AFC+A is committed to desegregating the cultural and conservation workspaces and advancing genuine grassroots civic engagement. Our holistic approach is rooted in culture and recognizes the arts as a universal language that can amplify our work in conservation.
Help us leverage for greater impact our 15th anniversaryby supporting one of the only Latina founded and led organizations of its mission and size in the state of Colorado — and the country — fighting systemic racism in the outdoor and creative workspaces and filling the vital needs of brown led DEI advocacy!
Founded in 2008, AFC+A advances healthy communities through environmental and cultural advocacy that can best bridge inclusion gaps and serve the most underserved. Every gift is tax-deductible.
Your donation will allow us to use this moment in history to pivot to more inclusive, and more powerful times by supporting our flagship programs:
Our community nature health workers Promotores Verdes(growing outdoor recreation led environmental literacy and human-nature connections) and its Tree Keepers 2022-2025 initiative with the City of Denver
Our publishing arm Mandel Vilar Press (advancing diversity and conservation in publishing since 2014 with its 50th minority voice title forthcoming in 2023)
Each year, we serve thousands of BIPOC community members, using culture and the arts as a bridge to connect to conservation and the natural world. We partner with individuals and families across the Denver Metro area in tree planting and restoration, forest fire prevention and mitigation, and other climate issues that disproportionately impact our BIPOC neighbors.
This year we will be focusing considerable efforts on ensuring all communities benefit from living with a healthy tree canopy. Please consider a donation to our organization to help us reach our ambitious goal of raising $75,000 to honor all past, present, and future tree keepers. These funds will help us continue to strengthen our award-winning programs, such as Promotores Verdes, which trains and hires Promotores Verdes (Nature Health Workers) to use peer-to-peer engagement to educate their neighbors and connect them to outdoor spaces and initiatives. Your support, will reach thousands of families and help us achieve the following three-year goals:
Collaborate with five Title One schools to engage 500 students in citizen science and stewardship action to educate and inspire the next generation of tree keepers
Educate 1,000 metro Denver residents about tree maintenance and restoration practices to revive rather than remove unhealthy trees, providing economic and environmental benefits to community members
Activate twelve projects in Puerto Rico and Mexico using our youth Promotores Verdes curriculum, certifying more than 500 PV leaders in their communities and re engaging our 300+ youth alumni (graduates from our six Promotores Verdes camps 2017-2019) in post pandemia times.
Host the 13th edition of Americas Latino Eco Festival (ALEF), a space created for and by people of color to celebrate their contributions in the arts and to incubate future conservation movements. This year’s festival will have a tree equity theme.
Onward & with gratitude,
Irene Vilar AFC+A Founder & ED
Advancing a culture of recreation, conservation, and public health anchored in nature experiences and a sustainable outdoors economy.
AFC+A advances healthy communities through environmental and cultural stewardship with the goal of bridging the outdoor and creative inclusion gaps and serving the most underserved.
AFC+A has been recognized with:
*2020 SHIFT Award
*2018 Colorado Environmental Education Innovation Award
*2017 City of Denver Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Arts & Culture Imagine 2020
*2016 City of Denver Office of Sustainability Community Builder Love This Place Award
*Governor John Hickenlooper Proclamation
*City of Denver 6th ALEF Monarch Pledge
In 2008, Latina founder and executive director Irene Vilar recognized a need to create space for Latino American leaders and fellow BIPOC colleagues to come together and incubate collaborative projects capable to help bridge equity gaps in both the creative and conservation workspaces. In 2011 she created the inaugural Americas Latino Eco Festival, now in its 13th edition (with two editions in Mexico-2018 & 2019- and two in Puerto Rico-2018 & 2021) paving the way for thoughtful, community-based environmental action that is rooted in arts and culture. Since then, AFC+A has connected through the festival and AFCA's flagship corps Promotores Verdes (Nature Health Workers), an average of 8,000 people each year to the outdoors, created leadership opportunities, and established a workforce pipeline to improve BIPOC representation in the field of conservation. In 2014 AFC+A launched Mandel Vilar Press, the organization's publishing arm dedicated to advancing diversity and conservation in publishing. In 2023 the press will publish its 50th title. Having acquired two prestigious presses as imprints (Moment Books and Fig Tree Books), received eight book awards, and dozens of national book reviews, MVP is positioned to claim a top place in DEI led independent, nonprofit publishing.