Welcoming the Youth Access to Nature Fund into the Justice Outside Community

Justice Outside will continue the Fund’s mission of ensuring youth of color have access to meaningful experiences in nature, supporting their growth as leaders and students, and improving their mental and physical health.

“rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.” 

— bell hooks (All About Love)

We, at Justice Outside have been so honored to be in the movement for community healing and the work for our collective liberation. Together with our program participants, grantees, and you, our community, we are growing towards systemic change, to build a future that honors the strength, joy, and leadership of Communities of Color. Grantmaking is one of our core strategies to support that systemic change, that strength, that joy and that leadership. 

In 2022, we are so excited to be able to expand on our grantmaking capacity as we welcome the Youth Access to Nature Fund, formerly held at San Francisco Foundation, into our Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program. We want to take this moment to lift up and welcome the strong and vibrant community that the Youth Access to Nature Fund has created, in particular a warm welcome to the 2021 cohort of  Youth Access to Nature Fund grantees.  

In 2016, the San Francisco Foundation launched the Youth Access to Nature Fund to ensure youth of color have access to meaningful experiences in nature, to support their growth as leaders and students, and to improve their mental and physical health. During its six-year incubation period at the foundation, 35 organizations received more than $7 million in grants from a pooled-donor fund at the foundation, and 125,000 youth received hands-on, transformative experiences in the outdoors.

As of January 1 2022, the Youth Access to Nature Fund has transitioned from being managed by the San Francisco Foundation to being managed by Justice Outside. We are excited and so honored to continue to collaborate with our friends at the San Francisco Foundation during this transition. As the Youth Access the Nature Fund keeps its identity and commitments to the young people of the Bay Area, we are also holding the space to deepen the fund’s commitment to trust-based philanthropy and racial justice by implementing practices that have been modeled by our own Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program, including:

  • Prioritization of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led youth-serving organizations, in order to overcome the racial bias in philanthropic funding
  • Grant application and reporting processes that are co-designed and informed by grantees 
  • Grantee organizations have the option to participate  in quarterly capacity-building trainings to support sustainability and growth

When we launched the Liberated Paths Grantmaking program in 2020, we could not have imagined the multitude of ways that it would resonate with our community. To know that our friends at The San Francisco Foundation trust us with shepherding this next iteration of  the Youth Access to Nature fund is deeply meaningful to us. We are humbled by the San Francisco Foundation’s partnership toward our collective liberation. 

You can learn more about next steps with the Youth Access to Nature Fund, including how and when to apply for grants, by joining our email community. You can also find answers to Frequently Asked Questions here. For time-sensitive questions about applying, we warmly invite you to directly contact Rena Payan, Justice Outside Director of Grantmaking, at rena@justiceoutside.org.

Interested in funding  Youth Access to Nature? Learn more about joining this pooled fund by  contacting Robert Sindelar, Justice Outside Chief Advancement Officer, at robert@justiceoutside.org.

Thank you for your partnership in our work toward liberation.