movement building

The Movement Building Program is the newest initiative of The Overbrook Foundation. While still in its early development and recognizing that its parameters remain a work in progress, its focus will be on understanding and supporting specific movements – rather than specific organizations or issues – to make them stronger, more resilient, and more impactful.

Below are the Foundation’s 2014 movement building grantees.

Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEA4Impact)

General Operating Support - $200,000

Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEA4Impact) is a grassroots-led initiative based on the hypothesis that to increase the collective impact of the environmental and broader progressive movement, we need to increase alignment and equity among grassroots base-building groups, large, national green groups and philanthropy. In other words, grassroots organizations must be able to expand and contribute their base-building capacity in a meaningful way (equity) and various parts of the movement must be working with a common strategy and purpose (alignment). At its 2013 launch, a multi-sector group of grassroots, “green group” and philanthropy representatives agreed to base BEA4Impact on the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing, co-wrote a shared Vision Statement, and crafted the following goals for the initiative: to break down historic barriers among big green, grassroots and funding sectors, building authentic relationships toward greater alignment and solidarity; to support the culture within philanthropy toward a base-building, bottom-up, collaborative approach, and away from a top-down, funder-driven approach; and to expand the pool of resources available to the environment and overlapping progressive issues.

Climate Justice Alliance

General Operating Support & 2014 Climate March Support - $50,000

The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is a unique new network of frontline communities forging a Just Transition away from an extractive economy to local, linked and living economies. Members are rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and working-class white communities. These communities are a key demographic in a growing movement for real solutions to the related issues of climate, economy, and democracy. In 2013, CJA launched the Our Power Campaign (OPC) to unite communities fighting extractive industries around a common vision and strategy: to transition the economy in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the source, restore equity, and put decision-making in the hands of communities. In 2014, CJA will build out national support infrastructure for Our Power communities organizing for sustainable job-creation strategies including: clean community energy; regional food systems; zero waste; public transportation; efficient, affordable and durable housing; and ecosystem restoration. CJA will also organize national Our Power Convenings led by environmental justice organizations in Detroit, MI and Richmond, CA. The Detroit gathering will scale up youth leadership and build relationships among young adults from several frontline communities. The Richmond convening will have a special focus on frontline communities impacted by Big Oil along the chain of custody and the chain of destruction. In September, local environmental justice organizations in New York and New Jersey will lead CJA’s grassroots mobilization effort in relation to the UN Climate Leaders Summit.


People's March for Climate Justice - $50,000

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 and cultural/artistic expression. UPROSE’s work encompasses a variety of 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. UPROSE achieves its mission by working directly with the community it serves on a grassroots level; in particular, much of its work engages community youth. Each year UPROSE trains hundreds of youth between the ages of 12 and 21 in community-based planning, leadership and organizing around social and environmental justice. UPROSE uses art and digital media to encourage and sustain intergenerational community engagement. UPROSE has colorful kite building workshops to educate the community about clean air, art builds to learn about climate change, poetry to lend a voice, music to introduce across cultural appreciation, theatre and storytelling.

Wildfire Project

General Operating Support - $20,000

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. Since its founding in January 2013, Wildfire has trained four groups, built a strong training team and advisory board, supported conferences and convergences with training, and has begun to connect dots between the different groups in the network. In 2014, it intends to work with a whole host of groups around a range of issues from housing and student debt to climate and mass incarceration, as well as to convene the groups it has worked with to start to build movements across issue lines.

Grantees by Year:  2015  |  2014