July 17, 2019

100% Commitment to Justice in Action

Communities of color in the South, especially women leaders, are banding together to fight climate change; build local, homegrown solutions; and promote a clean energy future. The will is there. The know-how and the talent are there. The only thing standing in the way is a shortage of resources.

To begin to remedy that shortage – and especially in light of Tropical Storm Barry – The Solutions Project is partnering with the Movement Strategy Center to award $60,000 in Fighter League grants to support six climate-movement women leaders of color from the Gulf South states. These grants will go to:

  • Mary Gutierrez and Jayeesha Dutta from Another Gulf is Possible, a women-of-color-led collaborative using the arts, cultural organizing, direct action, and policy advocacy to create vibrant communities, sustainable ecosystems, and just economies from the Gulf South to the Global South.
  • Kathy Egland and Yolanda Edwards from Mississippi-based EEECHO (Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization), a collaborative that bolsters communities with the knowledge and skills they need to build the foundation for a better quality of life using an equity-based, holistic approach.
  • Valencia Gunder and Bette Billiot from Gulf South Rising, a five-state grassroots initiative anchored by the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy that builds local leadership to advance climate justice and ecological equity in the Gulf South region. Please consider donating to Gulf South Rising’s GoFundMe to support communities of color affected by Tropical Storm Barry. 

The Solutions Project’s new Fighter League leadership pilot and grant program reflects our 100% Commitment to Justice funding pledge, which focuses resources on organizations led by women of color. It also reflects our philosophy that feminine leadership – which is characterized by inclusive collaboration and bottom-up decision making, rather than competition and top-down decision-making – is required to solve the climate crisis.

Through the pilot and grant program, these women will participate in leadership development training, with a particular focus on skills that will advance their collaboratives’ work in a way that’s consistent with feminine leadership principles. (For more on feminine leadership, see Solutions Project board members Don Cheadle’s and Mark Ruffalo’s recent op-ed on this topic.)

These initial Fighter League grants are the first step in our effort to support a “Fighter League” of female leaders who are tackling climate change and promoting a just transition to 100% clean energy for all.

We are grateful to our partners Movement Strategy Center (MSC), Rosa Gonzalez and Anthony Giancatarino for helping us design the Fighter League grant program. Thank you to MSC for co-funding the program with us, as well.

We call on other funders to join us in this effort. As Tropical Storm Barry reminds us, the South is ground zero when it comes to climate change and pollution. Women and communities of color are on the front lines. They need and deserve our support so they can scale up their efforts to match the enormity of the problems they are working to solve.