Seattle Foundation Blog

Brainerd Foundation Conservation Champions Grant

Two-year effort will support deeper staff learning and strengthen philanthropist engagement on environmental issues


June 06, 2018

Seattle Foundation has received a two-year grant from The Brainerd Foundation to deepen our work and understanding in environmental and conservation issues. Brainerd is a Northwest family foundation that provides funding and expertise to help nonprofits, communities and decision-makers better protect the region’s air, land and water.

With a two-year $65,000 grant from Brainerd, we have launched a Conservation Champions program with two key goals. First, we will increase staff knowledge of threats to the environment and interdisciplinary ways of approaching them. Second, we will deepen our donor education efforts for philanthropists on pressing environmental issues and effective strategies for meaningful change.

The effort kicked off with an all-staff learning session on climate justice: what is it, why it’s important and how it connects to community issues beyond the environment. The speakers, Aiko Schaefer of Front and Centered, Becky Kelley from the Washington Environmental Council, and Rashad Morris from the Bullitt Foundation, collectively shared the importance of putting affected communities at the heart of decisions and spending to address climate change.

Climate justice, is the need to address how climate change more deeply affects communities of color and people with lower incomes, who are hit first and worst by climate change. Seattle Foundation is deepening our commitment to addressing climate justice through pursuing solutions that alleviate the heightened environmental impacts on communities of color.

In Greater Seattle and Washington state, communities of color are experiencing the harms of pollution in many ways, including contaminated water, drinking water and waterways, and disproportionate rates of respiratory illnesses like asthma.

The legacy and persistence of discriminatory housing, education and employment create conditions where communities of color live and work in neighborhoods and jobs that mean they experience more environmental burdens and are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Our staff is committed to our Conservation Champions effort to continue exploring these and other important issues, deepening our understanding and finding pathways and strategies toward real solutions. Stay tuned for new opportunities to engage in the fall, including an introductory series on conservation philanthropy.

For more information, contact Philanthropic Advisor Elizabeth List at e.list@seattlefoundation.org

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Racial equitySustainable developmentSystems and policy changeEnvironmentClimate justiceClimate change

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