This past Tuesday we co-hosted a reception here in our offices for the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, a project of Redefining Progress. Members of the EJCC Steering Committee from locations across the country came to the Bay Area for a two-day update and strategy session; the reception provided an opportunity for local funders and guests to meet steering committee members and hear more about EJCC’s work.

Last year when we first started to learn about EJCC, I was impressed by their focus on developing emerging leadership to address climate change issues on behalf of people who otherwise would largely be left out of such conversations, namely people of color and low-income communities. In certain ways they have two audiences: a) bringing diverse representation to a largely white and wealthy discussion on climate change solutions, and b) building advocacy movements in communities of color to push for energy policies that benefit everyone (and don’t leave economically marginalized people bearing the brunt of global warming’s ill effects). When we first heard of their work, we saw a natural alignment with our Green Access grantmaking priorities.

Among many other achievements, EJCC sponsored a delegation of staff and youth to the annual United Nations Conference of Parties/Meeting of Parties on climate change in Bali, Indonesia. They authored (with Redefining Progress) and introduced a landmark report, A Climate of Change: African Americans, Global Warming, and a Just Climate Policy for the U.S., at a U.S. Congressional briefing this past July. They also shared with us their impressive Climate Justice Corps Training Manual, full of information vital to any emerging and established climate justice activists. And I always appreciate talking with the fierce and forthright Nia Robinson, EJCC’s Director.

Thanks to the terrific EJCC/Redefining Progress staff for making the reception a success. We’re happy to have supported EJCC as they carve this path to a green future for us all.

Photos by Tiffany Price and Michaela French.

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