A new initiative is challenging American climate philanthropies to dramatically increase their funding of environmental efforts led by Black, Indigenous, Latino and other people of color, the AP reports. “People say we have 10 years to solve the climate crisis but people of color are living it right now,” Ashindi Maxton, co-founder of the Donors of Color Network which launched the campaign Thursday, told the AP. “Organizations led by people of color are chronically underfunded and there is a … vibrant set of leaders and organizations that people can fund.”
The historic and present effects of redlining and other systems of (environmental) racism disproportionately burden communities of color with pollution and the impacts of climate change-fueled disasters.
A New School study found 12 national environmental funders awarded just 1.3% of their 2016 and 2017 grants in the Gulf and Midwest regions to groups focused on environmental justice, and barely a quarter of the nation’s top 40 environmental foundations and grant providers even submitted data on their staff demographics for a Green 2.0 report released last month. The Climate Funders Justice Pledge, launched Thursday, calls on philanthropies to direct 30% of their funding to groups led by people of color within two years of signing up.
“I think there’s definitely a great opportunity right now, with the increased awareness and re-centering of racial equity and racial justice within philanthropy, and an important moment of reckoning that we should use to hold these foundations accountable,” Ana Baptista, who led the New School study, told the AP. “Now is where the rubber meets the road and it’s a moment to put your money where your mouth is.” (AP)