by upcycling them into a diverse portfolio of household products. Contributing to the circular economy, RAI strives to divert 5,000 pounds of textiles from landfills each year.
The sponsored project takes coffee bean bags that cannot be recycled and transforms them into functional, beautiful products. All products are handmade by refugee and immigrant women from home countries, such as Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Myanmar, respectively. RAI Artisans receive a fair, living wage and skills training, which provides stable income and work flexibility.
“I'm excited that we can use our creativity turning un-recyclable, aluminum lined bags into functional beautiful products by our refugee and immigrant women artisans while paying them a living wage,” says Founder & Executive Director, Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman. “It's a TRUE circular equitable economy model.”
Thanks to the support of the BECU Foundation, the Refugee Artisan Initiative can continue to bring about environmental and social impact – training more refugee and immigrant women providing a pathway to be self-sufficient while reducing the community carbon footprint.
“Through our Green Equity Initiative, we are aligning the BECU Foundation's giving efforts with nonprofits dedicated to positive long-term environmental impacts,” said Gloria Dixon, BECU’s director of Philanthropy and executive director of the BECU Foundation.
Read more about The BECU Foundation’s Green Equity Initiative and its nine recipients.
About Refugee Artisan Initiative:
Refugee Artisan Initiative is a women-led non-profit organization that partners with refugee and immigrant women to foster an inclusive and prosperous transition to the US through artisan skills training and micro business development. Founded in 2017 by Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman--an immigrant herself--RAI provides tailored support and a creative marketplace for refugee and immigrant women in the sewing trades. Artisans earn a living wage and work flexible hours to accommodate child care needs. RAI’s work is built on these four pillars: Equity, Community, Skills Training and Sustainability. Their maker space is located in the heart of Lake City, a neighborhood of Seattle where over twenty-one languages are spoken. To learn more, visit refugeesarts.org