Since the beginning of time, music has been a catalyst for change. Today, music is linked to academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Rachel’s Network Member Sarah duPont is using music and the arts as a positive force in Benin and the Amazon Rainforest.
While queen conch has been a central part of Bahamian culture, economy, and cuisine for centuries; growing demand from the US has jeopardized local populations of the species. Rachel’s Network Member Martha Davis fell in love with queen conch while doing field work for her master’s degree. Now, through her organization Community Conch, she’s gathering and publishing vital information about this unique animal. With Martha’s help, and the commitment of her partners, volunteers, and local fisherman, the Bahamas can build back its dwindling conch population.
Divest-Invest Philanthropy is a coalition of U.S. and global foundations pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies and invest a portion of their assets in the clean energy economy. Members of the Divest-Invest Philanthropy initiative are united around a shared conviction that investments must not undercut philanthropy’s mission to serve the public good. Rather, endowed assets should advance both financial and ethical goals.
While doing field work in the Bahamas for her master’s degree in marine conservation, Martha Davis experienced firsthand the alarming decline of the islands’ queen conch population, a species of edible mollusk. Her nonprofit, Community Conch, conducts conch population surveys and advocates for conservation efforts to preserve this vital species. “With the support of the Department of Marine Resources and the Bahamas National Trust, we are using the information we collected at stakeholders meetings to reform regulations. It has been very rewarding to present our data at conferences and have scientists from the Bahamas and other Caribbean countries thank us for our work,” Martha says.
“All children should be exposed to the arts, celebrating humans’ greatest creative achievements,” says Sarah duPont, founder of CIAMO, one of Africa’s first tuition-free schools to offer art and music classes. The project was inspired by Sarah’s work in the U.S. developing curriculum for the humanities and environmental education, areas that are known to impact creative thinking. Bringing her idea for CIAMO to fruition, however, required six years of dedicated planning before the first students walked through the school’s door.
ClientEarth is the first public interest law firm in the European Union. It was launched in 2007 by philanthropist Winsome McIntosh and her husband Michael with support from the Rachel’s Network Fiscal Sponsorship Fund. The fund fosters the development of independent nonprofits by providing public charitable sponsorship. ClientEarth is now a registered charity in England and Wales and was recently named by Greenwire UK as the most effective environmental organization in Europe.