Local Nonprofits Receive National Award from The Atlantic and Allstate for Driving Positive Change in Underserved Communities

Recognition comes with $150,000 in grants from Allstate

New Orleans (March 27, 2018)—At a symposium in New Orleans today, The Atlantic and Allstate will announce winners of the third annual Renewal Awards, honoring nonprofits across the country for their innovative, grassroots approach to driving change in their communities and bringing progress to the country. Five winners and five runners-up were selected for the third annual award, which comes with $150,000 in grants from Allstate, the sponsor of the awards, to further their work.

This year’s Renewal Award recipients—based in Austin; Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Memphis; New Orleans; and Oakland—offer vastly different services with a common underpinning: to expand the scale of opportunity for a diversifying America. Many of this year’s winners are focused on building bridges to the social and economic mainstream for populations that have been excluded but are growing. Their work includes serving low-income or disadvantaged populations by offering job and entrepreneurship opportunities, mentorship, and educational resources. The winners have affected thousands of lives and serve as role models for other organizations grappling with how to drive change in communities across the country.

“The Renewal Awards are an important component in The Atlantic’s broad journalistic commitment to covering the way local communities are addressing challenges through bottom-up innovation and creativity,” said Bob Cohn, president of The Atlantic. “We’re grateful to Allstate for generously supporting the awards program and for its partnership on The Renewal Project.”

The Renewal Awards drew nearly 3,000 nominations, six times the number of nominations as the previous year. Judging criteria included the current and future impact of each nominee’s program and the program’s ability to be replicated in other communities. Each winner receives a $20,000 grant from Allstate, the sponsor of the award, to further their work. Five runners-up will also receive a $10,000 grant from Allstate—a new element in this year’s awards.

“Allstate is honored to support the innovators and creative problem solvers who are this year’s Renewal Award winners,” said John Riley, Allstate agency owner, Greater New Orleans Area, Allstate. “Their commitment to driving positive change here in New Orleans and in their local communities is inspiring. As a small business owner, I’ve seen firsthand how great ideas start at the local level—and have the power to change lives.”

The honorees were selected by public vote and a judges’ panel comprised of Atlantic editors, led by senior editor Ron Brownstein, past Renewal Award winners, and outside members including Hector Barreto, Chairman, The Latino Coalition; Eric Liu, Founder and CEO, Citizen University; Cecilia Muñoz, Vice President, New America Foundation; and Jennifer Roberts, former Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Allstate selected the Youth Empowerment Award winner and runner-up.

The Renewal Award winners are:

  • AnewAmerica (Oakland, California): Leverages entrepreneurship to train and coach low-income individuals to start their own businesses that support economic growth for themselves and their communities.  
  • Con Mi MADRE (Austin, Texas): Provides services to Latinas and their mothers that increase preparedness, participation, and success in post-secondary education. All participating seniors graduate high school and 80 percent enroll directly into postsecondary education; additionally, many mothers return to school after experiencing the program with their daughters.
  • Hazleton Integration Project (Hazleton, Pennsylvania): The project, which opened a community center in 2013, creates opportunities for thousands of economically disadvantaged children to participate in free or low-cost education, cultural, and athletic activities. Under the guidance of Chicago Cubs Manager and Hazleton native Joe Maddon, the organization has built bridges and succeeded at reducing tensions between Hazleton’s growing immigrant population and longer-term residents.
  • Let’s Innovate Through Education (Memphis, Tennessee): Equips African-American and Latino students with skills to become entrepreneurs and secure high-wage jobs. LITE's vision is to close the racial wealth gap by empowering young entrepreneurs of color to launch scalable businesses through an eight-year training model that prepares students with capital, networks, and coaching.
  • Allstate Youth Empowerment Award: Youth Empowerment Project (New Orleans, Louisiana): Engages underserved youth through community-based education, mentoring, and employment readiness programs to help develop skills and strengthen family and community ties. For 13 years, YEP has designed and operated innovative free-of-charge programs that meet the needs of out-of-school and disconnected youth helping them develop skills and strengthen ties to family and community.

The Renewal Award runners-up are:

  • Family Agriculture Resource Management Services (Rock Hill, South Carolina):Protects the family farmer through education and retail market expansion while relieving hunger in the farmer's community.
  • Fugees Academy (Atlanta, Georgia): A non-profit organization devoted to working with child survivors of war.
  • Profound Gentlemen Inc (Charlotte, North Carolina): Builds a community of male educators of color to establish a cradle to career pipeline for boys of color.
  • Soldier’s Angels (San Antonio, Texas): Provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families, and a growing veteran population.
  • Allstate Youth Empowerment runner up: Summer Search (San Francisco, California): Helps high-school students strengthen the personal and practical skills needed to become college-educated leaders.

Brownstein writes about this year’s winners, and the larger story they tell about a changing America, in a piece published now at TheAtlantic.com.

Started in 2015, The Renewal Awards spotlight grassroots solutions to challenges faced by communities around the country and the people making a positive difference. The awards are the flagship initiative of The Renewal Project, The Atlantic and Allstate’s broader partnership that spotlights innovation and celebrates change-makers in local communities. With this year’s award, 16 organizations have received more than $300,000 in grants from Allstate to further their work. To learn more about the awards, and read about past winners, please visit TheRenewalProject.com.


About The Atlantic
Founded in 1857 and today one of the fastest growing media platforms in the industry, The Atlantic has throughout its history championed the power of big ideas and continues to shape global debate across print, digital, events, and video platforms. With its award-winning digital presence TheAtlantic.com and CityLab.com on cities around the world, The Atlantic is a multimedia forum on the most critical issues of our times—from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. Bob Cohn is president of The Atlantic and Jeffrey Goldberg is editor in chief.

About The Allstate Corporation
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names. Other growth platforms include predictive analytics company Arity and consumer-product protection plan company SquareTrade. Allstate is widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®.” Allstate agencies are in virtually every local community in America. In 2016, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $42 million to support local communities.