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.

Building Equity for Alignment Initiative (BEA-I)

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.

Catskill Mountainkeeper

Extreme Energy Extraction Collaborative (E3C) - $25,000

In 2012, Catskill Mountainkeeper and several organizations, most based in 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 centerpiece of E3C’s work is a bi-annual summit that brings 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.

Climate Justice Alliance

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.

Coming Clean

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. 

EDGE Funders Alliance

Just Transition Collaborative and Fellowship Support - $50,000

Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE) is a global community of funders and donors committed to transformative social change in philanthropy. EDGE takes inspiration from non-profit organizing and movements around the world and uses these frameworks to shift philanthropic culture. A key component of this work is the Just Transition Collaborative, which seeks to deepen the understanding of a just transition to an environmentally and socially just economy that builds a future acknowledging the perils of climate change and creates green jobs that are both good for people and the planet.

Environmental Grantmakers Association

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.

Grassroots Global Justice  

General Operating Support - $50,000 (first payment in a two-year grant)

Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) is an alliance of over 60 US-based grassroots organizing groups that work to build power for working and poor people and communities of color. The organization weaves together organizations working on climate justice, an end to war, gender justice, and a Just Transition. Through these lenses, the organization develops political analyses, cross-issue alignment, and strategic actions to build a new economy that is better for people and the planet.

Ironbound Community Corporation  

Ironbound’s Environmental Justice Advocacy - $30,000

Founded in 1969 in Newark, New Jersey, The Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) mission is to engage and empower individuals, families, and groups to work together and make the Ironbound neighborhood a more just, vibrant, and sustainable place to live.

ICC’s advocacy wing, the Environmental Justice program, was founded in the early 1980s when the neighborhood was plagued with chemical explosions, the proposal of three garbage incinerators, and the discovery of dioxin throughout the area. ICC began the program with a devoted base of community members who were willing to fight and organize at the local, state and national level. Now this coalition is pushing environmental and climate justice policies that prioritize the unique position of communities like the Ironbound, living in and around polluted areas that are most likely to suffer from climate change.

Just Transition Alliance

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. 

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

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.

Texas Environmental Justice Advisory Services (t.e.j.a.s.)

General Operating Support - $25,000

Texas Environmental Justice Advisory Services (t.e.j.a.s), the oldest environmental justice organization in Houston, works to protect frontline communities from air and chemical pollution through education, policy development, community awareness, and legal action. t.e.j.a.s is committed to the promotion of environmental rights in low-income communities and communities of color and the organization’s guiding principle is that everyone, regardless of race or income, is entitled to live in a clean environment.  

The New Press

Anthology on the Environmental Movement - $70,000

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. 

The Wildfire Project

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. 

Western New York Environmental Alliance

Youth and Climate Justice Initiative - $40,000

The Western New York Environmental Alliance (WNYEA) is a coalition of over 80 organizations working to scale a nationally relevant, place-based, collaborative environmental movement that addresses climate change, urban regeneration, and equity. The Youth and Climate Justice Initiative supports a network of climate justice activists by bringing young people together around climate change, connecting them to opportunities for education and leadership development, providing the spaces for them to give voice to their concerns and issues, and creating structures that are inclusive of youth in the climate justice movement.

Grantees by Year: 2019 | 2018 | 2017  |  2016  |  2015