Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.
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Asian Americans have long been excluded from the national climate movement, activists and scientists told Axios. Asian Americans across the country are working to change that legacy of omission by leading climate organizations, protests and research. Climate justice activist Alexia Leclercq, who is Taiwanese with Indigenous ancestry, tells Axios that growing up in Texas, "upper class, white, mostly men" were always depicted as scientists or environmentalists. Although representation has "somewhat improved," Leclercq says the larger Asian American community is still "not included" in leadership within these spaces.
The Inflation Reduction Act is ambitious climate policy, but history shows that ambitious policy is not always followed by ambitious implementation. In this episode, Hahrie Han of Johns Hopkins University and David Beckman of the Pisces Foundation talk about Mosaic, a grant-making coalition that aims to help build a robust movement infrastructure to ensure that vulnerable and underserved groups can take full advantage of the significant funding offered by the IRA.
Planned Parenthood’s National Volunteer Program grew in size, scope, and influence from the summer to the end of the year in 2022. It did so by focusing on investing in and developing volunteers into leaders to keep momentum going around winning back abortion access. Here are some key strategies NVP used: Hosting weekly mobilization calls to welcome all volunteers into NVP and ensure people are getting plugged into immediate actions in less than 24 hours of event attendance; Volunteers self-selecting into text banking, phone banking, social media, community mobilization, and/or storytelling—each team has a weekly team call with multiple opportunities for volunteers to step up to be coaches for newer team members; Peer-to-peer texting keeps people plugged into opportunities within each team and is a primary source of information for volunteers; Running large Zoom calls for all volunteers to help deepen their understanding about abortion stigma, get skills-based training to become better storytellers or host teach-ins on their own, learn how to lobby, and participate in phone banks that support states at the local level to stop anti-abortion legislation; Having volunteers lead calls, facilitate meetings, speak out about their own experiences, and have a sense of ownership over the success of their teams; Organizer staffing and team management: Ensure there is a staffing team that can support your scaling volunteer program. An organizer is an essential part of a scalable snowflake model, and on average one organizer can manage 10-20 volunteer leaders, a volunteer leader can coordinate with an average of 5 volunteers, which can result in one organizer supporting a volunteer team size of 50-100 volunteers.
The Inflation Reduction Act presupposes a private sector–led transition, but battles over its implementation could build the political constituencies and expertise needed to take on the fossil fuel industry. It’s understandably hard for those who supported Green New Deal proposals for transformative investments in public goods to see the IRA—a bundle of tax credits whose benefits accrue largely to corporations—as a consolation prize. the forces backing a Green New Deal lost. But they had enough power to fundamentally shift debates at the highest level about what climate policy in the twenty-first century should look like, convincing lawmakers to abandon their commitment to narrow market tweaks and to focus instead on investment and job creation. The weakness of the bill that resulted from that shift reflected the power of polluters and a private sector eager to have the state step in to subsidize its profits. It’s time to get ready to win and run the big green state in the new normal the Green New Deal created.
The Hive Fund is co-creating a strategic, place-plus grantmaking approach, supporting constellations of groups in key geographies across the US South in leveraging these new federal climate programs to build and scale community-driven climate solutions. This includes: Continuing to make multiyear grants to groups who are reducing pollution and building clean energy alternatives in their communities and across regions. Identifying and funding up to ten iconic IRA climate justice zones that will offer concrete examples of how progress can happen in the South. Helping grantee partners across the US South prepare to access $3 billion in EPA block grants for community-based organizations in disadvantaged communities, coming available as soon as early 2024. Building the capacity of community-based lenders to access capital from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and other new programs to finance community projects, explore new lending products, and increase access to resources that meet community needs. Coordinating with equity-aligned climate re-granters to raise and move new philanthropic funds quickly and strategically to place-based groups in disinvested communities.
Solving complex social problems offers unique challenges—here are lessons from “social-change makers” for fellow leaders. First, a critical step to build trust is to center the voices and perspectives of those most affected by inequitable systems themselves. Second, given constraints in human capacity, consider experimenting by hiring differently, deploying talent differently, and surrounding yourself with people who think differently than you. Third, measure your impact—use principles that center equity and learning, track the state of the field’s development, monitor your progress, and don’t forget the health of your own organization. Fourth, be sure to find balance between long-term visioning and planning and short-term action.
Even with modest beginnings, “systems-change organizations” seek world-changing outcomes. But solving complex social problems is uniquely challenging. This resource surveyed “field catalysts” aiming for systems change across a variety of issues, including health equity, gender-based violence, climate change, and education. It found that their work could be accelerated with the right support from funders. Because these organizations consistently punch far above their weight, 87% of field catalysts believe they would achieve their systems-change goals within just two decades if provided the necessary resources and consistent support. This resource also profiles some organizations, including IllumiNative, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, South African National AIDS Council, Community Solutions, Health Care Without Harm, Movement for Black Lives, Families and Workers Fund, and more.
Organizing the climate crisis’ most disproportionately impacted communities is the missing ingredient to build power required to address the climate crisis. In order to meet the climate crisis and transform our society, we must scale up grassroots organizing. Organizations affiliated with the Center for Popular Democracy that are now leading some of the strongest climate justice organizing in the country include the Green New Deal Network, New York Communities for Change, Make the Road PA, One PA, CASA, the PA statewide climate table, and Florida Rising, and others. This report profiles the work of those groups and others organizing working-class communities of color into the climate movement. Organizing must be: 1) community-led and focus on issues that have tangible impacts for Black, Indigenous, Latiné, and low-income people, 2) rooted in a framework that challenges racial capitalism, and 3) intersect with other issues impacting frontline communities.
Presented by A Bookkeeping Cooperative and AORTA, Speculative Budgeting: Resource Management For Our Futures asks us to reimagine budgeting using speculative fiction practices. This presentation slidedeck broadens how we understand budgets as a way to manage resources to meet our visions and dreams. Using joy and visioning activities, we reinvigorate the budgeting process, a process that has typically felt stressful, oppressive, and limiting into a process centered on imagination and creativity.
There are key ways for movement groups to use narrative strategies to build stronger coalitions. Many narrative practitioners and funders are using creative means to build narrative infrastructure and power, especially for those whose voices have been traditionally marginalized or “othered.” Yet, we continue to experience fragmentation and toxic othering within many of our movement ecologies where civic space is closing. Here are three areas of narrative practice that support collaboration between groups coming together with the aim of reducing systems of authoritarianism and strengthening democratic values: 1) Legitimacy—how narratives regulate and determine the nature of interactions between people, 2) Power—the dynamics of relations and decision-making in the narrative landscape, 3) Complexity—the capacity of any narrative to evolve and change. The Narrative Engagement Across Difference Project (NEAD) was designed by a consortium of organizers, academics, and philanthropists to take a deep look at narrative practices from a multidisciplinary lens and to reflect on how we can better unlock more effective collective action within diverse, broad-based movements.