Grassroots organizers on the frontlines of the ecological crisis know how to defend their communities in a hostile political climate and build greener, healthier solutions rooted in principles of sustainability and a just transition. Grassroots groups have shut down coal plants, stopped pipelines, disrupted plans for new coal export terminals, fought back against fracking, halted the expansion of oil infrastructure, and more. These community organizations have also built local, ecological economies – from distributed solar energy projects to expanded agriculture markets in communities of color, Indigenous communities, and low-income communities. They have been successful, despite lean budgets and being historically underfunded. When grassroots organizations are resourced and positioned in partnership with national environmental organizations (also known as “greens”) and philanthropic allies, tremendous progress is possible.
From that belief in the power of grassroots climate and environmental organizing the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEA) was created. The BEA was established in 2013 to bring together dynamic grassroots organizing groups, greens and innovators in philanthropy to advance the progress of the environmental justice movement towards a just transition and directly confront powerful polluters. BEA works to build equitable relationships and expand the pool of resources for base-building organizations within people of color, Indigenous and low-income communities that are achieving results on the frontlines of the climate and ecological crisis.
The BEAI Fund was born out of the BEA as a shared recognition that in order for the environmental movement to be successful, it must support and resource grassroots groups to institutionalize community-based solutions to the ecological crisis.
Since 2017, Grassroots International has been honored to host and manage the BEAI Fund, working closely with the BEAI Fund Advisory Board. Grassroots International chose to collaborate with the BEA as an extension of our work with social movements to create a just and sustainable world by advancing advocacy/alliance-building in the U.S. to complement global grantmaking.
The BEAI Fund promotes four interlinked elements: 1) Support Community Organizing at the Forefront of Change; 2) Build Partnerships Across Sectors and Geographies; 3) Advance a Just Transition; and 4) Build the Capacity of the Grassroots Sector.
The BEAI Fund at Grassroots International works closely with the BEA Fund Advisory Board made up of three grassroots representatives, one green representative and one funder representatives. The Fund seeks to support organizations with approaches that could include: mutual aid to meet community needs; addressing impacts of pollution and environmental injustice; agroecology, food sovereignty, and rebuilding of local farms; energy democracy; water protection and access; promotion of solidarity economies; advancing women’s leadership; popular education; policy work; and movement building toward long-term systemic change.
Learn more about the BEAI Fund: