New Program Seeks to Fund Historically Racially Marginalized Groups Working to Protect Natural Areas

Asian, Black, Brown, Indigenous, Latinx, and other People of Color working to protect natural places across the United States and Canada are being invited to apply for funding through a new initiative called the Confluence Program. By the end of 2021, four groups will be awarded multi-year grants totaling $400,000. The application window began earlier this month and continues until its close date of October 24th

The program is funded by the Conservation Alliance, an organization of businesses that contribute funds to grassroots environmental organizations and efforts throughout North America. The initial idea behind the program was to connect the network that makes up the Alliance to historically racially marginalized people working to protect natural areas. They also plan to provide additional support to Confluence grantees throughout 2022 and 2023 through sharing resources and communications designed specifically for each group based on their needs.  

“In the environmental movement, there are systems and structures in place that have historically amplified some voices while excluding others,“ said Brady Robinson, Executive Director at the Conservation Alliance. “A successful conservation movement is a coalition of everyone—where the people we’re partnering with and advocating alongside represent the diversity of our country in every way possible.” 

The Confluence Program advisory committee is made up of seven people considered to be conservation experts, business leaders, and/or grantmakers who will select the four groups. According to the Alliance, each grantee will receive $50,000 in 2021 and another $50,000 in 2022, “for their effort to protect land and/or water and elevate the voices and perspectives of the people working to protect that place.”

To qualify, groups must self-identify as led by historically racially marginalized people (Asian, Black, Brown, Indigenous, Latinx, and other People of Color). In addition, projects must protect land and/or water while also elevating the voices and perspectives of people working to protect a natural place. The Alliance also stated that groups do not need a charitable status to apply.

“Change comes when we effectively work at it. The openness of The Conservation Alliance to do things a little differently with this grant program will certainly create new opportunities for affinity groups and community orgs alike,” said Teresa Baker, Program Committee Chair and In Solidarity Project Founder.

Learn more about how to apply for funding at conservationalliance.com/confluence/

Photo of the view from atop the Craggy Mountain Pinnacle, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, shot October. Courtesy of Getty Images.

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