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.

Climate Justice Alliance

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. The OPC promotes a “Just Transition” agenda to create jobs and livelihoods: Clean Community Energy, Local Agriculture, Zero Waste, Public Transportation, Efficient, Affordable, and Durable Housing, Ecosystem Restoration and Stewardship. CJA was a core partner in organizing the Peoples’ Climate March (PCM), the largest climate march in history and the largest-ever environmental justice mobilization. CJA organized nearly 20,000 people from communities of color, indigenous and low-income white communities to lead the march under the banner “Frontline of the Crisis, Forefront of Change.” CJA wants to build upon the success and energy of the PCM.

Coming Clean

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 Alliance

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. 

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

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.


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.

UPROSE brings different communities and sectors together to address common needs and problems. It fosters the authentic engagement of the community in public decision-making through community-led planning programs and organizing campaigns around climate justice and a just economic transition. UPROSE facilitates an intensive youth engagement process that supports the development of young leaders and organizers who then, in partnership with adult leaders, facilitate all UPROSE’s community engagement initiatives and organizing campaigns. Young people are at the center of every strategy.

Wildfire Project

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.

Western New York Environmental Alliance

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.

Grantees by Year:  2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014