Spotlight on Grantee: Greta McClain, fighting for the health and safety of all

by | Mar 10, 2023 | ShiftHappens

In late November, Greta McClain, Executive Director of Silent No Longer TN, was approached by a fellow community organizer about a coalition she and some others were trying to start called, “The People’s Party Coalition.”  This collection of individuals and organizations – nonprofit, faith-based and institutional – was created to remind Tennessee state leaders that they actually work for and are accountable to the people of the state. Together, they developed a platform, held a rally on the first day of the 2023 state legislative session and delivered the platform to the Governor, State Senators and Representatives.  

Since Governor Bill Lee has refused to expand Medicaid, the people have not received the 22.5 billion dollars in funding that is available to them. As a result, 16 rural hospitals have closed, and there are 13 more that may face the same fate.  In addition, he just turned down 10 million dollars in HIV treatment and prevention from the CDC because he didn’t want to have to give funds to Planned Parenthood.  When Greta was a police officer, she was exposed to HIV in 1994 after a suspect cut his hand on a broken beer bottle and then stabbed her in the leg with the bottle.  Thankfully, she did not contract HIV, but not all first responders may be as lucky. 

Greta attended the State of the State address with the intention of making sure she was seen and knew that meant that she might be arrested.  Just before they opened the doors leading from the House chamber,  she sat down about 10 feet away from the door with her sign. A Trooper told her to move because she was creating a safety hazard. She said there was plenty of room for people to get around her as she exercised her First Amendment right. He got in her face and told her to better get up. So she looked him square in the eye, told him that she wore the uniform for 12 years, told him what happened to her and said she was fighting for his health and safety, for the health and safety of all first responders, and the people of Tennessee, so he could do whatever he wanted to do.  By then there were cell phones, press cameras and reporters asking her name and what message she was trying to convey and the Trooper backed off.  She was not arrested that day but until the Tennessee state elected officials make some much needed changes, Greta refuses to sit back and watch them intentionally hurt marginalized communities.

 

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Academic professionals Carla Forte Maiolino Molento and Rodrigo Morais-da-Silva founded Cell Ag Brazil at the end of 2023 with support received from The Pollination Project. The objective of the newly created association is to reflect, contribute, and promote the development of cellular agriculture in Brazil through proactive promotion and unifying actions among different audiences interested in the development, production, and commercialization of food through cell cultivation processes. 
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With a seed grant, they founded the organization and designed a logo that represents their mission. They are now inviting people and organizations to participate in the association so that it gains greater relevance. 
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Their members will be distributed across three chambers: 1) academia, 2) private sector, and 3) third sector and civil society. With this, they aim for diverse representation and to create a positive movement to act in different areas to promote and accelerate alternative proteins in Brazil and Latin America.
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Billions of animals involved in food production in Brazil will be impacted in the medium to long term from this work. Data from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) indicates that approximately 6.1 billion chickens, 56.5 million pigs, and 30 million cattle were slaughtered in Brazil in 2022. 
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With this association, Carla and Rodrigo may help reduce the number of non-human individuals involved in food production as they help to speed up the replacement process with alternative proteins.
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In this World Day of Social Justice we celebrate the transformative impact of The Pollination Project and our dedication to seeding the essential change our world needs. Since its inception, The Pollination Project has been at the forefront of empowering grassroots initiatives, providing the crucial support needed for small-scale projects to blossom into powerful agents of social change.

Our unique model of micro-granting has enabled a diverse array of projects across the globe, touching upon various facets of social justice including environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and human rights. From providing clean water solutions in remote villages to empowering women through education and entrepreneurship, we always believed in the power of individual action to create a collective impact.

Each project funded is a testament to our faith in the inherent goodness and potential of every person to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society. These initiatives not only address immediate community needs but also foster a culture of empathy, equity, and inclusiveness - essential pillars for achieving true social justice.

On this World Day of Social Justice, let's draw inspiration from the myriad projects The Pollination Project has nurtured. Their work reminds us that each small seed of kindness and action can indeed grow into a mighty force for good, paving the way for a more just and compassionate world.