Meet the visionaries: Our 2022 justice and equity learning pilot fund grantees

Blog Post Justice & Equity
Youth4Nature is a by-youth, for-youth organization that educates, equips, and establishes youth as leaders on system-wide solutions for the nature and climate crises. Photo credit: Youth4Nature
Published August 30, 2023

Makeeba Browne

Chief of Equity, Justice and Culture

Community-based fisheries management to better protect, restore, and manage the coastal waters and habitats we depend on. Youth-led climate justice trainings and career development opportunities to help frontline communities mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. Sustained engagement with West African grassroots organizations and youth-led movements in the Global Stocktake.

These are just a few of the ways in which ClimateWorks Foundation’s 2022 Justice and Equity Collaborative Learning Pilot Fund (or JEDI Pilot Fund) grantees are forging a path toward a more just and sustainable future, where every individual, community, and ecosystem can thrive.

Launched in 2021, the JEDI Pilot Fund supports our efforts to amplify and integrate justice and equity in our strategies and grantmaking. We tripled the amount granted through this special fund from $1 million in 2021 to $3.1 million in 2022. This allowed us to grow our support for work dedicated to supporting systemic change, power building, and moving resources closer to community and frontline groups. 

This is a collaborative learning effort, and we aim for our pilot fund’s grants to be mutually beneficial to both support our grantees’ justice work and build our internal capacity as we increasingly orient our work toward justice and equity. Each pilot fund project is sponsored by a ClimateWorks staff member who commits to submitting the application on behalf of the grantee, managing the grant and grantee relationship throughout its duration, and co-learning alongside the grantee. 

Our 2022 grantees lead remarkable initiatives to benefit people and the planet, working at the intersections of sustainable development, climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience to advance transformative change and build climate hope. We are thrilled to spotlight some of the wonderful organizations that make up our 2022 pilot fund grantees:

  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) ($300,000)
    APEN is leading a just transition away from an extractive economy based on profit and pollution and toward local, healthy, and life-sustaining economies that benefit everyone, with a focus on Asian immigrant and refugee communities. Sponsor: Power
  • Climate Analytics Caribbean ($220,000)
    Climate Analytics Caribbean delivers cutting-edge science and analysis, and supports the Caribbean region to translate UNFCCC negotiated outcomes into laws and policies that accelerate climate action to limit warming below 1.5° C. Their work empowers countries, communities, and people on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Sponsor: Global Intelligence
  • EVHybridNoire ($50,000)
    EvHybridNoire is the nation’s largest network of diverse electric vehicle drivers and enthusiasts working to advance EVs and multimodal e-mobility solutions across the United States and to ensure those solutions are inclusive and equitable. Sponsor: Road Transportation
  • Greenlining Institute ($100,000)
    The Greenlining Institute works towards a future where communities of color can build wealth, live in healthy places filled with economic opportunity, and are ready to meet the challenges posed by climate change. Sponsor: Finance
  • Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) ($75,000)
    IGES is a Japan-based think tank specializing in environmental policy and sustainable development. IGES advocates for greater participation and engagement of civil society groups, businesses, local governments, academia, and NGOs, in the Stocktake process, which presents an opportunity for greater commitment to climate action worldwide. Sponsor: Global Intelligence
  • Jolt Initiative ($340,160)
    Jolt Initiative is a non-profit organization that increases the civic participation of Latinos in Texas to build a stronger democracy and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. Sponsor: Industry
  • Occidental Arts and Ecology Center for People over Plastic ($100,000)
    The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) is the fiscal sponsor of People Over Plastic, the only multicultural media platform of its kind, publishing stories by BIPOC for BIPOC. People over Plastic focuses on uplifting people’s environmental justice stories in a way that is both nuanced, sensitive, and in-depth. Sponsor: Industry
  • Our Climate Education Fund ($50,000)
    Our Climate empowers young people to advocate for the science-based, equitable, and intersectional climate justice policies that build a thriving world. They engage and train youth from affected communities and groups to participate in broad and diverse advocacy coalitions. Sponsor: Carbon Dioxide Removal
  • Power For All ($100,000)
    Power for All focuses on growing the market for distributed renewable energy (DRE) for productive uses in agriculture and allied activities to promote socio-economic development across rural communities. Sponsor: Programs
  • Rare, Inc. ($175,000)
    Rare is a global leader in driving social change for people and nature. For over 45 years, across 60 countries, Rare has inspired and empowered millions of people and their communities to shift their behaviors and practices to protect our shared planet. Sponsor: Carbon Dioxide Removal
  • Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) ($75,000)
    SOA activates young people, develops and implements innovative solutions, and mobilizes an ocean workforce to restore the health of the ocean in our lifetime. SOA has built the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders and supported innovative startups, nonprofits, and grassroots campaigns dedicated to solving the greatest threats facing the planet. Sponsor: Carbon Dioxide Removal
  • The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) ($145,000)
    ICSC is an international non-government group based in the Philippines advancing fair climate policy and low-carbon, climate-resilient development. They amplify the voices of regional non-state actors in the Stocktake process, provide feedback to countries in updating their climate commitments, and encourage the adoption of collaborative strategies in the region. Sponsor: Global Intelligence
  • United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women ($350,000)
    UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. In response to climate change as the global crisis, UN Women highlights the importance of increasing women’s access to and use of renewable energy and empowering women’s leadership in the green transition. Sponsor: Programs
  • Village Empowerment, Inc. in partnership with Mahila Housing Trust (MHT) ($350,000)
    The Mahila Housing Trust’s mission is to strengthen women collectives in the urban informal sector to advance constructive dialogue and action on improving their housing, living, and working environments. Since its establishment in 1994, MHT has empowered women to lead their habitat improvement process. Sponsor: Clean Cooling Collaborative
  • Yayasan Sosial Indonesia untuk Kemanusiaan (IKa) ($135,000)
    IKa is a civil society resource organization that supports local initiatives in terms of social justice, human rights, and environmental sustainability through small grants, sharing knowledge, network building, and volunteering. Sponsor: Programs
  • Youth4Nature (Y4N) ($200,000)
    Y4N is a by-youth, for-youth organization that educates, equips, and establishes youth as leaders on system-wide solutions for the nature and climate crises, which are rooted in traditional and scientific knowledge and grounded in intergenerational justice. Sponsor: Carbon Dioxide Removal

Expanding our climate justice learning & grantmaking in 2023

Over the coming months, we will dive deeper into the projects led by our JEDI Pilot Fund grantees. We hope to shine a light on their critical justice and equity work and to share our learnings.

We’re also excited about how our JEDI Pilot Fund continues to evolve. In 2023, we grew the pilot fund by committing an additional $4.1 million for grantmaking. Although most of the pilot fund’s goals and priorities remain unchanged this year, we aim to increase support for work focused on the Global South and solutions at the intersection of climate change and social justice.

Our JEDI grantmaking is vital to scaling up justice and equity grantmaking at ClimateWorks. By approaching it collaboratively, this mutual learning process enables us to refine our grantmaking approaches, identify emerging trends, and strengthen our efforts to address the root causes of climate change and help build resilience to climate impacts. Together with our grantees, we are continuously expanding our collective knowledge and driving meaningful change in the pursuit of a more just and sustainable future.