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ISC Selected to Manage Climate Change, Health & Equity Initiative

For Immediate Release: February 6, 2019

International Sustainability Organization Selected as Kresge Foundation Initiative Partner

Climate Change, Health & Equity Initiative will support innovative solutions in underserved communities

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has been tapped by The Kresge Foundation to help implement the community-based component of the foundation’s new Climate Change, Health & Equity Initiative (CCHE). The new initiative will focus on finding equitable climate-resilience solutions that decrease health risks in urban, low-income communities across the U.S. CCHE formalizes the longtime collaboration between Kresge’s Health and Environment programs – signifying a deepening recognition that health and climate are inextricably linked.

The multi-year effort is intended to accelerate the work of community-based organizations and collaboratives as they seek to identify and implement policy solutions at the nexus of climate change, health, and racial equity. ISC will help Kresge manage the community-based initiative’s 14-month planning phase, which includes grant-making and technical assistance for future grant recipients.

The community-based strategy is one part of the broader CCHE, which also aims to help health institutions and practitioners recognize and understand how climate change affects their work.

This initiative was largely inspired by The Kresge Foundation’s belief that climate change is the greatest public health threat of this century. It adversely affects key social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, secure shelter and stressors that erode mental health and well-being.

“The Kresge Foundation has already invested more than $15 million to support organizations at the intersection of climate change and health,” said Kresge Foundation Senior Program Officer Shamar Bibbins. “This initiative represents an unprecedented collaboration between Kresge’s Health and Environment program teams to support community-based efforts throughout the nation.”

ISC has 28 years of experience managing capacity-building programs for community-based organizations throughout the world. Its U.S.-based work focuses substantially on addressing climate change and racial inequality. ISC will work directly with Kresge teams, providing assistance on grantee selection, day-to-day program management, and networking support for 12-15 community-based organizations as they engage in a year-long planning phase focused on determining how they can accelerate implementation or adoption of equitable climate-resilience policies that reduce health risks. Organizations will be eligible for grants of up to $100,000 for the planning phase.

“We’re thrilled that The Kresge Foundation selected ISC as their implementing partner,” said ISC’s Director of Inclusive Communities Sarita Turner. “ISC has worked with over 700 communities in the United States to advance their sustainability goals, and we have seen a real need for solutions that simultaneously address climate, health, and racial inequity.”

Upon completion of the planning phase in 2020, Kresge will invite up to 12 grantees to submit their proposals for a multi-year implementation grant of as much as $200,000 per year for 1-3 years.

A request for planning phase proposals will be released on Feb. 13. Interested community-based organizations will be able to review the RFP, and learn more about the initiative at this link.

About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit

About the Institute for Sustainable Communities
The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) works in the United States and around the world to help communities and cities address two of their biggest sustainability challenges – climate change and social inequality. ISC uses training, technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, and demonstration projects to help unleash the power of local people and institutions to address immediate challenges and opportunities – all while building those on-the-ground solutions into national and international best practices and policy. At the heart of the organization’s approach is authentic engagement with all stakeholders, which drives equitable community transformation. Learn more at