Praxis in Action ...

Digital Safari Innovation Project - Concord, CA
(an innovation initiative - current)

For over ten years, the Digital Safari Academy - a multimedia career academy at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, CA - has been developing and refining innovative project-based learning strategies including the GreenBizz Project, a highly successful multi-discipline project-based learning program that integrates entrepreneurship with economics, english and multimedia curricula. The GreenBizz Project culminates with the annual Digital Safari Innovation Fair - an exciting "tech expo" and business plan competition for student-run companies. The Digital Safari Institute was formed to provide a vehicle for taking the Academy's Innovation Project Model to other schools and to provide a platform for developing and testing effective project-based learning strategies.
    Digital Safari Innovation Fair:

The Saidia Fund (formerly Ambassadors for Africa) - Novato, CA
(an organizational development client and fiscally sponsored project - current)

Ambassadors for Africa was founded in 2011 to create sustainable funding for in hospital treatment for impoverished Ugandan children suffering from malaria. Praxis served as AFA's initial fiscal sponsor and providing organizational and technical support. Due to a variety of factors beyond AFA's control, purchasing and providing much-needed blood analysis equipment proved to be unfeasible. AFA revised its mission, renamed itself as The Saidia Fund, and is now focused on providing scholarships for young girls to attend private schools - a key route on the pathway out of poverty. Saidia's first scholarships were awarded in the Fall of 2013. The Fund has given out roughly $3,000 each year since.

Sustainable Contra Costa - Contra Costa County 
(an organizational development client - current)

Sustainable Contra Costa is a non-profit organization working to create more sustainable communities in Contra Costa County. SCOCO community activists are part of a growing coalition of individuals, families, businesses and organizations who are committed to making personal changes toward more sustainable living and working while also addressing broader issues and practices that affect our communities. Praxis is providing organizational and technical support and served as its fiscal sponsor in 2011. SCOCO is now an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Families ACT! - Santa Barbara, CA
(an organizational development client - current)

Families ACT! is dedicated to addressing the many challenges faced by individuals and families struggling with the impacts of co-occurring disorders of mental illness and drug dependency. In addition, Families ACT! actively educates the public about issues surrounding the treatment of people suffering from dual diagnosis. Praxis assisted Families ACT! in securing over $30,000 in seed funding to convene a countywide task force of stakeholders including civic leaders and family members to document the state of need in the county, develop strategies for improving community services, and outline a plan for a new residential treatment facility. Praxis continues to provide organizational and technical support.    

Past/Completed Projects

Digital Safari Academy's Career Explorations Program - Concord, CA
(an innovation initiative - 2010-2012)

Praxis has been an active partner with the DSA for over a decade. Our pioneering work at the Academy has transformed how core subjects are taught at the Academy. As a result of our achievements at the Academy, DSA was selected in 2009 as one of two academies in the nation to participate in a pilot project sponsored by a national educational research organization (MDRC) to develop and test models for increasing student exposure to careers and career paths through specialized in-class career work-shops and enhanced interactions with businesses and employers via job shadows and internships. Our efforts, challenges and solutions are being used to guide the roll-out of this program across the nation. We’re pleased to say that DSA's 2010, 2011 and 2012 internship programs were very successful - an average of 25 students were placed with 11 host organizations including the Willows Theatre Company, the Ambrose Teen Center in Bay Point, and the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority. Projects ranged from designing brochures and posters to creating web graphics and producing educational videos.

River Arts & Media - Guerneville, CA
(an organizational development client - 2014-2017)

Praxis was an active guide in the effort by residents of the greater Guerneville area to form a non-profit arts and cultural organization. The new organization to be called River Arts & Media, was envisioned to become the parent organization and/or fiscal sponsor for various innovative initiatives including the creation/re-launch of a low-power FM radio station. Praxis helped the founders frame their vision, guided their strategic planning process and supported the drafting of core organizational documents. Leading the way as an active member of RAM's "core group" was Kathy Ocean, a long-time Praxis associate and cultural activist. This effort continued into mid-2017 when the core group decided to delay the launch until 2018 at the earliest due to ongoing personal demands that took priority.

Friends of Project Insight - San Francisco, CA
(a fiscally sponsored project - 2007-2013)

Project Insight is the San Francisco's Rec. and Park Department's home for all adaptive recreation programs and activities. For over 30 years, Project Insight has provided a wide range of adaptive recreation programs for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired, and people who have other disabilities. Praxis was the fiscal sponsor for Friends of Project Insight, a non-profit support group made up of members of the deaf community, their families, friends and supporters of Project Insight's programs. Changes in the management within Project Insight and revisions to City policyreduced the need to maintain the Friends organization.
(an innovation initiative - 2010-2015) was an on-line directory of environmental resources and organizations in the greater Contra Costa area. In 2010, became the on-line resource library for Sustainable Contra Costa. This site was absorbed into Sustainable Contra Costa's online network in 2015.

Diablo Video Arts - Contra Costa County
(an innovation initiative - 1994-2001)

Diablo Video Arts was founded in the early 90s by Mark Westwind as Contra Costa County's association of independent videographers. DVA served as a forum for avid videographers to share ideas, learn new skills and collaborate on projects. DVA was also dedicated to community service - DVA members regularly volunteered to produce videos and public service announcements for local community groups and non-profits. Members also produced a regular television program called "On Stage Tonight" featuring performances from local live music events.


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