WE ACT Awarded $100,000 Grant from the Kresge Foundation to Build Climate Resilience and Improve Health

August 28, 2019
Contact: Chris Dobens, 212-961-1000 ext. 320, chris@weact.org


HARLEM, NY — WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation to advance policy solutions aimed at improving climate resilience and equitably reducing health risks in low-income communities. We are one of 15 community-based nonprofits nationwide receiving grant funding as part of the planning phase of Kresge’s Climate Change, Health and Equity initiative.

With this funding, WE ACT will work with members of its community along with partners from various disciplines and sectors, including the Service Employees International Union Doctors Council and the New York State Nurses Association, to develop a multi-year work plan that addresses community-defined health and climate priorities.

“Extreme heat is one of the most noticeable ways in which climate change is already impacting the health of our community,” explained Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “That is why we are thrilled to be the recipient of this generous grant, which we will utilize to develop a community-driven roadmap for policy change that will reduce vulnerability to the health impacts of extreme heat in low-income communities and communities of color.”

“Climate change is impacting people in real ways – today. The good news is that community leaders across the country are making smart choices about how they can combat climate change while improving people’s lives and well-being,” said Lois DeBacker, Managing Director of the Kresge Foundation’s Environment Program. “Our newly awarded grants will help more communities proactively tackle the health risks that climate change introduces or exacerbate.”

WE ACT and its partners will be supported by the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), which serves as the national program office for the planning phase of the community-based strategy of the Climate Change, Health & Equity initiative. ISC’s mission is to help communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all.

Following the one-year planning phase, Kresge will award multi-year grants to up to 12 planning grant recipients.

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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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 kresge.org. And for more information on the Climate Change, Health & Equity initiative, visit kresge.org/CCHE.

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