Richmond nonprofits selected as East Bay Innovation Awards nominees

Richmond nonprofits selected as East Bay Innovation Awards finalists
Wesley Alexander, CEO of CoBiz Richmond, speaks at the grand opening of CoBiz in November 2019.

By Kathy Chouteau

Four Richmond organizations are among the nominees for the 2022 East Bay Innovation Awards, which “highlight the ground-breaking companies and organizations contributing to the East Bay’s legacy of innovation,” according to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA).

The Richmond organizations—CoBiz Richmond, Inc., Rubicon Programs, Reentry Success Center and Liquified Juicery—were selected from approximately 200 award submissions that were subsequently narrowed down to 87 nominees in 10 categories, including: Advanced Manufacturing, Arts & Culture, Built Environment, Clean Tech, Community Impact, Education, Engineering & Design, Food, Life Sciences and Technology.

Here’s a rundown on the Richmond finalists’ work, as well as their award categories:

CoBiz Richmond, Inc. (Community Impact category): Making its home in downtown Richmond, CoBiz is a nonprofit that offers a modern work space, business insights, networking opportunities and more via its multifaceted offerings. CoBiz is a project of eQuip Richmond, a multi-year $10 million investment from Chevron Richmond that funds strategies to encourage small business development, prepare residents for the workforce and create pathways to sustainable, living wages and careers in growth industries.

Rubicon Programs (Community Impact category): Rubicon’s vision is of an East Bay without poverty. To realize its vision, the organization aims to help people break the poverty cycle via financial literacy, job placement/training, wellness education/info, social connections/Restorative Circles and more. Rubicon believes that “success comes from participation and achievement in four areas: Assets, Income, Wellness, and Connections.”

Reentry Success Center (Community Impact category): The center offers justice-impacted people and their families a variety of free services—financial planning, education/training and employment assistance among them—that help them create brighter futures after contact with the police/courts.  The organization also provides coaching and mentoring and co-produces the Reentry VOICE, a quarterly newspaper that is distributed inside Contra Costa County’s detention facilities and throughout the area.

Liquified Juicery (Food category): From its home in the Point, Liquified Juicery looks to heal people’s body, minds and souls via its deliverable raw juice made with fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients. All the while, they give back to the community while also reducing waste. Liquified Juircery partners with Richmond-based urban farm creator Urban Tilth by providing all of its juice, and nut mylk pulp and cuttings, to their community garden as compost/fertilizer.

On Thurs., June 16, East Bay EDA will host its first-ever East Bay Innovation Awards Block Party, at which time 20 finalists will be announced and food, music and more will be part of the celebration. The 10th annual East Bay Innovation Awards will follow the block party Aug. 4 at the Fox Theater in Oakland. Questions? Email [email protected].

East Bay EDA “is the regional voice and networking resource for strengthening the economy, building the workforce and enhancing the quality of life in the East Bay,” per its website.