Supporters

Donors of Color Network is proud to have the support of prominent movement, business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and academic leaders and organizations. Below are their statements of support.

Professor Shalanda H. Baker

Professor of Law, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University School of Law​

“COVID-19 offers a window into the widespread structural inequality that is endemic in American society. The climate emergency promises to do the same. This moment offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine society through economic recovery.

“We must not only ‘build back better,’ we must use this opportunity to transform. We must leverage frontline policy leadership and support BIPOC-led grassroots efforts to transform the clean energy sector in service of racial and social justice.

“The Climate Funders Justice Pledge facilitates that support among top funders who have traditionally ignored BIPOC groups for the ‘conventional’ climate movement. Deep investments in BIPOC leadership across multiple domains–base building, policy creation, and implementation –will provide the best pathway to prepare the nation for the climate emergency.”

Eddie Bautista

Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

“Communities of color don’t need to be granted agency – we have been fighting for our planet and for our own communities for decades. We are in a climate crisis that demands we work together to find solutions that work. Yet too often, innovative and impactful solutions developed by leaders of color see those solutions marginalized or ignored. Top philanthropies who overlook the outsized impact that people of color-led groups across this country have on climate every day are forfeiting opportunities to be truly transformational.”

“The Climate Funders Justice Pledge encourages funders to harness the power of an already expansive movement that is winning. I hope that funders step up to the plate and make good on their public commitments to racial justice by directing climate dollars where it’s most effective –  Black, Indigenous, and people of color-led groups on the frontlines.”

Dr. Robert D. Bullard

Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University, Co-Founder, HBCU Climate Change Consortium, Co-Chair, National Black Environmental Justice Network, and Recipient of the United Nations Environment Programme 2020 Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award

“When polluters are looking to build a new landfill or chemical plant, they target communities of color. Never are the people in those communities given a seat at the table – those who exploit them want to keep them in the margins. This is the reality in the U.S. and globally. These profit-hungry forces will not change, and the only way to defeat them is people power – specifically, the power of people and communities of color. Philanthropies have a huge amount of influence and a unique ability to resource that people power, and they must seize it now if we are to win the climate fight. 

I wholeheartedly support the Donors of Color Network’s Climate Funders Justice Pledge because it puts transparency front and center. This is how we will get funders to put their weight behind the BIPOC-led groups, networks, and consortia that are our last, best hope. The time for philanthropies to act is now.”

Don Chen

President, The Surdna Foundation

“Surdna was proud to support Building Equity and Alignment for Impact’s (BEA) report, which found that 12 national environmental funders gave just 1.3% of their annual giving to environmental justice groups. There is an abundance of BIPOC-led organizations leading the way to climate justice and a scarcity of funders who support them. That’s why we’re proud to join the Climate Funders Justice pledge. BEA’s report and the pledge provide easy, transparent access to the information funders need to do a much better job of supporting BIPOC-led organizations and realizing healthier, more sustainable communities.”

Michelle J. DePass

President and CEO, Meyer Memorial Trust

“Meyer Memorial Trust heartily embraces the Climate Funders Justice Pledge as a benchmark for foundations dedicated to a thriving environment. As a regional funder in a state with demographics that still reflect Oregon’s founding as a white utopia, a pledge to reach a 30-percent goal of BIPOC-led environmental organizations feels both inspired and aspirational.

But we believe in the necessity of goals that keep funders reaching forward, in partnership and in pursuit. We are driven to apply the spirit of the Pledge to our other portfolios including our recent Justice Oregon for Black Lives initiative, a $25 million, five-year commitment of dedicated funding to deepen support for Black-centered organizations to improve conditions for all Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in Oregon, and in turn, for all Oregonians. Meyer accepts the challenge to give even more thought and creativity to mobilize for environmental justice right in our backyards.” 

Denise Fairchild, Ph.D

President and CEO, Emerald Cities Collaborative

“It is broadly accepted that equity is everyone’s business.  But it will not come quick, easy or cheap. We need to upend more than a century of extraction of indigenous lands and human capital from Blacks, Indigenous and other People of Color(BIPOC) communities, as well as public and private sector policies designed to discriminate, segregate and perpetuate an underclass.  The intergenerational damages leave our communities disproportionately vulnerable to climate change vulnerabilities.”

“Philanthropy must dig deep to help address both legacy and climate challenges. That means dismantling systemic barriers in philanthropy as in all other sectors of the economy – I applaud the Climate Funders Justice Pledge for shifting the center of climate philanthropy toward a focus on racial and economic justice. It’s time to stop the circular arguments such as frontline communities don’t have capacity, if they are not resourced to have capacity. Or, that foundations can’t adequately resource under resourced organizations because of the industry’s ‘tipping point’ rule regarding funding limits. These practices and logic  perpetuate a legacy extraction as BIPOC organize climate solutions on poverty wages.”

Tom Goldtooth

Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network

“Indigenous peoples are often the first to feel climate chaos and the compounding changes of  Mother Earth’s ecosystems. Meanwhile, the resource extractive industrial complex is actively stealing our lands. At the Indigenous Environmental Network, we work with Indigenous peoples worldwide to lead a grassroots movement addressing the myriad of environmental justice issues harming people and the planet. We also produce big wins – wins like temporarily shutting down the Dakota Access, delaying Keystone XL, and stopping the Atlantic Coast Pipelines. The Indigenous Environmental Network supports the Donors of Color Network’s Climate Funders Justice Pledge because it asks that top philanthropies recognize the efficacy of our work – as well as the efficacy of BIPOC climate groups in general – by funding us accordingly so that we can win the climate fight once and for all.”

Rosalinda Guillen and Yolanda Matthews

Community Council Co-Chairs, Front and Centered

“As the largest coalition of POC-led organizations in the Pacific Northwest region, and the only one focused on fighting climate change,

Front and Centered is intimately familiar with two things: first, the immense value and potential of unearthing the wisdom from the lived experience of our communities, and second, the barriers to mars

halling resources across our over 70 organizations. We believe the reforms called for via the Donors of

Color Network’s Climate Funders Justice Pledge are a necessary first step for the philanthropic community to become effective climate funders, and we are excited to help.”

Crystal Hayling

Executive Director, The Libra Foundation

“Philanthropy needs to meet this historic moment by funding what works in the climate fight: scaling up the powerful work of BIPOC leaders and organizations on the frontlines. If philanthropies fail to do this, they betray the same values and outcomes they claim to uphold. The Donors of Color Network is creating an essential platform for foundations and funders to step up and match their dollars to their stated principles. The Climate Funders Justice Pledge gives donors the tools they need to shift the center of gravity in environmental giving toward racial and economic justice. And this is the only way we will prevail in the struggle to save our communities and the planet. The sooner funders take the Pledge, the sooner we can turn the tide.” 

Freada Kapor Klein

Partner, Kapor Capital and Co-Chair, The Kapor Center

“Economic, racial, and climate justice are intertwined. We cannot have one without the others. The Climate Funders Justice Pledge makes the connection clear to funders: the green jobs that BIPOC communities are fighting for will rebuild the economy, reduce racial inequality, and beat back climate change all at the same time. As investors, we share the goals of supporting those whose lived experience defines the priorities and investing in solutions that close gaps for communities of color.”

Dr. Manuel Pastor

Distinguished Professor, Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity and Director, Equity Research Institute, University of Southern California

“The research of our broader climate movement is clear – it’s impossible to win on climate when you underinvest in the organizations led by the people most affected. Environmental justice-focused organizations, oftentimes spearheaded by people of color, have continually proven to be the most sympathetic to environmental policy reform while producing some of the most tangible climate wins we’ve seen in recent memory. 

“The research points to BIPOC-led justice groups as a key asset in the fight to save our planet – top climate funders would do well to recognize that, and fund them accordingly.”

Robert Raben

President and Founder, The Raben Group

“The biggest problems we face and the improvements we stand to make as a collective society – from climate change to our criminal justice system and reforming corporate America – are dependent on our willingness to incorporate racial justice as a key part of the solution. The work I do every day is designed to drive public policy toward a focus on equity and diversity, because movements can only win after we address racial bias and blindspots. I’m proud to support the Climate Funders Justice Pledge as an essential initiative pushing philanthropy to invest in a diverse and effective climate movement by resourcing frontline, BIPOC-led organizations.”

Dany Sigwalt

Co-Executive Director, Power Shift Network

“The United States and the global north have defined success through competition and domination of the earth and its control of people. As we’re working to establish a new paradigm, it’s essential that we work for a climate justice where the people most immediately and directly impacted are able to lead the movement towards a brighter future for everyone. Racism has been such a key tool in the exploitation of people and the planet that has brought us to this point, I’m so excited for the development of this new campaign, where people who understand the impacts of that racism are able to direct funding to strengthen our movement.”

Tom Steyer

Activist

“Environmental justice is at the forefront of our fight to tackle the climate crisis. Funding needs to reflect that. I support the Donors of Color Network’s Climate Funders Justice Pledge because it provides a tangible blueprint to restructure climate funding to properly resource Black, Indigenous, and people of color-led groups. These are the communities that bear the brunt of our climate crisis at the hands of polluters.

Right now, BIPOC-led groups are leading the charge and are showing that their grassroots leadership is extremely effective. If we come together and shift an equitable portion of our funding to these groups, we’ll win the big fights of the future and build the more inclusive movement necessary to tackle our climate crisis.”

Dr. Dorceta Taylor

Professor of Environmental Justice, Yale University

“Environmental justice is a global concern that is a core component of my research and teaching.  at the core of my research. Among other things, communities of color have felt the disproportionate impacts of climate change and environmental injustices for far too long — addressing these challenges is integral to creating a successful climate movement. 

To realize a sustainable future, we must focus our attention on climate justice. Significant funding is needed for us to realize the desired outcomes.  The Climate Funders Justice Pledge is an important effort that is aimed at bringing attention and needed funding to people of color communities as well as people-of-color-led climate organizations.”

Ernest Tollerson

Trustee, Hudson River Foundation and Board Member, Environmental Grantmakers Association

“Decarbonizing economies and everyday life by midcentury is going to require mobilization across sectors and major doses of civic will and political will. Our climate stabilization goals need broader support and greater efficacy. Which is why BIPOC-led community-based organizations and NGOs need support. As foundation trustees, we need to understand the intersectional dimensions of the climate crisis and evaluate how our foundations can deploy more capital to support movements that can drive the adoption of climate solutions. For evidence of the power of supporting frontline organizations, look no further than the outcomes of Stacey Abrams’s work in voter engagement and mobilization in Georgia.

As a Hudson River Foundation trustee and clean water advocate, I support the Donors of Color Network’s Climate Justice Funders Pledge. It’s essential that we partner with folks who are experts in their fields. The climate movement will make more progress when climate justice organizations receive the capital and running room they need.”

David Beckman

President, Pisces Foundation 

“The Pisces Foundation is proud to join the Donors of Color Network Climate Funders Justice Pledge. Organizations led by and serving communities of color play a critical role in the fight for a safe and secure climate future. Funding these organizations advances equity and justice, particularly in the most impacted frontline communities, and can help the entire climate movement create the shifts needed. That’s why equity, inclusivity, and justice are not in addition to fixing climate change. They are one and the same.”

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

“For decades, communities of color have been at the forefront of the climate justice movement. By taking the Climate Funders Justice Pledge, donors and foundations can channel their support for racial and climate justice into meaningful solutions by ensuring their dollars are going towards helping organizations of color on the front lines of the climate crisis. These organizations are doing powerful work on the ground to lead our country into a just transition to a greener future. With the existential crisis of climate change looming large, there is no time to waste in ensuring greater financial equity for the environmental justice groups of color in the green grassroots movement.”

Miya Yoshitani

Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network & DOCN Advisor

“The climate justice movement has made tremendous impact no matter who has held power in Washington. Our movement is tested, and knows what wins. Funders must grasp the essential and strategic power of BIPOC communities and this campaign will further open their eyes. The far right and fossil fuel companies certainly understand our potential, and seek to use our communities to drive a wedge into the environmental movement. We will not allow it.”

Colette Pichon Battle

Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy & DOCN Advisor

“We’re glad to finally have leadership in Washington that acknowledges that climate change is real, but our movement has never waited on the sidelines for Congress to act. We will be where we have always been: in the vanguard of protecting the planet for future generations. The political obstacles only make it more critical that we receive support in doing this work, and that is why we are joining so many fellow movement leaders in supporting the Climate Funders Justice Pledge.”

Jacqueline Patterson

Senior Director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program

“BIPOC activists are mobilizing to make ‘good trouble’ for those who pollute and exploit our communities. People of color have accomplished so much with scant resources; there is no limit to what we can do once we get a fair share of climate funding. That is the vision behind this campaign.”

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