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 2017 grantees through its Movement Building portfolio.
General Operating Support - $210,000 (third payment in a three-year grant)
The Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative (BEA I) is a collaborative, grassroots-led initiative launched with the support of The Overbrook Foundation in 2013, converging around a shared future vision for a more inclusive, connective, winning environmental movement. The objectives to reach that future, as envisioned by BEA’s grassroots leaders, national environmental organizations and funder representatives are to: shift resources to more equitably service the grassroots organizing sector; dismantle historic barriers among mainstream environmental, grassroots and funding sectors, build authentic relationships toward greater alignment and solidarity; and support the philanthropic sector to prioritize a base-building, collaborative approach over a top-down, funder-driven culture.
In 2012, Catskill Mountainkeeper and several organizers from coal country launched the Extreme Energy Extraction Collaborative (E3C), a network of diverse, frontline groups fighting extreme energy extraction— including coal, gas, oil, tar sands, uranium, and industrial biomass.
The central activity of the E3C is a series of bi-annual summits, which bring together a collection of stakeholders—including organizers, activists, and representatives of both frontline and “big green” groups—to learn from each other, develop shared language and analysis, build individual and institutional relationships, and develop concrete collaborative projects. Rather than attempting to build a formal coalition with a unified national strategy, E3C has focused on building the capacity for cross-sector collaboration in the movement against extractive energies. This approach is rooted in the belief that change in the daily practice of working organizers, rather than ambitious national agendas, is the key to a more unified and effective movement.
General Operating Support - $50,000
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is a national alliance of community-based organizations confronting the environmental, economic and social impacts of polluting, extractive industries. In 2013, CJA launched the Our Power Campaign (OPC) to unite these communities around a common vision – to transform the economy in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, restore equity, and put decision-making in the hands of communities. CJA uses core strategies of building new economic institutions, changing policy and economic development priorities of cities, states – and ultimately the federal government – moving money and capital to these efforts, and building a powerful, broad-based climate justice movement.
Campaign for Healthier Solutions - $35,000
Coming Clean is a campaigning collaborative that promotes human health, environmental protection, and economic fairness. Coming Clean’s mission is to reform the chemical and fossil fuels industries so that they are no longer a source of harm, and propel changes that enable good health, a safe and just environment, and a sustainable economy.
The objective of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions is to target toxic products sold at the top four corporate dollar store chains and leverage new protective action by the chains to help move the entire retail market toward full disclosure of chemicals in products and replacement of toxics with proven safer alternatives. As a business strategy, dollar stores choose low income areas in which to operate, areas already disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals. Coming Clean thinks Dollar Stores have a unique and important role to play in many cities to reduce harmful exposures. The adoption of safer chemical policies would be a significant and meaningful step in that direction.
Just Transition Learning Collaborative - $50,000 (second payment in a two-year grant)
EDGE Funders is a network of funders and donors committed to global social change philanthropy, who believe that equity and justice are critical to furthering sustainable international well-being. The EDGE Funders community has been inspired by and learned from movements around the world. These movements will inform EDGE Funders’ efforts to bring together thinking and practice, and to advance the notion of a transition to a more ecologically responsible and equitable economy and society.
General Operating Support - $50,000
Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) is an alliance of over 60 US-based grassroots organizing groups working to build power for working and poor people and communities of color. GGJ focuses on building and sustaining relationships, political alignment, and transformational leadership. GGJ weaves and bridges together US-based organizations working on climate justice, an end to war, gender justice, and a Just Transition to a new economy that is better for people and the planet. GGJ is a co-founding member of the Climate Justice Alliance and is continuing to build the US chapter of the World March for Women.
General Operating Support - $30,000
The Just Transition Alliance (JTA) serves people of color, indigenous peoples, and low-income communities living under the threat of polluting industries as well as the workers in the service, energy, farmworker, and chemical sectors. JTA focuses on community education, awareness, and action to ameliorate the lack of knowledge and the lack of choices that communities and workers face when dealing with unwarranted toxic trespass. JTA’s main objective is shifting toward a sustainable economy that does not compromise people and the environment: an economy that is driven by those at the frontline and on the fence lines of unsustainable production.
Great Lakes Just Transition - $20,000
The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), The East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), and the Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy (CEED) are frontline environmental justice organizations with powerful histories of resistance to environmental racism in Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. These organizations have waged inspiring struggles to close urban coal power plants and incinerators, created cultural and educational practices that help transmit ancestral values and principles of justice to build long-term community resilience, and conducted critical research that holds energy corporations and state institutions accountable for vast health disparities in communities of color. Each organization has also demonstrated a deep commitment to local solutions and the power of oppressed peoples to build an equitable economy and society. Sharing similar values on justice and the ethical practices of community organizing, EMEAC, LVEJO, and CEED have formally united efforts to build a Just Transition movement in the Midwest Great Lakes region through the Great Lakes Just Transition Network.
Design Waste and Justice Conference: Exploring Pathways for a Circular Economy, Zero Waste and Justice - $10,000
The New School’s Tishman Environment and Design Center advances just and sustainable outcomes in collaboration with communities through research and practice in the fields of design, policy, and social justice. The Tishman Center also serves as a nexus between academia and the environmental and social justice grassroots movements, providing its community grassroot partners university-wide resources, faculty expertise, policy development, and convening capabilities. In May 2018, the Tishman Center and Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) will co-host the Design, Waste and Justice Conference to explore how production, consumption, and waste impact environmental justice communities, workers, and vulnerable populations. The conference will convene cross-sector, global experts to share and promote innovative designs, advocacy campaigns, and scholarly research that explores the justice implications of consumption and waste.
General Operating Support - $35,000
UPROSE is an intergenerational, multi-racial, nationally-recognized community organization that promotes the sustainability and resiliency of the Sunset Park community in Brooklyn through community organizing, education, leadership development, research, advocacy and cultural/artistic expression. UPROSE’s work encompasses a variety of climate, environmental justice and public health initiatives, from the development of the waterfront and local brownfields, to transportation, open space and air quality needs, to educational and youth empowerment campaigns.
General Operating Support - $45,000
The Wildfire Project (Wildfire) trains, supports, and links grassroots groups in order to lay the foundation for a network that helps grow a broad and powerful movement for social, political, economic, and ecological justice. Using democratic, experiential methods, the Wildfire Project fuses political education, skills training, group development, and direct organizing support in a curriculum tailored to specific needs of groups in action. Wildfire develops leadership in and of front-line groups, maintains long-term contact with the communities with which it works, and creates frameworks for work between groups and across issue lines to form a strong base of organizers ready to stand up to crisis collectively and win the world we all deserve.
General Operating Support - $40,000
The Western New York Environmental Alliance (WNYEA) is a coalition of nearly 100 organizations working to scale a nationally relevant, place-based, collaborative environmental movement that addresses climate change, urban regeneration, and equity. The Alliance works to achieve this by creating new and dynamic structures that expand capacity and allow disparate organizations to come together for the greater good through a shared vision and action agenda, creative communication platforms, technical training and research, resource development, and joint advocacy campaigns. In 2017, its efforts will focus on youth and climate justice.