How can we make Chattanooga a city where people from all backgrounds live, work, play and learn together?

That’s the question Causeway hopes will be answered through the second Causeway Challenge, announced today.

Applications will be open for proposed projects from April 30 to May 19. According to the release, up to five winning projects/ideas will receive $10,000 for support. In addition, the winners will engage in a four-month experience through Causeway’s incubation program.

Last year’s project was focused on the idea of connection. The nonprofit organization awarded 20 applicants $2,500 each to help facilitate their projects. Click here for a list of winners from 2014.

This year’s seeks to challenge the idea of diversity in Chattanooga, including overall race relations, economic divide, income gaps and education.

Volunteers painted a mural in Highland Park as part of a Cause Mob challenge. (Photo: Contributed)

In a release from Chelsea Conrad, Causeway’s director of creative engagement, she said the idea for the challenge stemmed from a recent study by Dr. Ken Chilton, who found that "inequality is the new normal" for Chattanooga’s schools, businesses and communities.

"We read the data," Conrad writes. "Part of us couldn’t believe it. Part of us wasn’t surprised, either."

Over the next month, potential applicants will have time to think of ways to speak up for diversity through projects and ideas.

She continues: 

Until Chattanooga speaks up for diversity, we’re at a loss. Research shows that mixed-income neighborhoods make for safer environments with more opportunities for low-income families. Companies across the nation confirm that diversity is profitable. And studies show that when our kids play or learn with other kids who look, think and experience life differently from them, they are more prepared to tackle real issues when they graduate.

Click here to read the full release.

Causeway is funded, in part, by the Benwood Foundation, Footprint Foundation and hundreds of donations from Chattanoogans wanting to make a difference in their hometown.