Previous Acara fellowships included the following:
Patricia Columbus-Powers started this high-end Native American fashion house that allows consumers to represent Native American success and contribute to empowering Native American designers to end cultural appropriation of Native American culture in fashion, provide employment to Native American felons, and promote healing and self-expression through art. Patricia was a feature in the Minnesota Alumni Magazine.
Minnesota Freedom Fund
Simon Cecil & Adam Roa founded Minnesota Freedom Fund, which pays bail for low-income individuals and connects them with legal support, helping them reconnect with their jobs, homes and families. It seeks to cast light on inequities in the legal system and ensure that no one is stuck in jail for the crime of being poor. Read the Star Tribune article here.
Chris Bulkley-Logston and Kaylea Brase founded Pure Paani, which provides portable, hand-operated water filtration devices to a network of micro-entrepreneurs living in communities in which potable water access is minimal. Pure Paani plans on initiating a pilot study, which involves testing the effectiveness of the filter, gathering customer feedback, developing a product assembly procedure and assessing the business model.
Sonja Ausen-Anifrani, Katelyn Pastick & Meg KenKnight Burman founded SMS Maama, a text messaging service for pregnant women in Uganda. Women receive informational and interactive screening texts and are connected with a midwife should follow-up be indicated. Find more information here.
Beekeeping and Honey Networking in India
Erin Kayser utilized her background as a beekeeper to help Last Forest Enterprises connect with local honey sources to bring sustainable, organic and fair trade honey from farmers to consumers and other organizations. She also studied hive management and how it can help successfully increase a farmer’s income.
Bringing Healthcare to Remote India
Robin Walz worked with the SELCO foundation to assess local health-care infrastructure and identify ways in which the organization could improve access to quality health care for remote locations in India. His work involved studying the health-care system, visiting health centers and health professionals, and researching health-care technology innovations from around the world.
Ova Woman: Supporting Women’s Intimate Health
Elise Maxwell started her company, Ova Woman, with the vision of promoting the use of menstrual cups for local women and the support of Acara. Now, her company supports a variety of women’s intimate health initiatives through education, e-commerce and building a customer community.