Just Solutions article by Cristina Munoz De La Torre featured image of solar panels on a rooftop next to yellow flowers

Elevating & Building the Capacity of BIPOC Frontline Communities Innovating Just Climate Solutions

For decades now, BIPOC frontline organizations have united, fought, and led progress against environmental injustices and the disproportionate impacts of climate change. Historically, this progress has been dependent on grassroots efforts and innovative philanthropy without concerted federal support. The Biden-Harris administration aims to create a pivot in US history with the establishment of the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of climate investment benefits to disadvantaged communities. Committing funds to invest in “disadvantaged communities” is potentially a right step forward but may also exacerbate imposing of outsider solutions, green gentrification, and ultimately create more inequities unless BIPOC frontline communities are also acknowledged and invested on as leaders and solution innovators.

As we face the climate crisis, it is imperative to elevate and fund BIPOC frontline communities leading equitable environmental and climate solutions, while also increasing the capacity of other BIPOC frontline communities who, from lack of funding, have been unable to implement their own projects.

Elevating BIPOC Frontline Leadership & Solutions

Towards this effort, the Just Solutions Collective seeks to elevate and support BIPOC frontline organizations innovating climate solutions, and collectively build capacity across BIPOC frontline organizations seeking to create, replicate, or scale these models. Check out our infographic below to learn more about our program outcomes.

Infographic of Program Outcomes – click here to download image with active links

‍BIPOC frontline communities have been advocating for bold policies and implementing innovative projects for a just future all over the US. It is time to recognize and elevate these solutions as standards and models for a just path forward. We are actively seeking BIPOC frontline community-created programs that address the following:

  1. Have built physical (infrastructure) climate mitigation or adaptation projects
  2. Are created and led by BIPOC-Frontline communities
  3. Combat social or environmental injustice
  4. Have been operating for at least one year

Take Action

Do you know of any climate mitigation/adaptation programs that should be supported and shared with other BIPOC-Frontline communities? Use this intake form to highlight your program! 

We aim to build collective intelligence and peer-learning capacity of BIPOC frontline communities. First, we ensure that just solutions are elevated, understood, and shared to grow our frontline collective intelligence and skills, and second we support capacity building of frontline communities to learn from, recreate, and scale these models. With this approach we hope to deepen the knowledge of equitable and effective policies and projects, foster peer-learning and support, and center the leadership of BIPOC-frontline communities and help build their capacity to replicate and innovate.

To address systemic inequities and forward just solutions, it is not enough to invest in “disadvantaged communities,” we must assure that BIPOC-frontline communities are leading the creation, implementation, evaluation, and goal setting of climate justice policy and projects.

Author & Infographic design: Cristina Muñoz De La Torre, Director of Programs Research at Just Solutions Collective

Opening Photo Credit: NYC DDC