Anthropocene Alliance (A2) has more than 100 member-communities in 33 U.S. states and territories. They are impacted by flooding, toxic waste, wildfires, and drought and heat — all compounded by reckless development and climate change. The consequence is broken lives and a ravaged environment.
The goal of A2 is to help communities fight back. We do that by providing them organizing support, scientific and technical guidance, and better access to foundation and government funding. Most of all, our work consists of listening to our frontline leaders. Their experience, research, and solidarity guide everything we do, and offer a path toward environmental and social justice.
Supported by outstanding partner organizations with expertise in engineering, hydrology, public health, planning, and the law, A2 leaders have successfully halted developments in climate-vulnerable areas; implemented nature-based hazard mitigation strategies; organized home buyouts; and pushed for clean-ups at superfund sites, toxic landfills, and petrochemical plants.
We support everyone we can, but our special priority is people who have suffered the worst environmental impacts for the longest time; that usually mean low-income, Black, Latinx, Native American and other underserved communities.
Here are some of our achievements:
- In the four years since our founding, we’ve grown to more than 100 members, three quarters of which are priority communities. 78% are led by women.
- Thirty-eight communities have been matched with pro bono scientists and lawyers. The value of that support is now more than a million dollars.
- This year, nineteen of our grassroots leaders met with their members of congress; many have attended multiple meetings (we’ve organized 42 meetings in total.)
- We’ve helped raise funds for 47% of our members — including $13 million for Rosewood Strong (Horry County, SC) to pay for the buy-out 60 flooded homes.
- Six A2 communities and their cities have been matched with U.S. Army Corps Silver Jacket engineers to receive floodplain management assistance. Four more have been matched with planners and engineers from the National College Sea Grant program.
- In the last few months, we’ve helped seven of our community leaders draft proposals to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s National Coastal Resilience program, and Five Stars and Urban Water program. The grant applications range from $50,000 to 250,000. (We are optimistic, but keep your fingers crossed.)
- And we are still growing! We expect to have more than 100 grassroots leaders by the summer of 2021.
Our newest initiative, Vision/Action 2025, will direct more than $60 million of federal, state and foundation support to 30, low-income, Black, Latinx, and Native American communities to buttress climate change resilience. Our initiative is also intended to highlight the need to change federal, state and municipal programs to make them more equitable and effective.
*What’s in a name?
“Anthropocene” is the name of the epoch in geologic history when earth systems no longer follow their natural course but are directed by humans. Its geologic markers, found across the globe, consist of technofossils (industrial litter deposited by rivers and streams) and radionuclides (from atomic blasts). Before it is officially part of the geologic time scale, the name must be adopted by the International Union of Geological Sciences.
But regardless of its official acceptance, Anthropocene has entered our vocabulary. The reason is it summarizes what so many people have understood for two generations: that humans have changed for the worse the physical and biological nature of the planet. The degradation of air, water and soil, the disappearance of habitats and extinction of species, and the growing threat to human civilization itself, combine to make ours a perilous time.
The solution to the crisis is not obscure. It is simply humans acting in concert – in alliance – to protect vital air, water and land, and end the use of fossil fuels and other sources of global warming. Anthropocene Alliance was formed to advance this essential work of self and community transformation.
Illustration top: Giuseppe Pelizza da Volpedo, The Fourth Estate. Click to Learn more about this artwork.