At a summit in New York City today, The Atlantic and Allstate awarded five nonprofits from across the country with the fourth annual Renewal Awards, a national search to honor community-based organizations for their innovative, grassroots approach to driving change and bringing progress to the country.

The five groups were selected from 9,300 nominations and have collectively affected tens of thousands of lives by addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing America today: from housing and prenatal care for parenting and pregnant teens living in poverty; to preparing immigrants and refugees for life in a new country; to lifting up a city through the beautification and care of buildings. Several of the organizations are focused on empowering women and families, and four of the winning nonprofits are led by women.

The Atlantic and Allstate are proud to double the value of the grant and expand the leadership opportunities for the Renewal Award recipients this year. Each of the five winners announced today will receive $40,000 over two years to support their work. In addition, each of the five 2018 winners will receive a second grant today of $20,000, making their two-year total grant also come to $40,000.

“At a time of cynical tribalism and deep division in the life of the nation, this work is inspiring and humbling for all of us at The Atlantic,” said Bob Cohn, president of The Atlantic. “For the last four years, we have been on a hunt to find the most innovative community-based programs in America. With generous support from Allstate, we are helping these groups address the real problems that people face each day.”

“Across the country, this year’s Renewal Award winners are improving their communities by empowering women, supporting new immigrants, and providing innovative educational paths for young people,” explained Elizabeth Brady, Chief Marketing Officer at Allstate. “Allstate is proud to invest in these changemakers who are making a difference in the lives of others every day.”

The 2019 Renewal Award winners are:

  • Adelante Mujeres (Forest Grove, OR): Provides holistic education and empowerment opportunities to low-income Latina women and their families to ensure full participation and active leadership in the community.

  • The Compton Initiative (Paramount, CA): Offers groups and volunteers an opportunity to make an impact by instilling a sense of care and pride through painting homes, schools, and churches.

  • New Moms (Chicago, IL): Supports young mothers in finding housing, job training, hands-on experience, linking youth to permanent jobs, and offering guides towards financial independence.

  • Welcoming the Stranger (Philadelphia, PA): Offers free educational classes spanning ESL, computer, and citizenship preparation for adult immigrants and refugees to welcome them into the United States and celebrate their culture.

  • Allstate Youth Empowerment Award: Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (Oakland, CA): Engages and deepens students' understanding of nutrition, food production, and healthy living as well as their ties to the local community.

This year’s Renewal Awards drew three times the number of nominations as in 2018. Winners are selected through a combination of public voting and evaluations by a panel of judges; judging criteria included the current and future impact of each nominee’s program and the program’s ability to be replicated in other communities.

Judges were: former Mayors Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City, Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, and Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma, Washington; Anne Marie Burgoyne, Emerson Collective; Charlie Dent, former representative from Pennsylvania; Cesar Espinosa, For Families and Their Education; Kate Nack, The Allstate Foundation; Ron Brownstein of The Atlantic; and two 2018 Renewal winners, Bob Curry of the Hazleton Integration Project in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Melissa Sawyer with the Youth Empowerment Project in New Orleans. Allstate, along with public votes, selected the Youth Empowerment Award winner.

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: “How to Build Community in an Era of Division.”

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 covers innovation and celebrates change-makers in local communities. With this year’s award, 26 organizations have received $500,000 in grants from Allstate and The Atlantic to further their work. To learn more about the awards, and read about past winners, please visit TheRenewalProject.com.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.