Sappi North America Awards 2022 Ideas that Matter Grants

BOSTON--Sappi North America today announced the world-class designers selected to receive 2022 Ideas that Matter grants for their support of social causes ranging from child literacy, immigration and maternity care to rainforest preservation, anti-poverty programs and resources for women of color.

The Sappi Ideas that Matter program turned to the expertise of leaders in print design, packaging design and social impact to select projects and organizations to receive this year’s funding. Judges considered creativity, implementation, intended impact and overall design effectiveness in their selections. This year, the program tracked how projects align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which Sappi has embraced globally as part of their sustainability initiatives.

The winning projects address a wide range of SDG categories, such as access to quality education, ending poverty, encouraging good health and well-being, reducing inequalities, fostering gender equality, building sustainable communities and supporting climate action.

“The UN SDGs have helped Sappi develop a strong sustainability framework and accompanying targets for 2025 within our business,” said Patti Groh, Communications Director, Sappi North America. “We’re using these goals to establish focused, measurable targets that not only deliver on our overall business strategy, but also work hand-in-hand with the problems that Ideas that Matter projects have addressed for more than 20 years.”

For over two decades, Ideas that Matter grants have provided funding and resources for designers working with nonprofits to make social and environmental impact, to encourage reforms in justice, education and health care and to address diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across communities and around the world. Sappi has made global contributions totaling nearly $14 million through the work of more than 500 projects toward addressing these causes.

The 2022 Ideas that Matter Recipients:

Designer or Firm Grant Applicant

Nonprofit Beneficiary

Project Title



Esther Pearl Watson + Mark Todd, Art Center College of Design

Pasadena, CA



Reading Partners

Reading in the Deep: Illustrated Children’s Books about Life Below Water

According to the National Assessment of Educational Programs, only 35% of 4th-grade students in the U.S. are reading at a proficient level. This collection of illustrated children’s books will motivate children to develop their literacy skills by providing visually interesting short storybooks about ocean life. As part of the Illustration for Publishing class at ArtCenter College of Design, students learned about deep sea habitats, symbiosis and animal life from Dr. Shana Goffredi, a deep-sea explorer and professor of Biology at Occidental College. They then created illustrated children’s books about ocean science with captivating story lines and visual narratives. The storybooks will also be printed in both English and Spanish to broaden the reach of the project.

Grace Han + Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)

New York, NY

The Door

Here to Stay! poster and advertising campaign

Many young immigrants come to the US fleeing violence or oppression, sometimes even from their own families. Navigating the immigration system can be especially difficult for these young people. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a form of immigration relief that protects these youth. For this poster and advertising campaign, the nonprofit, The Door, collaborated with CUP and designer Grace Han to create materials with comprehensive information that breaks down what SIJS is, the criteria to qualify for SIJS and eventually a green card, the process young people need to work through with the support of a lawyer, and the long-term benefits of SIJS. The campaign also directs young people to free resources such as the legal services offered by The Door and other providers.

MASS Design Group

Boston, MA



Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

Model Maternity Spaces

Globally, there are 300,000 maternal and 2.4 million newborn deaths every year – mostly preventable. MASS Design Group has partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to develop a human-centered design process to improve maternal-newborn facilities in traditionally underserved populations. The Sappi Grant will support the dissemination of design principles and tools through an integrated campaign that includes educational outreach to health providers and policymakers, a design toolkit, posters, physical models of facility designs, and a connected website to improve accessibility and access to this critical information.

Natacha Poggio, Design Global


of Houston-Downtown

Houston, TX

La Poderosa Media Project

Yasuní: our rainforest, our life.

Yasuní, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is a tropical rainforest in Ecuador and one of the world’s most biologically diverse places on Earth. Located at the crossroads of the Andes, Amazon, and the equator, not only is Yasuní an area to be environmentally preserved, but it is also a place that indigenous communities call home. This integrated multimedia campaign will support La Poderosa Media Project's ongoing conservation education activities and its vision of transforming communities one story at a time by engaging Waorani children to share their own narratives of environmental stewardship. Elements of the project include a traveling exhibition of posters illustrated by Ecuadorian artists, online content, short documentary videos, postcards, and an informational children’s book illustrating the stories of wildlife in Yasuní, and its unique ecosystem created by design students at the University of Houston-Downtown.



Sara Barr

Lockhart, TX




Done for DiDi, Inc.

Rent For Moms: More than Toys for Tots

In the U.S., though 59% of Black women have attended college, and 92% of those in the labor force are employed, Black moms are twice as likely to live below the poverty level. And, for anti-poverty efforts work, housing needs must be addressed. This grant project will help educate existing and potential supporters about the work that the nonprofit, Done for DiDi undertakes to address poverty and will help to raise funds to provide monthly micro-funding rent stipends and seed money for programs that support Black women and Black Marginalized Genders. Elements of the project will include new designs for fundraising materials, print and digital promotion, a re-designed application process for those in need of rental support and a donor handbook to educate and encourage donors to continue the lifelong work of dismantling the deep-rooted systems causing poverty.

Rija Khan Designs

Urbana, IL

Trauma & Resilience Initiative, Inc.

For Colored Girls Who Weather Life’s Storms

Statistically, because of social and structural inequalities, women of color are more likely to be impacted by adverse childhood and community experiences, leaving them vulnerable to a host of physical, social, and feelings of unwellness and social disconnectedness. This innovative project offers a suite of creative resources to empower, encourage and support healing. The tools in this project include an impactful illustrated book of poetry, a guide book that helps other women of color come together for creative community building and support, a social media campaign that will allow the nonprofit, Trauma & Resilience Initiative, to engage and promote community connectedness for women everywhere, as well as a workbook that will provide psycho-education support in a not stigmatizing way to help women reflect on their own trauma and resilience.

Ideas that Matter proposals were evaluated this year by an independent panel of judges, selected annually, who are recognized for their commitment to design for social impact.

The judging panel for 2022 included Andrew Gibbs, Founder, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of the Dieline and Partner and Co-Chief Creative officer of; Bryony Gomez-Palacio, Co-Founder of UnderConsideration; Dian Holton, Senior Deputy Art Director at AARP; Gage Mitchell, Principal and Creative Director of Modern Species, and Libby Cole, Principal of The Work Department.

Ideas that Matter has also received international recognition for its contributions to uplift innovative and creative ideas to drive positive, community-centric impact. The initiative was selected as a winner in the category of Excellence In Community Service in the 2022 Communitas Awards. Communitas was designed to recognize organizations, companies and individuals for their outstanding engagements to bring about change to social and environmental issues affecting communities across the globe.

For more information about Sappi's 2022 Ideas that Matter North American grant recipients please visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Sappi North America, Inc.

Sappi North America, Inc., headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. Our four diversified businesses – high-quality Graphic Papers, Dissolving Pulp, Packaging, and Specialty Papers deliver premium products and services with consistent quality and reliability. Our high-quality Coated Printing Papers are used for premium magazines, catalogs, books, direct mail and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of Dissolving Pulp, which is used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods. We deliver sustainable Packaging and Specialty Papers for luxury packaging and folding carton applications with our single-ply packaging brands and for the food and label industries with our specialty papers. We are one of the world's leading suppliers of Casting and Release Papers with lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries.

Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 12,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 150 countries.