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Partnership for Resilient Communities Partner Highlights: Learnings From the Justice40 Accelerator Program

This list is by no means conclusive, it lifts up only a handful of the major accomplishments, milestones, and highlights of the PRC partners so far this year. Please click the links to each organization’s website to learn more and directly support their work.

Late last summer, three PRC partners, APEN, HCS, and Power52 were selected to be a part of the Justice40 Accelerator program. The program seeks to leverage the Biden-Harris Justice40 Initiative – which promises to provide more benefits in climate and clean energy to communities made vulnerable – to better support Black and other historically disinvested communities of color. The Justice40 Accelerator provides various types of support including informational briefings and resources to learn about federal funding and opportunities and technical expertise. Now about six months into the program, the partners have been blossoming under the offerings of the initiative. Here’s what they’ve had to say about the experience so far!

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) – Oakland, CA; Richmond, CA

APEN has enjoyed learning exchanges provided by the J40 Initiative, including the Assessing Organizational Readiness and Preparing your Organization for Federal Funding sessions. This initiative is a program of The Solutions Project and the cohort is composed of mostly BIPOC-led small to medium-sized nonprofit organizations. Learning from peer groups has been helpful because of the unique challenges we face in raising and administering funds on a smaller scale. In December, APEN and some of our fellow cohort members presented about our experience as a subawardee on a federal grant. We are looking forward to assessing and building our administrative capacity by taking advantage of the one-on-one support from contractors that the J40 initiative has retained. Among other things, we are hopeful that this groundwork will help realize investments for resilience hubs–APEN’s priority community projects.

Healthy Community Services

Health Community Services – New Orleans, LA

Participating in the Justice 40 Accelerator Cohort has put the Water Wise Collective in a different mindset about where we are in our growth and development in terms of seeking federal funding. We realized that we not only need the skills to create a successful application for federal funding opportunities, but also we need to be ready as a collective to be responsible stewards of the funds that we receive. It has encouraged us to be available for grant writing while we have the opportunity for direct support. We’ve been able to organize a committee that meets weekly to implement the learning and integrate the information we learn into our funding strategy. We’ve also partnered with a municipal office to apply for a federal grant and now have ongoing discussions with that office to find other funding opportunities. We have also been able to emphasize the need for the City to focus on community engagement efforts when infrastructure projects and surrounding green infrastructure are being implemented. We have also submitted two other applications to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation – one for funding to continue our work through green infrastructure neighborhood challenges in each neighborhood we work in and another to build a more reliable, well-trained workforce of green infrastructure professionals to continue to staff and implement our projects.

Power52

Power 52 – Baltimore, MD

Power52 Foundation remains excited to be a part of the Inaugural Justice 40 Accelerator cohort. We see the Justice40 Accelerator (J40) opportunity as one that will deeply support climate resilience and education by strengthening the cohort organizations’ ability to build and develop community while learning from each other’s work. We especially appreciate the J40 Accelerator members who clearly demonstrate a dedication to community. For us, the organizational readiness sessions, funding preparation workshop, Department of Energy guest sessions, and the Chat and Chill were greatly appreciated. We look forward to continued participation with the cohort

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