Pass the Green: Support BIPOC in Cannabis!

USAN (Urban Stewards Action Network) hosts Food Fun(d)ing Fridays, a quarterly fundraising event where local start-ups focused on food justice can pitch their idea. Audience members vote for the most moving projects but everyone walks away with a grant award. This is a grassroots fundraising event which convenes community members to learn about and support emerging urban farming and food projects in Chicago. Previous winners have used their cash prizes to purchase a roof for a garden or rent a kitchen for their catering businesses. As a result, almost $14,000 has been granted to over 16 local food start-ups led by and in communities of color that have historically been excluded from capital grants. All participants have been BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) business owners or project leaders.

During each quarterly edition of Food Fun(d)ing Fridays, we typically provide four awards, the top award being $1,000. However, for the first time ever, we aim to provide up to 8 awards! The 4 additional awards will be specifically for BIPOC-owned cannabis businesses. The next Food Fun(d)ing Friday contest will be held on Friday, October 25, 2019. 

Will you help us raise some green to support emerging BIPOC leaders in Illinois' cannabis industry?

Currently, there aren’t any established cannabis businesses owned by BIPOC in Illinois. We intend to change that, but we need your help. The fee to apply for any cannabis-related license in Illinois is $5,000, and the cost to revise a license once approved can cost as much as $40,000.

We firmly believe that small amounts go a long way and what’s more, they contribute to our local solidarity economy. That’s why for the first time ever we are opening up Food Fun(d)ing Fridays for community sponsors who want to donate a little more than their ticket entrance! For each additional $50 you donate, we’ll add an extra entrance and beverage ticket.  If you donate more than $250, we’ll add your name as a community sponsor on our program and throw in a social media shoutout!

Got a few more benjis to give? Check out our sponsorship packages here

About the Hosts

Food Fun(d)ing Fridays is organized by the Urban Stewards Action Network (USAN). USAN was officially formed in May of 2017 when Black and Brown leaders of the local food system in Chicago came together to cultivate connections, provide mutual support, and transform the food system across communities of color. USAN has been in the works for a number of years and has been supported by the Chicago Food Policy Action Council. Since its inception, USAN has lead with the values of transparency, integrity, innovation, creativity, cooperation, and celebrating the abundance of social and cultural assets. USAN is currently comprised of members from Grow Greater Englewood, Urban Growers Collective, Englewood Village Farmer's, Getting Grown Collective, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, as well as local farmers and community members.