The Movement Building program area was created in 2014 in an effort to understand and support movements – rather than specific organizations or issues – to make them stronger, more resilient, and more impactful. This area supports organizations that build networks and alliances, recognize the interdependence of their work with that of other organizations, and seek to advance the mission of the broader progressive movement, beyond individual issue areas. While formally a part of the Foundation’s Environment Program, the Movement Building portfolio ties together the Environment and Human Rights Programs, emphasizing organizations that work in the intersections of both movements.
Below are the Foundation’s 2018 grantees through its Movement Building portfolio.
Just Transition Forum - $20,000
Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEA for Impact) is a unique, movement-building initiative led by representatives of the grassroots organizing sector in partnership with national environmental organizations and the philanthropic sector. BEA for Impact seeks to unify these three sectors through the acknowledgement of grassroots organizations leadership; the value of principled collaboration; and the recognition that to build a powerful environmental movement the grassroots organizing sector needs significantly more resources.
The Just Transition Forum, to be held in Jackson, MI in February 2018, is a strategy summit that will bring BEA for Impact’s various partners together to discuss the Just Transition.
General Operating Support - $50,000 (first payment in a three-year grant)
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is a unique national alliance of 56 organizations that works at the forefront of the climate crisis. CJA’s mission is to build local resilience, remedy climate change’s root causes, and lead a Just Transition out of the extractive energy economy. Across all its work, CJA helps develop and promote the leadership of people of color, women, and gender non-conforming people of those communities most affected by climate, environmental racism/injustice, and related intersectional issues.
Campaign for Healthier Solutions - $60,000 (First payment in a two-year grant)
Coming Clean is a national campaigning collaborative that promotes human health, environmental protection, and economic fairness. Comprised of 200 groups around the country, the organization uses a hybrid strategy of grassroots organizing combined with market campaigns, research and communications to push for a variety of reforms in the chemical and energy industries.
Coming Clean’s Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS) is a market pressure campaign that connects concerns about chemical exposure and health to people’s own purchasing habits, and presents hooks for public health and environmental justice activists to educate the public on the negative impacts of toxics. CHS focuses on “dollar stores” that serve customers and workers in the poorest communities in the country, and acts to ensure there is not a permanently lower bar of quality and safety for products supplied.
2018 Environmental Fellows Program - $20,000
The Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) works to promote effective environmental philanthropy by sharing knowledge, fostering debate, cultivating leadership, and facilitating collaboration between and within foundations.
One of EGA’s initiatives is the incorporation of diversity, equity, and inclusion within its own work and the broader environmental movement. In partnership with the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, EGA launched the Environmental Fellows Program, which seeks to diversify the environmental and conservation philanthropic sector by supporting the career aspirations of graduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups.
General Operating Support - $35,000
The Just Transition Alliance (JTA), based in San Diego, California, serves people of color, indigenous peoples, and low-income communities living nearby and suffering from polluting industries. JTA focuses on community education, awareness and action that aims to ameliorate the lack of knowledge and choices that communities and workers face when dealing with unwarranted toxic trespass. The organization’s main objective is to shift toward a sustainable economy that does not compromise people and the environment: an economy that is driven by those at the frontline of unsustainable production. A Just Transition, therefore, moves toward a safer and cleaner economy and workplace that is guided by laws and protects the most vulnerable populations and workers first.
Midwest Environmental Justice Network - $20,000
The Midwest Environmental Justice Network (MWEJN), a project of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization in collaboration with the Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy and the East Michigan Environmental Action Council, focuses on building the capacity of grassroots organizations and indigenous groups leading environmental justice initiatives in the Midwest. The network seeks to build a movement that promotes just alternatives to the fossil fuel energy economy in the region.
Anthology on the Environmental Movement - $40,000
The New Press, a long-time grant recipient of The Overbrook Foundation, is a leader in publishing progressive books that lift up important and often controversial issues in society. This one-time grant supports a new project of the New Press in collaboration with the Foundation: the publication of a forthcoming collection of original stories about the environmental movement from the perspective of small organizations fighting on the front lines.
General Operating Support - $45,000
The Wildfire Project (Wildfire) is a movement building organization that trains, supports, and links grassroots groups in order to the lay the foundation for political, economic, and ecological justice. Through customized, experiential, and long-term training, Wildfire helps groups and individuals shift internal cultures, and provides the tools, experiences, and skills so that organizations can work effectively with their bases and across movements as a whole.
General Operating Support - $35,000
Founded in 1966, UPROSE is Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization. UPROSE is an intergenerational, multi-racial, nationally-recognized organization that promotes the sustainability and resiliency of Sunset Park, Brooklyn through community organizing, education, leadership development and cultural/artistic expression. UPROSE’s work encompasses a variety of environmental justice and public health initiatives, ranging from the development of the Brooklyn waterfront and local brownfields, to open space and air quality needs and youth empowerment campaigns. UPROSE seeks to address the twin crises of accelerating climate change and widening inequality by promoting the concept of a Just Transition, or an economy rooted in the principles of long-term sustainability, resiliency, and equity.