May 2024 Climate Action Update

Participatory Justice is Climate Justice

June 6, 2024

Read the May UpdatePress releasego to project pageExecutive Summary

Summary

Funding the Movement Means Supporting Access to Resources.

For the generational opportunities now available through federal funding grants and programs, two key roadblocks have impacted grassroots organizations from accessing and using these resources. The first is the rapid pace at which funding is being rolled out - oftentimes leaving little planning room for small and under-resourced organizations and towns to fully prepare a proposal. The second is the complexity of finding and applying for opportunities that are a good match for what applicants are interested in, eligible for, and capable of carrying out. 

Thankfully, there has been a multi-level response to these critical issues. From the federal government down to the local level, institutions and public agencies have been building out technical resources, hubs, networks and other tools to build capacity and level the playing field when it comes to accessing federal money. Just this month, the EPA’s Environmental Justice Technical Assistance Centers have come together to launch a coordinated website: ejtctac.org, democratizing access to these major assistance hubs for EPA grants. At the state level, some states like Massachusetts have staffed up offices to help educate and publicize to their state-based audiences upcoming grant opportunities and where to find application assistance. In addition, private foundations are financially supporting a network national and grass-tops nonprofits to provide user guides, webinars, pro-bono help, and other useful resources to help move this federal money out to communities. 

Given the scale and speed at which money is intended to be granted out, there is so much more that can be done. At the Center, we are committed to identifying and helping to fill in the gaps between local organizations and funding opportunities - through these monthly updates, our Federal Funding Primer for Climate Justice, and many other projects to come. We’ve received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, but we know there’s more work to be done. If this work sounds valuable to you, and you want to be part of it, we welcome your partnership. Be in touch with us here!

What's in This Month's Climate Action Update?

This month we’re highlighting an extensive list of exciting local innovations - from Porto, Portugal; which has devised a system for identifying workforce gaps, to Madrid’s Circular Economy Innovation Center, which teaches residents on repair and re-use; to Detroit’s agri-hoods (agricultural neighborhoods), aimed at creating hyper-local parks and addressing food insecurity; and the City of Ithaca recently enshrining not just the Justice40 (a commitment to setting aside 40% of federal benefits for environmental justice communities), but Justice50 into city planning. As you’ll see in this month’s Update, June and July are months filled with transportation and electrification grant opportunities. And we’re thrilled to bring you some of the best new movement resources that have been recently published - from Cash for Communities, a report on how to use direct pay to forward racial, economic, and environmental justice, to the AFL-CIO’s Pro-Worker Climate Migration Policy Framework, which lays out how we can create just labor opportunities for all worker, including those displaced from their homes by climate change. Scroll down for more, and thank you for supporting our efforts at the Center to bring you these updates.

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