Historically, grassroots organizing groups—those basebuilding organizations built of, by, and for the communities most impacted by racial, gender, environmental, and socioeconomic injustice and inequity—have been chronically underfunded. Yet, these groups consistently produce outsized social change results because their lives, families, health, and the well-being of their communities depend on it. As the demand grows for a Just Transition to a Regenerative Economy, and as more and more people and communities engage in transformative, bottom-up organizing, the need for funders to fund frontline community organizations working toward a Just Transition is growing exponentially, as well. It Takes Roots—a multiracial, multicultural, multi-generational alliance of Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Right to the City Alliance—and our Funder Support Circle have co-strategized and co-organized funder political education spaces to respond to this urgency.
During this session, we’ll introduce some collaborative tools, including the “People’s Solutions Lens'', that have been used to educate and influence funders to re-orient their analysis of social, economic, and environmental injustices and proposed solutions by asking themselves: Who makes the decisions? Who benefits? What else will this impact? and How does this build or shift power? The key takeaway from this session will be the importance of deep integration of a justice and equity lens into grantmaking strategies, both to support a Just Transition and to repair past harms that have been exacerbated through funding disparities.