ORA

Who are we?

The Omega Resilience Awards (ORA) is a global community of practice rooted in catalytic grantmaking. It began in 2022, as a project of Commonweal, an innovative nonprofit organization that has been centered on community, healing, and resilience for nearly 50 years. 

Our emerging community of practice includes ORA Fellows, ORA Research Grantees, staff, advisors. The heart of the ORA community are ORA Fellows and ORA Research Grant recipients. ORA provides fellowship stipends and research grants to support new models of thinking, leadership, and engagement in response to the challenges of the polycrisis. ORA convenes over 21 fellows annually across three cohorts, in Africa, India, and Latin America. As well, we award about 10-12 research grants annually. 

Fellows are drawn from diverse backgrounds and include environmental campaigners, indigenous leaders, poets, photographers, journalists, and community development experts. Research grants have been awarded to nonprofit organizations working on field mapping, narrative development, and economic development. All ORA work is framed in the context of developing new narratives to help ground us now and create a more resilient future.

We are here

We are a global community, with the majority of us situated in the Global South. Our host organization, Commonweal, is based in North America, and the ORA Global program is led by a distributed team working from North America and Europe. The ORA Fellowship program is directed in partnership with regional anchor organizations in Latin America, India, and Africa: Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) in Nigeria, Asociación Argentina de Abogados Ambientalistas in Argentina, and StartUp! in India. The anchor organizations convene regional cohorts of Fellows and are hubs for regional networks.

MEET OUR TEAM

Chief Strategy Officer, Omega Resilience Awards

Stanley Wu

Program Director, Omega

Michael Lerner

Co-founder, Commonweal Founder, Omega

Susan Grelock Yusem

Director Narrative Development, Commonweal / Omega Co-Editor, The Long View

Oluwanifemi Ologunorisa

Program Coordinator, OmegaA

Anabella Museri

Partner, Latin America

Alejo di Risio

Partner, Latin America

Sofia Nemenmann

Partner, Latin America

Nnimmo Bassey

Partner, Africa

Odudu-Abasi Asuquo

Partner, Africa

Ogechi Okanya Cookey

Partner, Africa

Paramita Saha

Partner, India

Manisha Gupta

Partner, India

Catalytic grantmaking & global community

ORA was initiated in 2022, in direct response to the global polycrisis. We believe that we need new narratives to demystify the polycrisis and highlight the core components and features of resilient societies and communities. ORA is led by a small core team skilled in grantmaking, program design and execution, systems thinking, and communications. We work closely with global anchor partners Health of Mother Earth Foundation, STARTUP! and Colectivo de Acción por la Justicia Ecosocial, who have deep understanding of the polycrisis and resilience at the country and community level.

ORA administers a Fellowship program focused on thinkers, activists, and storytellers as well as a grantmaking program that funds organizations in the vanguard of mapping and framing narratives. We launched our first research grants in 2022 and our inaugural fellowship began in 2023. Each year we elect 21 new Fellows and make 10 research grants. In collaboration with the fellows and grantees, we weave together new narratives and insights around the polycrisis and resilience. While Commonweal is based in North America, our program is led by a distributed team working from North America and Europe and our Fellows and research grantees working around the world, especially in the Global South.