Four Sioux Falls Nonprofits… | South Dakota Community Foundation

Four Sioux Falls Nonprofits Awarded CIGs

December 20, 2021 // Community Innovation Grants
Photo L to R: Korena Keys, Call to Freedom; Jeff Veltkamp, Director of Development, SDCF; Ginger Niemann, Senior Program Officer, SDCF; Billy Mawhiney, Executive Director, South Dakota Afterschool Network; Dawn Sternberg, Board Secretary, Call to Freedom; Goi Yol, Interim Executive Director, Conscious Youth Solutions and Taneeza Islam, Executive Director, SD Voices for Peace

Four Sioux Falls nonprofit organizations will share over $68,000 in grants provided through the South Dakota Community Foundation.

Call to Freedom, Conscious Youth Solutions, South Dakota Afterschool Network and South Dakota Voices for Peace were all successful applicants in Round 2, 2021 Community Innovation Grant awards from the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF). Community Innovation Grants are offered in partnership with the Bush Foundation and focus specifically on supporting community problem-solving projects. Forty-eight applications were submitted in Round 2 and eleven resulted in securing funding.

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) is proud to partner with these four organizations through our Community Innovation Grant program and provide support for their projects:

  • Call to Freedom (statewide): $20,000

Call to Freedom has spearheaded the development of the East River Human Trafficking Task Force (ERHTTF) since 2017. Their mission is to facilitate a collaborative effort to prevent trafficking of persons within the state and tribal nations, prosecution, education, awareness, and protection and provision of services to survivors. ERHTTF covers 44 counties in Eastern South Dakota. They are in Phase 2 of their strategic plan. Over 60 stakeholders are working collaboratively to reach all areas of South Dakota.

“Call to Freedom is honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Community Innovation Grant”, said Becky Rasmussen, Executive Director, Call to Freedom. “These dollars will be used to continue the development and expansion of the East River Human Trafficking Task Force. Together we can combat the issue of human trafficking in South Dakota, and we are grateful for the support of the South Dakota Community Foundation”.

  • Conscious Youth Solutions (Sioux Falls): $8,438

The mission of Conscious Youth Solutions is to bridge the gap between employers and young adults entering the workforce. Funds will support immigrant/foreign professionals rebuilding their careers in the U.S. and help employers understand and tap into this hidden talent pool. They will help foreign/immigrant professionals translate their past educational degrees and experience into obtaining jobs that best match their qualifications.

“This grant will help empower foreign and immigrant professionals as they work to rebuild their careers in this country”, stated Moses Tut, President & CEO, Conscious Youth Solutions.

  • South Dakota Afterschool Network (statewide): $20,000

The South Dakota Afterschool Network promotes afterschool programs, advocates public policy on behalf of afterschool programs, and encourages high quality in afterschool programs across South Dakota. Funds will help this nonprofit create a new partnership with Helpline Center’s 211 program to ensure the OST (out-of-school time) mapping database is accurate and inform parents and families of programs. They will also strategize with policymakers to invest COVID relief funds in high needs areas.

“The South Dakota Afterschool Network is thrilled to receive a Community Innovation Grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation”, declared Karla Johnson, advisor to the Executive Director, South Dakota Afterschool Network. “We will invest these funds to create a real-time, high level state-wide searchable data map of Afterschool in South Dakota. These funds will bring the data to life, with state-of-the-art data mapping software on the Network’s website”.

  • South Dakota Voices for Peace (statewide): $19,810

This project will raise educator awareness and understanding of their impact on South Dakota’s growing demographic of youth of color (YOC). Educators will learn and explore ways to address biases, bigotry, policies, and systems that may not be supportive of youth of color. Five to seven South Dakota school districts will be identified for educator participation. In partnership with the South Dakota Education Association, they hope to increase districts and students impacted across the state.

“In the fall of 2019 South Dakota Voices for Peace (SDVFP) co-hosted a Public Youth Forum to understand the experiences of young people of color, growing up in the area. Each one of the panelists described their first incident of discrimination being at school – elementary or middle school”, explained Taneeza Islam, Executive Director, SDVFP. “This prompted us to expand our Cohorts for Courage program, which brings together community members from similar sectors to develop an understanding of Islamophobia and anti-immigrant and refugee bigotry and how to take strategic actions against such incidents. This grant will allow us to dive deeper into training K-12 educators across the state as our next Cohort of Courage”.

About the SDCF

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers over 1050 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2020 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.

About the Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.