2022 Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program Grantee Partners

In 2022, we awarded over $2.5 million to 116 grantees, and we don’t plan to stop there!

Our ability to implement the bold vision of Liberated Paths is made possible by our community. Justice Outside continues to be humbled by your support, your commitment to advancing racial justice in the outdoor and environmental movement, and your trust in our vision for a just and joyful world. 

In 2022, through the support of our funding partners, we awarded $574,900 to 30 new grantee partners in the Nanticoke/Siconese/Lenni Lenape Whittuck/Delaware River Watershed region! Additionally, we granted $504,500 in grants to 21 new grantee partners, as part of the Youth Access to Nature Fund. When we combine that with renewed funding to our 2021 & 2020  grantee cohorts, we are honored to announce that our grantmaking in 2022 totaled OVER $2.5 million to 116 grantees

We are proud to introduce the newest grantee partners of the Liberated Paths grantee cohort! 

Many thanks to William Penn Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The North Face, evo, the National Philanthropic Trust, the Meyer Memorial Trust and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, for their trust.

We hope you will join our mailing list, to stay up to date about our 2023 expansion into North & South Carolina! 


AFRICOM engages primarily Black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean Islands who have low and moderate incomes. AFRICOM has developed the shared equitable public space program to increase African and Caribbean Immigrants’ fair use of public green space. Africom’s mission has a heavy focus on cultural-specific efforts to push for healthier environments.

Follow AFRICOM on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Blackbird Fields Forest Restoration

The Blackbird Fields Forest Restoration project aims to restore 3.75 acres of wooded lands and convert .25 acre to native grassland and meadow. We hope this will help increase tribal community access to the space, create a space that is free of aggressive invasive species, restore forest health, attract wildlife, encourage the growth of plants that are medicinally and culturally significant to our community and promote species that will help feed wildlife and visitors. The project will include Black and Indigenous youth from local Delaware tribes and communities and the Philadelphia area.

Branch of Knowledge

Branch of Knowledge is a collective of Lenape matriarchs from the five Lenape communities. Our goal is to increase Lenape presence in Lenape homelands via traditional matriarchal leadership. We are focused on reconnecting to the land, building bridges between the displaced Lenape communities, and revitalizing our culture to protect our people and our homelands for generations to come.

Follow Branch of Knowledge on Instagram.
Logo by: River Whittle

Coastal Defenders

An effort by the Nanticoke Coastal Resiliency Project, Coastal Defenders is a grassroots, community-driven water justice organization that creates equitable academic, professional, and recreational pathways in aquatics, STEAM, and environmental stewardship. We offer Ocean + Beach Teaches to our community utilizing a Traditional Ecological Knowledge lens to help protect the planet for the next 7 generations.

Follow the Coastal Defenders on Facebook and Instagram.

Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living

For over 30 years, CRCQL has been engaged in grassroots struggles for social and environmental justice in the city of Chester, Pennsylvania, a city of 33,000 residents whose population is 70% African American. Since its founding in 1992, CRCQL has been tirelessly fighting to demand an end to our community being targeted as a toxic dumping-ground and the regional hub for waste management. At present, CRCQL stands at a turning point in the history of the organization. While our many years of community organizing have resulted in numerous victories preventing the further onslaught of polluting facilities contaminating our air and water and damaging our community’s health and quality of life, we are now in the position to further extend our reach and to strengthen the impact of our environmental justice organizing. We will not quit, will not give up, until we can all breathe.

Follow CRCQL on Facebook and Instagram.

Hike + Heal

Hike + Heal is a diverse women’s hiking group, offering healing hikes and grounding experiences to increase overall wellness: physically, mentally and spiritually. Hike+Heal takes a holistic approach to making hiking accessible to inner city women through community, connection and social impact. Whether it be a healing hike, wellness event, or a signature retreat experience, our mission is to create a safe space for women who want to prioritize their self care all while connecting together in a powerful and healing way in nature.

Follow Hike + Heal on Facebook and Instagram.

Iglesias Gardens

The Iglesias Gardens aims to preserve a space for the people. Through providing multigenerational activities for our community, creating harmony and balance with local ecosystems, and growing edible fruits and vegetables and plant medicine, we pay tribute to stolen land and develop a network of support for our future generations. The work of Iglesias Gardens builds and defends resilient communities. Iglesias Gardens has been working to Stop the Sheriff Sale and solve the U.S. Bank Lien issue to protect community land across Philadelphia.

Follow Iglesias Gardens on Facebook and Instagram.

In Color Birding Club

In Color Birding Club is a non-profit organization that looks to provide an equitable, joyful, safe, and meaningful access point for Black, indigenous, and people of color in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Historically, birding has been an activity primarily dominated by white culture and thus has developed systemic and limiting access points for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. ICBC aims to provide the agency for BIPOC communities to grow within birding as a hobby to provide additional mental, emotional, and physical health. ICBC also provides funding to ensure sustainable access to green spaces for youth in hopes that this encourages long lasting conservation mindsets within our communities.

Follow ICBC on Facebook and Instagram.

Lutris Health and Environmental, LLC

This project will bridge formal science education with informal science education by integrating our traditional ecological knowledge regarding environmental stewardship with an innovative Environmental DNA (eDNA) approach to better understand and restore our ancestral Leipsic River watershed.

North Philly Peace Park

The North Philly Peace Park is an open, charitable, intergenerational, neighborhood-managed ecology campus championing food, education and community. We center New Afrikan land stewardship and autonomous community-building at the intersection of eco-design, food justice and self-determination.

Follow the North Philly Peace Park on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Philly Gear Library

The “outdoors” is a place of contemplation, restoration, adventure, and life sustenance. It is available for all of us, though we know there are many barriers for melanated people and other historically marginalized communities. Philly Gear Library exists to address the barrier of gear ownership for those who want to experience outdoors adventures. We train and educate our members in creating trips, instilling safety, using the equipment and being responsible stewards of the land.  Through the gear library, we foster and discuss the concerns of our communities feeling unsafe, unwelcome in outdoor spaces and ways to address and overcome adversarial oppressive barriers that limit our participation.


PHonk!Philly is produced by Elaine Smith Holton with fiscal sponsorship provided by Headlong Dance Theater, a 501c3 organization. The plan for PHonk! is to produce a day-long fall festival, public workshops, and pop-up music performances in public spaces throughout the year, provide artistic support to community actions, and contribute a values-based, grassroots platform to Philadelphia’s rich cultural ecosystem and can share moments of joy and connection to each other, to their culture, and to the land.

Follow PHonk!Philly on Facebook and Instagram.

Seeds of Liberation

Seeds of Liberation is an environmental sovereignty project cultivating education and resources rooted in our African diasporic traditions in land-based work to our community. We are offering a space for learning where community members and organizations share knowledge with each other through workshops, classes, newsletters and blogs to cultivate knowledge for us, by us. Culturally rooted education is critical to the mission of SOL as we rightfully frame the concepts of environmentalism, sovereignty, abolition, and political action outside the terms of whiteness and lift up our ancestral tools of liberation.

Follow Seeds of Liberation on Instagram.

Southeast Gateway Neighborhood

The goal of this project by the Gateway Community Action Partnership is to revitalize the Southeast Gateway Neighborhood in New Jersey through inventive programming and community enrichment, including job fairs, food pantries, events, and more.

Follow Southeast Gateway Neighborhood on Facebook and Instagram.

Tiny Farm Wagon

Tiny Farm Wagon is dedicated to preserving community knowledge through public art, nature, and media projects. We engage the community to ask: What makes us Well?  What keeps us from it? We promote equity through art, culture, and economic justice by preserving and promoting the threads of wellness that run through Black culture. Through this initiative, we will host culturally relatable, high-quality art and nature programs that make Black folk and other People of Color feel comfortable and welcome in spaces where they have been historically discouraged or excluded.

Follow Tiny Farm Wagon on Facebook, and Instagram.

United Lenape Communities

The United Lenape Communities is a program the Global Initiative for Indigenous Advancement is proud to be a part of. The program’s mission is to provide space, time, and opportunity for authentic Lenape people to connect with Lemapeholking.

Urban Sense Project

The Urban Sense Project by Four Youth supports early childhood and youth development by giving students the opportunity to connect more with nature. The garden will facilitate increased interaction with the outdoors in a fun and interactive way to promote both physical and mentally health. We are creating an interactive green space in a former brownfield where students feel safe while exploring their environment. The Urban Sense project will provide students the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of experiences including a wildlife sensory garden, bird sanctuary equipped with a wildlife camera trap, a music wall, and a life-sized chess board/outdoor classroom.  These experiences combined with our environmental science and art curriculum provide our students the opportunity to learn more about their local ecological systems and our environment in general.

Afros in Nature

The purpose and hope for Afros in Nature is to come together, build a deeper connection with nature, invite some calm into their community’s lives and, if comfortable, discuss their current challenges in the world, and help create a better environment for Black Indigenous, and People of Color, on Indigenous land.⁣

They do this by providing opportunities for the community to come together via recreation activities such as hiking, cycling, paddleboarding, and nature walks. They also provide opportunities for community gardening with the goal of creating food sustainability.

Follow Afros in Nature on Facebook and Instagram.

Black Girls Hike Too!

In August 2020, Black Girls Hike Too! founder invited friends to join her hiking and this community of Black women hiking began. One of Stephanie’s objectives with this community of Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color women is to debunk myths that Women of Color are “afraid” of the outdoors. Black Girls Hike Too! is a bold declaration that the organization’s founder is making to say we can hike, camp, swim, kayak, canoe, hunt, fish and take up space in the great outdoors as well. Moving forward into the new year Black Girls Hike Too! will be expanding to new states and eventually sharing their message worldwide.

Follow Black Girls Hike Too! on Instagram.

Dance Ecology and Water

Dance Ecology and Water aims to connect Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color communities to their fundamental rights as earthlings to clean, natural bodies of water. Their efforts are centered around returning the community to nature and rebuilding the once strong relationship that the community has had with the Delaware River Watershed. Through education and storytelling, they strive to remind the public of generations past and their integral connection to the water through art and dance.

Connect with Dance Ecology and Water’s Founder Jennifer Turnbull on Instagram.

Gente De Tierra

We are Gente De Tierra, an effort by the MOGAI Worker Land Network, to divest and uproot ourselves from dependence on gentrifying, exploitative, bigoted and patriarchal economic, environmental, agricultural, and social systems. Our goal is cultural perpetuity, and so within our community we grow skill shares, family events, groceries, meals, childcare, housing, seeds, plant starts, first aid, care support, social and political education, land stewardship, and more. The Liberated Paths grant will provide us the ability to expand our farming, seedkeeping, and land stewardship programs on the farmstead at Casa Sabera and neighborhood plots, maintain our aid stands, and create a wild ‘Creator’s Garden’ and cocina to support the newly installed community sweat lodge. Goods raised on this land will be distributed along various aid networks we’ve built through the resource coalition, and through events.

Follow Gente De Tierra on Instagram.


Homies Helping Homies (HHH) is a community mutual aid initiative focusing on food and household item distribution in South Philadelphia’s Point Breeze neighborhood.

By alleviating the stress of procuring simple everyday items, we are empowering people – improving their comfortability and safety.

Through our efforts we are building communities – preparing people to convene and assist one another while reinvigorating our collective dignity, grace, and compassion.

Following HomiesHelpingHomies on Instagram.

Inspiring Nature and Divinity in Americans

Inspiring Nature and Divinity in Americans (INDIA) aims to teach American youth emotional wellness, heritage, literacy, and environmental care through gardening education. Through this connection, there will be intergenerational bonding with families and awareness of environmental justice initiatives as well as numerous educational goals related to social activism, entrepreneurship, creativity, and STEM.

Follow INDIA on Instagram.

Native Roots Farm Foundation

Native Roots Farm Foundation (NRFF) is a new Native-led nonprofit reclaiming, cultivating, and celebrating Native relationships with land, plants, and community for the next Seven Generations. NRFF is identifying land to create a public Hakihakan (garden/farm in Lenape) and currently fulfilling its mission through community programming. The organization shares Indigenous relationships with native plants through crafts, food, seed rematriation, traditional artforms, film screenings, discussions, and weekly social media posts.

Justice Outside’s Liberated Paths Grant will help NRFF achieve organizational stability to hire staff, build a lasting foundation, and continue offering hands-on, educational programming.

Follow NRFF on Facebook and Instagram.

Outdoor Inclusion Coalition

The Outdoor Inclusion Coalition’s mission is to support Pennsylvanians through programs dedicated to attracting, engaging, and retaining underrepresented populations in the outdoors. The funds from Justice Outside will provide additional capacity to support community equity efforts around the Delaware Water Gap, including access to quality recreational experiences. Such support includes the development and advocacy of urban camping in metropolitan cities like Philadelphia and increased grassroots support for community developments through Coalition engagement.

Follow the Outdoor Inclusion Coalition on Facebook and Instagram.

Philly City Repair Project

PCRP believes in creating and supporting environments that foster community, art, and ecology, that are made by the people who live in them. We work with grassroots initiatives reclaiming public spaces through the lens of placemaking: a multi-layered process where citizens foster active, engaged relationships with their neighborhoods and work together to make changes. We support a network of a dozen green spaces across Philadelphia and help our partner sites with funding, design consultation, and volunteer days!

Follow PCRP on Facebook and Instagram.

Resilient Roots Community Farm-VietLead

VietLead is a grassroots community organization in Philadelphia and South Jersey that is creating a vision and strategy for community self-determination, social justice, and cultural resilience. We are staffed and led by community members who are committed to working from love and solidarity. Our community programs include intergenerational farming, youth organizing, health navigation & healing, civic engagement and community defense.

We recognize that the United States was built on the exploitation of Black and Brown people and theft of Indigenous land. Our Farm and Food Sovereignty Program is centered around land as a source of self-determination and cultural resilience through growing and cooking for refugees, immigrants and communities of color.  We currently grow on Lenni Lenape occupied land and honor the history of the tenders of this land before us. We are very grateful to have access to two sites: Resilient Roots Farm in Camden, NJ and Furness Community School Garden in Philadelphia, PA

Follow VietLead on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Spirits Up!

Spirits Up! is a platform that prioritizes the empowerment of Black lives and communities
through physical and digital spaces, fostering engagement through mindfulness, meditation,
yoga, and art. Founded in 2020, following a summer of mass protest and violence against Black
people, Spirits Up!’s goal is to create spaces in alternative & holistic wellness that allow Black
people to communicate their experiences. By providing different touchpoints like writing, music,
painting, and engagement with the natural environment, we aid in reducing the gaps barring
access to good health and well-being for Black communities.

Follow Spirits Up! on Instagram.

Superior Arts Institute

Superior Arts Institute is a Black-led arts organization based in the City of Camden, New Jersey, committed to elevating artists who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the areas of dance, theater, film, and production management. Superior Arts utilizes an “Advocacy through Art” model to incorporate social and environmental justice awareness/advocacy into its artistic products—from full-scale original plays to film-based episodic dramas and grassroots participatory theater workshops with community members.

Follow Superior Arts Institute on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Urban Tree Connection

Urban Tree Connection’s (UTC) mission is to build a neighborhood rooted food and land system through community leadership development and land-based strategies in West Philadelphia. For more than two decades, UTC has partnered with residents in West Philly to transition abandoned lots into greening and gardening spaces to address food insecurity, short-dumping, and social isolation. Together, we have transformed and stewarded these spaces for communal gathering, sustainable food production, and holistic health and wellness education.

Follow Urban Tree Connection on Facebook and Instagram.

Feature photo courtesy of partner organization Branch of Knowledge. Photographer: Jeremy Dennis.