No single organization can tackle the climate crisis alone. To limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and prepare for impacts that communities are beginning to experience today, stronger collaborations are needed, and more grassroots leadership must be supported. USCAN is supporting collaborations and grassroots leadership through its Member Alignment Grants.
The purpose of the Member Catalyzing Grants (formerly Member Empowerment Grants) is to:
Direct more funding to the grassroots climate movement—especially, but not exclusively, to frontline communities and those in the movement who are traditionally under-funded;
Support efforts to build long-term grassroots power from the ground up, and more unity and solidarity, within USCAN and within the climate movement as a whole; and
Foster collaborative approaches to overcoming shared barriers.
2020 USCAN Empowerment Grants
Creation Justice Ministries - BIPOC Young Adult Faithful Climate Action Fellowship, Implementation
Partnering with: Wisconsin Green Muslims, GreenFaith, United Methodist Women, Interfaith Power and Light - DC, MD, VA
Faith partners active in the US CAN “Building Power from the Grassroots Up” Action Team implemented a second year of the “Faithful Climate Action Fellowship” for 20 BIPOC Christian and Muslim 18-26 year-olds in the Midwest and Southeast. Fellows receive training and make a commitment to the following climate justice priorities: to get published, engage in public speaking, help their respective communities to participate in the Building Power from the Grassroots Up Action Team’s Asset Mapping project, and develop support resources for BIPOC climate movement emerging leaders.
United Parents Against Lead & Other Environmental Hazards (UPAL) - Building Capacity through Environmental Justice Leadership in the Southeast, Peer Learning
Partnering with: Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), Virginia Interfaith Power and Light (VAIPL), Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN)
Peer learning across states and regions equips us with the leadership development tools and community capacity building skills we all need to better address the climate crisis collectively and powerfully through a racial equity lens. This multi-state peer learning project will increase Arm in Arm membership by providing disruptive humanitarianism training and resistance strategies that offer alternatives to the status quo. Fighting for Environmental and Climate Justice in the Southeastern U.S. through peer learning and information sharing is essential to our survival.
Georgia Interfaith Power and Light - Building Grassroots Power: A Revised and Re-aligned Network Strategy and Network Steering Committee, Implementation
Partnering with: Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power and Light (LeeAnne), DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, National Interfaith Power and Light (non-funded), Faith in Place (non-funded), Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light (non-funded)
The Interfaith Power & Light network mobilizes a unique and powerful constituency of people of faith in calling for equitable climate action. This project will support four USCAN members organizations elected to serve on a new IPL Network Steering Committee, whose goal is to broaden shared leadership and provide strategic guidance to improve the efficacy and impact of the IPL network. Modeled after USCAN's effective approach, the NSC will build capacity for climate action in states across the nation, provide mentorship to IPL affiliates based on measures of organizational health, and continue to create a network culture and practical framework for mobilizing the faith community for a just and equitable climate vision at the local, state, regional, and federal levels.
Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC) - Charleston Climate Community Forums, Grassroots/Frontline
The Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities work to build healthy families by creating opportunities. We create opportunities through home ownership which is a wealth building tool, close the educational and economic gaps by reducing the barriers to participation and addressing legacy pollution in our communities through education, advocacy and policy changes. Our goal is to engage our residents in meaningful ways to educate them; educate them to empower them and empower them to become the advocates for the change they seek.
Southeast Climate and Energy Network - Leveraging Grassroots Power through Resource-Sharing & Power Mapping, Implementation
Partnering With: Care About Climate, Southeast Climate & Energy Network (SCEN), Sustaining Way, The People's Justice Council
The year 2020 has been full of immense social transformation coupled with a pandemic and an intensifying climate crisis. This highlights the opportunity and necessity for SCEN and USCAN to transform as networking organizations by strengthening communication among all members through the sharing of mutually valuable resources digitally. Leveraging Grassroots Power through Resource-Sharing & Power Mapping supports the evolution of our respective networks’ capacity infrastructure by aligning strategically to develop community-led solutions. Building on two years of previous pilot work, this year we will launch a user friendly platform for asset and power mapping within the USCAN and SCEN networks; allowing members to expand their work by sharing resources, increasing organizational capacity, enhancing relationship building and developing opportunities to coalesce around joint campaigns through power-mapping.
Wisconsin Green Muslims - Multisolving for Equitable Community Climate Solutions: Connecting Systems Thinking and Simulations with Virtual Education at a Time of Multi-crises, Peer Learning
Partnering with: Climate Generation (Minnesota), Climate Interactive (National/Global), RE-AMP (Midwest),
How can we solve for multiple social challenges through equitable climate solutions? Multi Solving is a concept developed by Climate Interactive that provides an approach for finding systematic solutions that protect the climate while also improving health, equity, and well-being. At a time of fragmented society and overlapping crises, multi solving explorations and learnings can help us find equitable and just community climate solutions that solve multiple problems with interconnected interventions. Our proposed work combines the concept of multi solving with virtual, shared learning and developing real world solutions using the power of networks.
GASP - People’s Green New Deal for Birmingham, Frontlines/Grassroots
The main goal of this project is to develop a People’s Green New Deal for the City of Birmingham. Building on our base-building work and expanding it to encompass bottom-up organizing for policy change, the People’s Green New Deal for Birmingham will result in actionable sustainability and climate plans for the City of Birmingham. The deliverable will be in the form of a report containing policy recommendations offered to the City of Birmingham as a comprehensive Municipal Green New Deal that can be adopted by the City Council and implemented by the Mayor.
Agricultural Missions, Inc. - Planning for a Just, Equitable and Sustainable Recovery of the Local Food System in the South, Peer Learning
Partnering with: Agricultural Missions, Inc., Kingdom Living Temple, Whitney M Slater Foundation, Pee Dee Indian Tribe, More listed as non-members
Improved access to healthy food and nutrition education can address, in a direct way, the systemic injustices that lead poor health, access to fresh, healthy food, and lack of economic opportunities for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. The current Coronavirus pandemic presents a situation where the current food system is challenged as never before and one of the ways to address the problem of food insecurity in the long term is to work with families, local organizations, farmers and communities to develop a regional food system that involves direct collaboration and participation of and between farmers, consumers and distributors where necessary. By working together collaboratively to strategize and plan, we can build on the systems already put in place during the pandemic to build infrastructure, advocacy and actions that ensure just and equitable policies, practices, and economic opportunities in relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts of the food system in the South.
The Whitney M. Slater Foundation - Reclaiming Our Vote, grassroots/frontline
The Slater Foundation works in areas of health, climate change, environmental justice and equity. We work primarily with people of color and low income communities to educate and empower them to make systemic and policy changes.
Colorado Farm & Food Alliance - Securing Rural Prosperity and Frontline Climate Action, grassroots/frontline
The Colorado Farm & Food Alliance (COFFA) envisions a Colorado where a strong local food movement supports rural communities that are economically secure, socially equitable, and ecologically resilient. We advocate and take action for a livable climate--that allows agriculture to flourish--and for policies that protect healthy, productive lands and abundant, clean water. We support a thriving farm and local food economy that supports producers and workers, that strengthens community, and that increases food security; and, we work to ensure that quality and nutritious local food is available and affordable for all Coloradans.
Sol Nation - Sol Nation Frontline Grant
Sol Nation is closing the green gap. We are supporting the work that will expose the green gaps in their many forms related to power, infrastructure, resources, and education. Our work amplifies and provides direct pathways to close these gaps to support the communities we serve.
Partnering with: Creation Justice Ministries, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (Codi), North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, Southeast Climate & Energy Network
The Southeast Faith Leaders Network (SFLN) is a collaborative effort building long-term grassroots power lifting up the principles and values of a just transition as we convene faith leaders throughout the Southeast region. As active member organizations of USCAN, we are putting our “Faith into Action” to address the causes and consequences of climate change as a moral imperative and to serve as visionaries in creating beloved communities.
GASP - Southern Communities for a Green New Deal (GND), Implementation
Partnering with: Dogwood Alliance - Budget is over 1m, GASP, Kingdom Living Temple, Southeast Climate & Energy Network (SCEN)
The main goal of Phase Two of the Southern Communities for a Green New Deal (SC4GND) project is for project partners to build broad national, regional and state level support for the SC4GND platform, which reflect the issues and needs from communities in the South. This project builds upon our multi-state methodology to address under-investments and lack of attention toward southern communities in the context of the impact of the global climate crisis. We will disseminate and promote policy recommendations found in the concepts document that our collaborative networks have developed over the past year as the main tool to engage a wide set of national and regional stakeholders. The idea is that SC4GND informs the development of climate policy at both the state and federal level.
The Imani Group - The Black Church - The Green Movement, implementation
The Black Church has been and continues to be the most impactful institutional voice in the Black community. It is not only a place where religious/spiritual practices take place but it also serves as the Gatekeeper of knowledge and participation in larger society. However, far too many churches are unaware of the devastation that climate change and environmental injustice cause in the communities where they are located; but we will change that.
EcoEquity - US Fair Share - USCAN Collaborative Implementation Initiative, implementation
Partnering with: Action Aid, Center for Biological Diversity, EcoEquity, Friends of the Earth, North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light
The IPCC has made it clear that humanity has to go everything possible to hold the warming to 1.5C, or as low as possible. This means that, in addition to its domestic challenges, the US climate movement must take on the challenge of defining, and socializing the US fair share in the larger global effort. That is the gap which this US Fair Shares Initiative is attempting to fill.
Environmental Finance Center West (EFCWest) - Using Root Cause Analysis for DEI and Systemic Issues, peer learning
Partnering with: Care About Climate, Southeast Climate & Energy Network (SCEN), Sustaining Way, The People's Justice Council
This proposal seeks to support partner organizations and USCAN efforts to identify strategic targets, policies and leverage points for systems level change. The project will involve four USCAN organizations in virtual root cause exercises to help them identify opportunities to address the complexity and intersectionality of race, equity, diversity and climate justice.
2019 USCAN Member Empowerment Grants
Agricultural Missions, Inc - Collaborative for Training, Consciousness Raising and Strategy Development, Peer Learning Grant, Partnering With: Partnership for Southern Equity, Care About Climate, Climate Justice Lead, Christian Social Action, United Methodist Women
Consistent with USCAN’s priority of 100% Renewable Energy, the members of this cluster will organize and implement a program to train their own staff and leadership of front line partner organizations, in places and spaces where this is vitally necessary. This training, to be led by member organizations within the cluster, will focus on raising consciousness and awareness of equitable outreach and engagement on the issue of climate change and teaching strategies for racially diverse grassroots participation in 100% renewable energy advocacy targeting local and state level elected representatives. Through the use of the Training of Trainers (TOT) methodology, participants will then be able to train others in their organization's membership and communities and engage in organizing and advocacy on renewable energy.
Care About Climate - Finishing Up Asset Mapping, Collaborative Implementation Grants, Partnering With: Sustaining Way, Georgia WAND, People’s Justice Council
Working with Sustaining Way, Georgia WAND, and People’s Justice Council, Care About Climate started the asset mapping for USCAN in 2018 and have not yet completed the work. This grant would allow us to complete the work with the extension of time and resources.
Creation Justice Ministries - Next Generation Rising, Peer Learning Grant, Partnering With: Franciscan Action Network, Interfaith Power and Light of the DMV, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, Our Children’s Trust, GreenFaith
In 2019-2020, US CAN equipped faith-based member organizations to tap into the existing strength of their young adult networks. They supported the Our Children’s Trust climate lawsuits and other youth-led climate justice initiatives with publicity and on-the-ground organizing support in the Washington, DC area.
Earth Ministry - Building Bridges, Building Power, Grassroots/Frontlines 2 Year Grant
Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light plays a vital bridging role between Northwest faith, tribal, and environmental communities, forging relationships and building power in grassroots movements to support tribally-led climate justice efforts. In this project, Earth Ministry will work in partnership with and follow the strategies of Northwest Native nations to bring together these differing constituencies in support of tribally-led climate campaigns and engage religious leaders in response to specific requests from tribal leadership. The result of our capacity-building efforts will strengthen current Native-led campaigns such as halting the spread of fossil fuel infrastructure in the region and restoring salmon and climate-warmed waters, but also will be applicable to a wide range of environmental and social justice issues long into the future.
EcoEquity - The US Fair Share in a Global Climate Emergency Mobilization - Building Civil Society Consensus, Collaborative Implementation Grant, Partnering With: ActionAid, North Carolina Interfaith Power and Light, Center for Biological Diversity
The general goal of this collaboration is a much broader understanding, within both US climate and climate justice movements, of the ethical and political implications of global emergency climate mobilization in a starkly divided world.
The specific goals are 1) a broad understanding of the importance of fairness and justice in the global response to the climate challenge, which must be seen as just if it is to be effective, and 2) agreement on a specific US fair share of a global mobilization that includes adaptation and loss & damage support as well as decarbonization, an agreement that can inform inputs into processes such as the drafting of the Green New Deal and policies that fall under that framework.
Environmental Finance Center West at Earth Island Institute (EFC West) - Motivating Moccasins on the Ground: Engaging Tribal Communities Around Climate Change, Grassroots/Frontlines 2 Year Grant
Because limited resources and poor economic conditions reduce the resilience of tribes to climate change and increase the vulnerability of southwestern tribes in particular to climate change impacts, they are some of the most vulnerable frontline communities in the United States. In response, this project addresses climate adaptation challenges and builds grassroots power for Tribes in New Mexico and Arizona, through Tribally led trainings and culturally relevant tools to help these communities develop resiliency on their own terms.
Gasp - The Southeast Climate & Energy Podcast, Collaborative Implementation Grant, Partnering With: Southeast Climate & Energy Network (SCEN), Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, People’s Justice Council
The purpose of this project is to spread the word from environmental and climate justice activists, practitioners, clean and renewable energy advocates and the general public from communities in the South on environmental issues. We will do so by recording podcasts highlighting environmental leaders and the communities affected in the Southeastern U.S. where they will talk about their causes and how they have attained significant local, regional and national wins. This initiative evolves from a shared concern of lack of resources and attention for our regional work in the South. Participation will raise awareness of the most salient environmental and climate justice issues in the South, provide educational opportunities, enhance connections within our network while increasing the participation of the general public.
Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL) - Building Resilience: Alabama/Georgia Weatherization & Nuclear Protection Project, Collaborative Implementation Grant, Partnering With: Georgia WAND, Partnership for Southern Equity, People’s Justice Council
Impacted and underserved neighborhoods such as North Birmingham, Alabama and Burke County, Georgia bear a double burden in paying disproportionately more for energy costs while at the same time suffering the health effects of nuclear/toxic waste and pollution generated by energy production. Weatherization offers immediate health and energy/cost-saving benefits, while offering the potential to mitigate some of the fallout effects of a major nuclear catastrophe.
Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL) - Green Teams Mobilize for a Just Transition: Coal, Ash, and 100% Clean Cities, Grassroots/Frontlines 2 Year Grant
Funds will be used to support two efforts: 1) GIPL’s continued mobilization of congregations to engage at the local and state level to ensure the safe removal and storage of coal ash in Georgia communities, and 2) GIPL’s advancement and participation in the implementation of additional city-wide 100% clean energy plans, with a particular focus on the accessibility of clean energy for currently underserved markets, such as multi-family housing, affordable housing, and nonprofits.
Georgia WAND Education Fund - Burke County Leadership Development Support, Grassroots/Frontlines 2 Year Grant
Georgia WAND Education Fund (“Georgia WAND”) is an independent, grassroots, women-led organization that seeks to direct women's voices into a powerful movement for social change. We are working to become fully community-led, and we are collaborative and participatory in our approach. Our mission is to educate the public and opinion leaders about the need to end systemic violence and militarism and redirect excessive military spending to unmet human and environmental needs.
Jail & Prison Rehabilitation Information Community Outreach Program (JAPRI) - Empowering NC Minority Communities to Address Climate Issues, Grassroots/Frontlines 2 Year Grant
To initiate a series of meetings and training sessions within Pitt and Northampton Counties, NC, minority communities addressing local, regional, and national environmental issues including climate change adaptations and environmental justice; those health issues particularly affecting minority communities; and social justice issues including educational limitations, employment, and minority male incarceration issues.
Kentucky Conservation Committee - Kentucky Clean Energy Coalition Campaign, Grassroots/Frontlines 2 Year Grant
The Kentucky Conservation Committee is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit with a 501(c)(3) affiliate, founded in 1975. We collectively empower the public, policymakers and advocates on critical environmental issues in Kentucky, in partnership with the greater conservation community. We are one of Kentucky's oldest state-based conservation collaboratives, providing resources to communities in need.
Kingdom Living Temple - Justice First Campaigns - A Green New Deal from a Southern Perspective, Collaborative Implementation Grant, Partnering With: Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, Dogwood Alliance, Southeast Climate and Energy Network (SCEN)
The main goal of this project is to garner Southern recommendations to potential policies and federal climate legislation that result from the Green New Deal (GND), which reflect the issues and needs from communities in the South. Building upon the work of Gulf South for a Green New Deal (GSGND) initiative, we will apply a multi-state methodology to address under-investments and lack of attention in the context of the impact of the global climate crisis on some of the most unique communities in the US.
Kingdom Living Temple - South Carolina State Solar Initiative, Peer Learning Grant, Partnering With: Low Country Alliance for Model Communities, The Whitney M. Slater Foundation, Restoration Outreach Ministries, Southeast Climate Energy Network (SCEN)
The purpose of the South Carolina State Solar Initiative is to have cities issue proclamations and resolutions to go 100% renewable by the year 2035. As part of the campaign, we will conduct an education program and mobilize the residents of each city to demand action at each respective city council meeting.The cities in South Carolina include Florence, Marion, Darlington, McCall, Bennettsville, Orangeburg, Georgetown, Dillon, and Aiken.
Michigan Interfaith Power and Light - Engaging the Unengaged: Enlisting Less-Involved Populations in Climate ConversationsI, Peer Learning Grant, Partnering With: Minnesota IPL, Iowa IPL, Ohio IPL, Pennsylvania IPL
As a swing region, the nation’s interior is a critically important geography for climate organizing ahead of the 2020 election.But because climate has become an intensely partisan “political” issue, it is sometimes avoided as a topic in communities -- including faith communities-- where consensus and harmony are highly valued. Yet traditional faith communities are often also the stewards of values central to our response to climate change: care for our Common Home; preservation of a livable world for future generations; and care for those most harmed through no action of their own.Together, our five Interfaith Power & Light state affiliates will bring heart-based, values-oriented “Climate Conversations” to congregations to grow and strengthen our base of climate advocates, while also working together to sharpen our approaches and make our efforts to build grassroots power among people of faith and conscience even more effective.
Mt. Zion Community Outreach, Inc - Change - Earth, Wind, & Water: We Have the Power!, Grassroots/Frontlines 2 Year Grant
Many of our inner-city schools, especially failing schools do not teach about climate change.They don’t see simple tasks as trash pickup to preserve that part of our environment.We must ask our middle school students, “how do we help save our planet?” and then teach them methods to achieve through guided listening and learning sessions within our organization utilizing members of the US Climate Action Network community and beyond. We will form a safe space and a welcoming open circle that can take place during aftercare with a developed curriculum / toolkit that moves our students on a path of not only understanding, but becoming partners in helping to preserve our environment.
Mt. Zion Community Outreach, Inc - Climate Justice Healing Conversation Circles, Peer Learning Grant, Partnering With: Wisconsin Green Muslims, The Imani Group, Inc., National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Environmental and Climate Justice Program
Many of us have wounds that stem from the labors of our environmental and climate justice work that are in desperate need of healing. We must ask each other, “how are you healing?” and then listen to and learn from each other on those methods through guided listening and learning sessions within the US Climate Action Network community and beyond. We will form a safe space and a welcoming open circle that can be virtual (at online / zoom meetings) and perhaps physical (at certain in-person meetings) with a developed curriculum / toolkit that moves us together on the path of healing, rooted in our traditions, cultures, spiritualities, and philosophies.
New Jersey Resource Project - Keep Our Communities Above Water: Working Together for Socially and Economically Just Adaptation and Mitigation, Collaborative Implementation Grant, Partnering With: New Jersey Research Project, Anthropocene Alliance, MHAction, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists
We are working together to strengthen our organizing of frontline communities, strategize together, and share lessons to ensure that state-based HUD CDBG-DR disaster recovery and FEMA mitigation programs serve frontline families, and to shape federal programs like the National Flood Insurance Program so it puts our families and science first.Through addressing climate impacts in a socially and economically just manner, we will also work to connect climate-impacted communities to the climate justice movement.Our communities need their stories and struggles to matter, and our public programs and movements need to be responsive to the climate impacts that are already here and will keep coming.
People’s Justice Council - Mapping the Equity and Environmental & Climate Justice Network of the American South, Collaborative Implementation Grant, Partnering With: Southeast Climate and Energy Network (SCEN), Partnership for Southern Equity, Georgia WAND
The South is on the frontlines of struggles for climate justice, economic justice, racial justice, and inclusive democratic participation. Affected communities spanning from the Gulf Coast to Appalachia are advancing critical work on energy, climate and environmental justice. Resonance across strategic themes like racial equity and shared prosperity is building, yet the capacity to coordinate work rooted in the South is extremely limited. Given these conditions, Mapping the Equity, Environmental and Climate Justice Network of the American South supports intentional build out of the South’s community-based capacity infrastructure and strategic alignment to develop community-led solutions.
SC Interfaith Power and Light - Southeast Climate Action Faith Leaders Network, Phase 2, Alignment Convening Grant, Partnering With: North Carolina IPL, Georgia IPL, Alabama IPL, Alabama IPL, Creation Justice Ministries
The Southeast Climate Action Faith Leaders Network is a collaborative effort building long-term grassroots power lifting up the principles and values of a just transition as we convene faith leaders throughout the Southeast region. As active member organizations of USCAN, we are putting our “Faith into Action” to address the causes and consequences of climate change as a moral imperative and to serve as visionaries in creating beloved communities.
Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy - All Our Little Lights: Convening Local Faith Communities for Climate Action, Collaborative Implementation Grant, Partnering With: Interfaith Power and Light, United Methodist General Board of Church Society, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
US religious institutions of many faiths have been active NGO participants at every COP since the beginning, but that work has not been leveraged optimally to influence beliefs and behaviors for faithful Americans in local communities across the country. As global climate policymaking cascades into local and regional policy implementation, civil society—including the faith sector—will shoulder the responsibility for putting the Paris Agreement into action. This project will provide crucial missing links to connect local communities of many faiths to the policy goals of the COP—and help them identify actionable next steps for advocacy and implementation.
The Whitney M. Slater Foundation - Fully Engaging Black USCAN Members for Action, Alignment Convening Grant, Partnering With: Sol Nation, NAACP, Alabama IPL, United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, Clean Air Coalition
Convening a space for black USCAN members and other black led organizations, for the purpose of alignment, education, peer learning, and intersection of issues. Participating black led organizations will have the opportunity to learn more about USCAN and pathways to membership.
Wisconsin Green Muslims - 100% Equitable Renewable Energy, Peer Learning Grant
Partnering With: Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Environment America, Economic and Environmental Justice, United Methodist Women
Members of the US Climate Action Network 100% Renewable Energy action team will build trust and alignment planning an in-person strategy convening and contributing to an ongoing collaborative work on their agreed-upon priorities for 2019-2020. Also grant proposal partners will collectively be designing and executing a training to amplify best practices to move toward successful equitable 100% renewable energy policies and practices on the local and/or national levels.
2018 USCAN Member Empowerment Grants
Care About Climate (Collaborative Grant)
Care About Climate will partner with The People’s Justice Council, Georgia WAND Education Fund, and South Carolina Interfaith Power & Light to pilot an asset map project within the Building Grassroots Power Action Team that will improve communication among all USCAN actions teams and among over 175+ grassroots and grasstop groups.
Clean Air Coalition (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
The grant funds will be used to support the organization’s efforts to advance climate and environmental justice in working-class and communities of color, continue organizing for the just transition of the NRG Huntley Coal plant in Tonawanda, NY and create and grow accessible, generational green jobs in the Western New York Region.
Environmental Finance Center West (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
This funding will be used to support New Mexico Tribal efforts to: 1) better understand potential impacts of and vulnerabilities to climate change, 2) develop climate adaptation plans and 3) empower Tribal members to tell and share their own climate stories through digital storytelling training and production. While the initial focus of this proposal is New Mexico’s 220,000 Tribal members and 22 Tribes, the final product will be made available to Tribes throughout the United States.
Gasp (Collaborative Implementation Grant)
Gasp will work in partnership with Power Shift Network, Sierra Club, and The People’s Justice Council to host the inaugural Renew Alabama Environmental Justice Tour, a series of convenings throughout the state of Alabama to introduce and engage moral leaders and young organizers in the movement for environmental justice.
Georgia WAND (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
Funding will be used to create participatory education, public health, and policy campaigns in Burke County, Georgia. Georgia WAND is planning a public education campaign about the issues facing the Burke County community, focusing on how residents can be their own advocates around public health and climate awareness.
Kentucky Conservation Committee(Collaborative Implementation Grant)
KCC is partnering with three other USCAN member groups (Center for Biological Diversity, Dogwood Alliance, and the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network) and and other key advocacy organizations working in this region to build strategies on addressing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and water quality in the Upper Cumberland Watershed.
Kingdom Living Temple (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
Funds will be used to engage grassroots communities, i.e.., students in renewal education and citizen science around the issues of populations and climate change. We will be working in the cities of Florence and Orangeburg, SC.
New Jersey Organizing Project (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
This collaborative proposal continues to and expands the work of a subgroup of USCAN’s Socially and Economically Just Adaptation and Mitigation Action Team. The group is working together for just policies, programs, and practices for climate preparedness, adaptation, resiliency, and mitigation.
North Carolina Interfaith Power and Light (Collaborative Implementation Grant)
The Southeast Climate Action Faith Leaders Network is a collaborative effort building long-term grassroots power lifting up the principles and values of a just transition as we convene faith leaders throughout the Southeast region.
Ohio Interfaith Power and Light (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
Grant funds will be used to support Ohio Interfaith Power & Light in transformings its organizational mission, vision, and programming to strengthen their work towards intersectional justice, inclusivity, anti-racism, and grassroots movement building.
Physicians for Social Responsibility (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia (PSR), in collaboration with Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), will amplify the message of health in context of solar energy jobs in underinvested Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Sol Nation(Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
Funds will be used to support the annual Sol Summit, an outlet that equips marginalized communities with education, training and resources to address injustice specifically in the areas of climate, environmental, and economic impacts.
Sunrise Movement Education Fund (Alignment Convening Grant)
Funds will support an in-person convening and coalition-building to align environmental, labor, racial justice, and economic justice organizations around a popular platform to fight climate change, restore our environment, and guarantee good jobs for all.
Sustaining Way (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
Funding will support two efforts: 1) Sustaining Way’s multi-tiered workforce development program that builds grassroots power through employing and training community members in sustainable practices, leadership, advocacy and personal skills all while developing the surrounding low-income community; and 2) strategic planning for proliferation of our replicable model throughout South Carolina and the Southeast enabling Sustaining Way to establish a network of grassroots communities.
The People's Justice Council (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
Funding will support startup expenses for Alabama IPL, a hopeful moral response to climate change, including the purchase of equipment for training and speaking events, the creation of initial marketing materials, and staffing costs for first year programming.
The Whitney M. Slater Foundation (Collaborative Implementation Grant)
Funds will be used to take follow-up measures after the completion of the Justice First Tour. These follow-up measures will include: convening two organizers from each of the 12 states that the Justice First Tour visited and participating in the 2018 Creating a Climate for Change Conference.
Wisconsin Green Muslims (Grassroots/Frontlines Grant)
Funds will be used centering equity in the 100% clean and renewable energy economy on the local level in Wisconsin. Through grassroots and community-led efforts in building large and diverse coalition, our collective work on climate, justice and jobs, grounded in energy democracy, will enhance capacity to successfully launch Wisconsin’s Just Solar guiding principles and programs.
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (Collaborative Implementation Grant)
This member alignment grant will go directly toward offsetting the staff costs of participating in the work of the Equitable and Ambitious Climate Vision Action Team. This grant will allow a more diverse, inclusive, and grassroots representation on the Action Team and will enhance the outcome of the Action Team’s work as a result.
2017 USCAN Empowerment Grants
Sunrise Movement, in partnership with Powershift Network, Sierra Student Coalition, Alliance for Climate Education, and more, used USCAN Collaborative Grant funds to create a “Climate Legacy Time Capsule” campaign. This campaign had a simple premise: all of us, rich or poor, black or white, rural or urban, stand to lose something we love to the climate crisis. Sunrise and their partners issued a call to folks across the country: what will our climate legacy be? In 25 cities, climate citizens brought objects, letters, and mementos to preserve in a time capsule. Sunrise and their partners built alliances with local groups, many of whom were faith organizations and high school clubs. Their project “seeded new Sunrise hubs across the country and laid the groundwork for explosive work in 2018!”
GreenLatinos used USCAN funds to work at both the local and federal levels and varied in scope through educational and advocacy programs. Their work supported Environmental Justice and USCAN members in priorities and urgent local on the ground efforts that connected to federal policy in what they determined were “Environmental Justice Hot spots.” They bolstered member driven campaigns through two of their core policy working groups, Environmental Justice and Civil Rights and Climate and Clean Air. One notable success was their participation in a successful litigation action, which resulted in the banning of a toxic chemical. Additionally, they had their largest Green Latinos Summit to date with 200 leaders! At this summit, there were member led breakouts, outdoor activities, panels, collaborative leadership trainings, and more! Thank you GreenLatinos for the amazing work you do!
Iowa IPL, in collaboration with Creation Justice Ministries, IA-NE NAACP, and Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, convened three workshops with the purpose of increasing awareness and advocacy around energy equity and environmental justice at both the grassroots and grasstops levels. Workshops were held in Sioux City, IA, Des Moines, IA, and in Waterloo, IA! The convenings engaged 84 Iowa clergy and church leaders on the topics of energy equity, environmental justice, community resilience, and collective moral action. These workshops have already resulted in positive follow through, and workshop participants’ have voiced desire to advocate for energy efficiency by taking part in REAMP Iowa State Table’s energy efficiency to learn about best practices for statewide programs!
Clean Air Coalition of Western New York (CACWNY) has used USCAN grant funds to continue to organize for the just transition of the NRG Huntley Coal plant in Tonawanda, NY and built power to create and grow accessible, generational green jobs in the Western NY Region. Their organizing has resulted in an application from NRG to remediate a portion of their site, and significant commitment from NY to transition the Town of Tonawanda towards a renewable energy future! Additionally, CACWNY has: collected 12 organizational sign-on letters demanding Erie County take action to remediate the site, created a coalition to explore a shared organizing strategy for workforce in the renewable sector made up of labor and clergy groups, held two press events calling for a transition of the site, facilitated five economic transition implementation meetings to coordinate resident organizing and town agencies on Tonawanda’s coal economic transition plan and more! Thank you for all your great work!
Sustaining Way used USCAN grant funds to support their workforce development program that builds grassroots power in Greenville, SC by transforming underutilized people into community leaders through extensive training and paid community development work! Sustaining Way added a new position to this program that focuses on food and landscape, as well as increased the number of people engaged in the program! In 2017, 7,400 people were engaged in their programs for a cumulative amount of 9,200 hours. Another accomplishment was the launch of Steward Fellows, which is part of Sustaining Way’s Youth Programming. Steward Fellows is for students in financial need to complete paid development work while receiving mentoring and training in personal, workforce, and leadership development; 19 students have completed this fellowship! They also learn about many aspects of sustainability through this fellowship.
Creation Justice Ministries, in collaboration with Franciscan Action Network, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light, and North Carolina Interfaith Power and Light, used USCAN grant funds to build momentum from the 2017 State of Appalachia Conference. This momentum resulted in a 2018 State of Appalachia conference in Pipestem State Resort Park in March 2018! This conference included a just transition themed prayer service and a plenary discussion featuring Just Transition featuring thought leaders. Leading up to this conference, Creation Justice Ministries was able to hire a coordinator to be the planning team convener and logistical organizer of this conference and to ensure the implementation of this grant. Additionally, Creation Justice Ministries used the USCAN grant to engage in advocacy for just transition policies, in particular the RECLAIM Act, where they facilitated the release of a faith sign-on letter.
North Carolina IPL came together with USCAN members Kingdom Living Temple and Sustaining Way to participate in a Grassroots and Collaboration Grant. They came together as leading grassroots environmental justice and resilience building organizations to create the Carolinas Faith Leaders Network to develop long term development of a Southeast Climate Action Faith Leaders Network. Their work is designed to equip people of faith in the Carolinas to use their voices to address energy and climate issues. Their “Faith in Action” campaigns support faith leaders to develop their voices with goals to develop relationships with elected officials and participate in constructive and collaborative ways to influence energy policy and foster state wide resilience.
New Jersey Resources Project used a grassroots grant to build on the work of the Socially and Economic Just Adaptation and Mitigation (SEJAM) User Group. They were able to anchor frontline community leadership within USCAN, connect USCAN members that had a position on social and economically just policies to learn from each other and create alignment, and pe part of an in person conversation before the USCAN Annual Meeting to deepen their connections and shared work. This grant allowed the SEJAM group to move forward collectively and center grassroots leadership. One highlight was when Shana from Union of Concerned Scientists came to their first meeting and led two workshops for 75 directly impacted members and community leaders.
Kingdom Living Temple received a frontlines/grassroots grant to support work such as implementing renewable energy, energy democracy, and just transitions through an environmental justice and democracy lens. Among many events, one exciting moment was at the Climate Justice Summit in North Carolina where they discussed the negative environmental impacts of the biomass wood pelletizing facility that had been conducted in Hamlet, NC and the organizing against the plant. They helped get a petition with over 12,000 individual signatures and 60 organizations. Kingdom Living Temple was able to attend 31 events over the course of their grant period to bring grassroots voices and perspectives.