Colors of Connection

Sparking transformation through art with youth and communities affected by war

Brooklyn, NY   |  https://www.colorsofconnection.org

Mission

To engage youth from conflict-affected countries and their communities through collaborative art-making to promote hope, well-being, and self-determination in the pursuit of social justice.

Ruling year info

2017

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Christina Mallie

Main address

PO Box 50371

Brooklyn, NY 11205 USA

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EIN

46-4114716

NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Humanities Organizations (A70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Girl Awakening

GIRL AWAKENING

Musichana Hamuka in Swahili is our current long-term program and partnership with Les Étoiles Messagères, A Girls Arts Collective (GAC), born out of our previous two projects with girls in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This program provides resources and support for girls in Goma to effect positive change for themselves and their community in the pursuit of equality and freedom from violence.

This program, located in Goma in eastern DRC. has been affected by war for decades leaving lasting reverberations across a society with historically-rooted gender inequalities. Goma is home to approximately 1.5 million people throughout 18 neighborhoods. The Girl Awakening Program will begin in the neighborhood of Bujovu, which has a population of 48,000 and has one of the highest poverty rates in the city.

WHY
The well-being of girls in the DRC is in crisis. 13 of the 25 least developed countries in the world are in Francophone Africa and the largest of these is the DRC, home to 13 million girls and young women aged 10-24. Women and girls are the largest marginalized group facing particular challenges of violence, poverty, and exclusion. Unfortunately the situation is getting worse, with projected increases in extreme poverty, population growth, continuing conflict, and threats from climate change.

DRC is in the top 10 countries for child marriage. Gender-based violence is pervasive (75 % of girls and women believe wife beating is justified). Women and girls are disproportionately affected by HIV – 2x as likely as men to be infected 46% of women and girls experience sexual violence. Educational outcomes are poor—just over 1/3 of girls will complete primary school. Girls and women are both anchors and changemakers in their communities, filling essential roles and in a unique position to build better lives for themselves, their families and communities. We are committed to putting women and girls at the center of changemaking, an approach built in collaboration with the community.

IN 2021 AND 2022 WE WILL
- Provide training and technical support for GAC toward becoming an independent and sustainable
female-led organization serving the girls of their community.
- Provide opportunities for 80 marginalized girls to build psychosocial and life skills through arts-based activities.
- Girls will gain skill sets and capabilities that help them to participate in their communities, local economies, support their families, and in turn contribute to the larger country goals of development and peace.
- Foster and enrich community participation and leadership in ensuring the safety
and well-being of women and girls.
- Train 10 young women mentors and pair them with girls to provide role models,
and build trusted and supportive relationships with adolescent girls
- Engage 40 community leaders through a community arts council that will guide the program
and work together to shift existing access to resources and services, reforming systems
to increase equal access for girls.
- Provide scholarships for all girl participants of the program to pursue their education
with support of les Étoiles Messagères staff.
- Reach 30,000 community members through public art engagement.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Our M & E approach include a combination of qualitative and quantitative measurements including semi-structured interviews, observation reports, attendance sheets and focus groups with participants, parents/caregivers, staff, community members, and community leaders. The qualitative measurements are grounded in Arts-Informed Community-Engaged Research (AICER), a methodology that is in line with CC’s organizational mission and mandate, as well as the specific objectives of the Girl Awakening Program as an arts-based model of intervention. Utilizing a results framework, each outcome is realized with outputs, which are realized with activities.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
People of African descent
Extremely poor people
Adolescent girls
Preteen girls

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Coalition for Adolescent Girls 2021

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We work in partnership with communities hurt by inequalities and the violence of war, honoring their lived experiences and knowledge to realize their collective vision of a better future. We are currently working with marginalized adolescent girls, young women and community stakeholders in the city of Goma, in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a province that is the epicenter of the decades-long deadly conflict in DRC. Our programs support their quest for freedom from violence and gender equality.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Previous program feedback on our work with girls in DRC indicated the majority had experienced rape; many were married as teenagers - therefore child brides; most did not have mentors or peers they could rely on for support and guidance; many wanted to go back to school but didn’t have the financial means; the majority were interested in getting information on family planning and were frustrated not to have access to contraception; in response our program is now allocating more time to teaching girls about sexual and reproductive health, and we have decided to begin working with girls at a younger age (10-12), hopefully before many will have already experienced negative outcomes, and include mentorship and school scholarships

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    See response above.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Colors of Connection

Board of directors
as of 6/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Laura Hoffman

Colors of Connection

Laurie Reyman

Licensed Social Worker

Laura Hoffman

Expressive Arts Therapist, Dancer, Teacher, Producer at Nimbl

Christina Mallie

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Georgina Loveland

Human Resources Professional

Tehreem Mohsin

Risk Control Vice President at JP Morgan Chase

Marina Muteho

Dean of Faculty of Theology at Univserite Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs (ULPGL)

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/14/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/14/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.