In the midst of a global pandemic, increased wealth disparities, attacks on gender and reproductive justice, and a growing climate crisis, the past several years have demonstrated that the dominant system of racial capitalism has not supported the full humanity of people nor ceased our ability to extract from and pollute the Earth.
There is perhaps no one that understands this more clearly than young people - specifically, BIPOC youth whose communities face rampant environmental and social injustices. From staging mass walkouts to negotiating local, state, and federal action, young people are in no way sitting silently by. They are organizing en masse to demand that we confront the widespread harm happening at the intersections of a climate crisis and deep-seated racial inequities.
To truly contest these threats and advance deep structural change, the youth-led social justice movement will need to seriously increase its capacity, strategy, alignment, and resource bank. Importantly, the leadership of youth organizers from the communities most harmed by environmental injustice and racism is and will continue to be essential to finding and implementing solutions that are meaningful to all.
This is why the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing, in partnership with The JPB Foundation, is excited to launch the Youth Organizing for Climate Action and Racial Equity (YO-CARE) Capacity-Building Fund - a bold effort to grow the power of youth organizing at the intersections of racial justice and climate justice.
The Youth Organizing for Climate Action and Racial Equity (YO-CARE) Capacity-Building Fund
Through YO-CARE, FCYO will directly provide grantmaking and capacity building resources to young people of color and young people from other frontline communities who are collectively organizing to address the climate crisis. As part of a year-long learning community, we are looking to support youth organizers from both racial justice and climate justice organizations to deepen their analyses of the root causes of climate injustice and racial inequality, develop and sharpen their organizing capacities, and build and strengthen relationships. The specific goals of the YO-CARE include:
- Strengthening organizations' power to drive the transformation necessary for their communities to thrive. This includes developing clarity on the base-building strategies, leadership development programs, and advocacy and communication campaigns that best achieve their vision.
- Creating opportunities for cross-sectoral learning and relationship-building between climate justice and racial justice organizations with an orientation towards connection, shared frameworks, solidarity actions, and future collaboration.
Each organization will receive a general operating grant of $100,000 to be disbursed in two payments of $50,000. The first disbursement will be in August 2022 and the second will be in July 2023.
Each organization will identify two organizational leaders (defined as someone who has significant decision making power or influence within your organization) and one additional organizer to participate fully in the community peer-learning space. Participants will learn about power building from leading thinkers, exchange lessons from current and past organizing, and receive support to develop and implement an individualized strategy for building the power to achieve their vision for their community. Capacity-building will happen through two in-person convenings, regular virtual workshops and peer learning sessions, and individual organizational clinic hours with a consultant.
There is nothing like the energy and connections that are made at a cohort convening! As young organizers are exposed to other young organizers nationally dealing with similar issues, it often opens up a whole new world to share questions and challenges, learn about different campaigns and strategies people are trying, and build lifelong connections.
Pending COVID-19 concerns, we are currently planning for two capacity-building and peer learning convenings during the duration of this grant. The first one will be a hybrid combination of in-person/virtual gathering taking place in September 2022. We ask that one person from each organization attends in person. The second convening is currently envisioned to be completely in-person, taking place in July 2023.
Capacity-Building and Learning Webinars
Capacity-building and learning webinars will cover topics including base building, leadership development, and campaign development. Attendance at the webinars is open to up to 5 people from each organization: it is required for each organization’s two main participants and optional for up to 3 more people from each organization.
Following each webinar will be an opportunity to work with a leading organizing consultant in an individual organizational clinic. Organizations can access up to 10 hours of consulting time to work on base building, leadership development, and campaign development. All organization members who participate in the webinars are also invited to the clinics with the consultant to concretely dive deeper into your organization’s work.
Self-Organized Peer Learning Exchange
Organizations have consistently indicated that having the resources to visit another organization and understand their on-the-ground organizing first-hand is invaluable. Each organization can access a one-time small grant of $5000 for an in-person peer exchange with other grantees in the cohort. Groups can also pool resources together. We ask for a one page request for resources stating the goals and desired outcomes of the exchange, and a one page report on lessons and learnings to submit to us for the grant.
12-Month Grant Commitment
Selected organizations will be part of a year-long peer learning community that will require everyone to participate in collective activities that will include the following:
- Three-day in-person/hybrid cohort convening in September 2022 (we ask that at least one person from the organization attends)
- Three-day in-person convening in Summer 2023
- Three capacity-building learning sessions with optional follow-up individual clinics (up to 5 people in the organization can take part in the capacity-building work)
- Mid-grant survey and phone call (to take place between March-April 2023)
- Final grant report due by August 14, 2023
- Optional self-organized peer learning exchanges (resources provided)
- Optional attendance at 1-2 funder briefings to share work with funders or learn about what funders may be interested in supporting
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN. Visit here for more information on how to apply.
Check out this recap of the YO-CARE informational webinar!
Apply to the Youth Organizing for Climate Action and Racial Equity (YO-CARE) Capacity-Building Fund!
The YO-CARE Capacity-Building Fund is a bold effort to grow the power of youth organizing at the intersections of racial justice and climate justice. A year-long learning community, the YO-CARE Capacity-Building Fund will support youth organizers from both racial justice and climate justice organizations to deepen their analyses of the root causes of climate injustice and racial inequality, develop and sharpen their organizing capacities, and build and strengthen relationships.