Op-ed: What young professionals can teach us about grantmaking for climate justice

In 2021, Justice Outside’s Rising Leaders Fellowship program brought together 20 early-career nonprofit professionals, most of them Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, to get hands-on experience with philanthropy. Fellows had the opportunity to design a $40,000 grantmaking program and decide to whom they would award grants and how they would distribute those funds across the selected grantees. They were invited to examine all the “rules” they knew about philanthropy. Justice Outside CEO and President Kim Moore Bailey and Chief Program Officer Laura Rodriguez wrote about what we learned from working with these young professionals throughout the fellowship in an op-ed for Philanthropy News Digest. Here is the link to read this piece and a short excerpt:

To meet the needs of our communities right now we must trust the leadership of a new generation of rising leaders of color. The future of sustainability and environmental justice depends on Black, Indigenous, and leaders of color having the power to distribute resources in their communities, to build on generations of cultural knowledge of community sustainability, and to move forward in trusting relationships with funders. These lessons learned from the Rising Leaders program provide a blueprint for the work ahead for all us working in climate justice philanthropy.

Photo credit: Desola Lanre-Ologun.