September 30 2021
Team Incite

Shifting the focus of our climate giving

September 30 2021
Team Incite
Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

A few weeks ago we shared with you our continued commitment to supporting up-and-coming nonprofits working on society’s most pressing issues. Today we have some more exciting news about our new slate of grantees! We’re proud to unveil our support of five organizations that are fighting climate change while elevating marginalized communities: Urban Ocean Lab, All We Can Save Project, Undaunted K-12, Leadership Counsel and Freedman Heirs.

While we’re not a solely climate-focused fund and foundation, the bulk of our work over the past few years has been anchored in the massive challenge of mitigating climate change via carbon removal, electrification and policy change. We still have a long way to go to turn the tide - and a major gap in the climate fighting ecosystem has been the inclusion of marginalized communities. Black, LatinX, indigenous populations and other communities of color bear the fallout of climate change disproportionately in exposure to emissions, pollution and poor water quality and more. We know that climate change is both amplifying and deepening these inequities. 

We knew we had to shift the focus of our climate giving. While we’ve funded climate innovation and technology, policy, basic research and science for years, we found ourselves increasingly frustrated with the lack of diverse leadership and representation in the sector. We also want to supercharge our investment in talented people - the leaders we need to include at the tables of climate change solutions. 

Through our new areas exploration work this summer, a few common themes emerged: 

The need to actively engage and include historically excluded communities in the work of climate change awareness and organizing 

The need to elevate the voices of both gender and racially diverse leaders within the ranks of climate leadership

The importance of catalyzing new organizations to continue tackling the massive scale of the climate change crisis is proud to announce our support of these five (largely new) organizations that shun the status quo, have environmental justice at the center of their work, and are led by committed, diverse leadership teams reflective of the populations they serve. 

Please join us in welcoming them to the family! Together, we can make the climate movement more inclusive and effective.

Urban Ocean Lab is the first coastal climate policy think tank dedicated to protecting our nation’s coastal cities for safety, economies, food security and communities on the ground. One-third of all Americans, who of whom are Black and brown, live in coastal cities. These areas are largely left out of existing climate policy. UOL seeks to develop targeted solutions that can become policy proposals, to serve as a resource hub, and to form a community of practice to save our coastal cities.  

All We Can Save Project is a first-of-its-kind anthology elevating the feminist climate renaissance providing solutions to climate change. Women’s leadership and participation within the climate change mitigation space equates to better outcomes for climate policy, the reduction of carbon emissions and, ultimately, the protection of Mother Earth. All We Can Save Project’s Reading Circles have engaged hundreds of thousands of people to have a deeper dialogue and understanding of the climate crisis, as well as mobilize their communities. 

Undaunted K-12 is a new nonprofit focused on decarbonizing public K-12 schools. Their mission is to support America's public schools to make an equitable transition to zero carbon emissions while preparing youth to build a sustainable future in a rapidly changing climate. Unfortunately, climate change will worsen child inequities that already exist within frontline communities. It’s vital to involve K-12 schools, which are often overlooked as levers of change within this space.

Leadership Counsel fundamentally shifts the dynamics that have created the stark inequality that impacts California’s Eastern Coachella and San Joaquin Valleys. These two regions are critical to our agricultural production, will experience meaningful population growth in the years to come, and have large Black and brown communities residing in rural, unincorporated areas without access to resources. Leadership Counsel’s  policy and advocacy across issues of climate, housing, transportation, land use and water have actively brought residents into legislative conversations to ensure their needs are being met and reflected at all levels of government. 

Freedman Heirs provides holistic support to Black farmers, cutting across various issues, regions, and types of farms (urban, rural, row crops, fruits/vegetables, livestock, etc). They are dedicated to helping Black farmers by leveraging grassroots advocacy, building marketplaces, providing access to capital and legal aid and educating farmers on the best practices for efficiency, profitability and sustainability. As the number of independently owned farms in the US has declined, the number of independently owned Black farms is nearing zero at a much faster rate than their white counterparts. Freedmen Heirs seek to protect and nourish Black land ownership, all through a sustainability lens.

We’re thrilled to be working with these innovative teams and supporting them. If you’d like to learn more about them, how Incite will be supporting their causes, and how you can too - please drop Keely a line: 

And as always, If you know of really great organizations or people we should get to know, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us!

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