Justice Outside Expands Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program Along the California Coast

Friday, February 9th, 2024
Media Contact: Communications team at media@justiceoutside.org

Oakland, CA — Today, Justice Outside, which works to advance racial justice and equity in the outdoor and environmental movement, announced that the organization will be expanding grantmaking for community-led organizations working along the California Coast through state funding, a first for the organization. Specifically, this expansion in grantmaking is made possible by funding from two California state government entities: the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and the California State Coastal Conservancy (SCC).

Justice Outside’s Liberated Paths grantmaking program supports outdoor initiatives and organizations that cultivate and celebrate the contributions of Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color and affirm the many experiences and identities our communities hold, through grantmaking, capacity building, and network building. Justice Outside was selected by OPC to steward its Environmental Justice Smalls Grants Program, which is a specific program that was approved alongside its first ever Equity Plan. Concurrently, the SCC has awarded Justice Outside funds through its Explore the Coast Grant Program whose goal is to facilitate and enhance the public’s opportunities to explore California’s spectacular coast. In total, we will be able to distribute $1.1 million dollars for up to two-year projects to approximately 25-30 grant recipients. 

Before this, Liberated Paths has supported organizations in California, the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington), the Southwest (Arizona and New Mexico), the Delaware River Watershed and North and South Carolina with over $2.5 million in 2023.

“Liberated Paths goes beyond grantmaking by amplifying the voices of community-based environmental leadership and ensuring that Communities of Color shape decisions about the health and sustainability of the environment, especially the ocean and coast. This community knowledge approach leads to greater protections through policy work, collaborative research, marine conservation, and equitable access in the outdoors, environment and coast for all of us. It will build a stronger environmental movement from the community level up to ensure our solutions are inclusive, fair, lasting, and resilient in the face of the climate change crisis. Lastly, the momentous opportunity to leverage government funding towards a healthier environment and resilient communities is huge and one we don’t take lightly,” said Justice Outside’s Chief Program Officer, Rena Payan. 

Justice Outside’s grantmaking along the California Coast will focus on environmental initiatives that support solutions and people on the frontlines, deepen community engagement and collaborative leadership networks, and create systems change through field building among Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color along the coast. More specifically, this funding seeks to support work that creates positive impacts in advancing coastal and ocean conservation in addition to improving access to the coast for joy and healing.

Applications for grants along the California Coast open March 11, 2024. Applicants can learn more by visiting the Liberated Paths grantmaking page and registering for a webinar on the Justice Outside website.


Justice Outside advances racial justice and equity in the outdoor and environmental movement. We shift resources to, build power with, and center the voices and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color because the health of current and future generations demands it. For press inquiries, please contact our communications team at media@justiceoutside.org. For inquiries about the Liberated Paths program, contact Rena Payan at rena@justiceoutside.org