The Solutions Project, a grantmaking charity working to accelerate the global transition to 100 percent clean energy, has pledged to step up its support for environmental organizations led by people of color and women.
With the announcement of its 100% Commitment to Justice pledge, the nonprofit organization has committed to investing 95 percent of its resources in leaders of color on the front lines of climate change work by 2020, with at least 80 percent directed to organizations led by women. According to the Solutions Project, about half of all private climate funding is concentrated in just twenty organizations mostly led by men and white Americans, even though studies have consistently shown that racial, ethnic, and gender diversity leads to better team performance in decision making and financial results. A new analysis by the organization also found that only 7 percent of media stories on climate and clean energy refer to communities of color, while only 21 percent refer to women and 10 percent mention equity or justice.
Founded in 2012 by actor Mark Ruffalo and Mark Z. Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University, the Solutions Project funds frontline leaders of color and provides media supports for diverse leaders working to empower communities from the bottom up.
"We challenge our fellow grantmakers — especially climate and clean energy funders — to join us in making philanthropic funding that reflects the diversity of American leadership," said Solutions Project executive director Sarah Shanley Hope. "They can start by pledging at least 10 percent of their funding to groups led by women of color....Feminine leadership — practiced by people across the gender spectrum — creates space for all kinds of people to lead. And when it comes to solving climate change, we need everyone at the table."
"For a challenge as great as climate change, we need everyone on deck — including women and people of color who are leading clean energy efforts on the front lines of climate change, too often without resources or recognition," said actor Don Cheadle, who serves as a Solutions Project board member and goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme. "When people who live every day with the effects of dirty energy and a changing climate draw on that experience to create solutions and drive change, the results can be game-changing."