A Growing Alliance
Anthropocene Alliance (A2) has almost 300 member-communities in 41 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 means low-income, Black, Latinx, Native American and other underserved communities.
To learn about our policies, read our A 10-Point Platform on Climate Change.
Explore A2's Interactive Member Map to find out more about the climate and environmental justice impacts are members are contending with and their work to meet those challenges.
To experience the map tool fully, please visit the site here, or preview it below.
When Hurricane Laura hit residents in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Gloria Horning, of Higher Ground Pensacola, FL, drove a truck of household goods to another grassroots leader, Beth Butler of A Community Voice who distributed them to evacuees in New Orleans. When Gloria’s home later flooded due to Hurricane Sally, A2 members, Kathy Sullivan (Elmhurst, IL) and Susan Liley (De Soto, MO) set up a GoFundMe campaign to help Gloria get back into her home. It is this camaraderie and love that makes A2’s work so durable and powerful. It also provides a strong basis for effective political and environmental justice work.
To support that work, Anthropocene Alliance organized Frontline 360°, a roster of pro bono experts ready to support justice communities when they need it. We think it is the first such multi-partner, service for environmental justice communities ever! “With a little help from our friends” — Environmental Protection Network, Thriving Earth Exchange, and Center for Applied Environmental Science — is our motto. Together, we have achieved a lot, both for communities and individuals. Here’s only a sampling:
- We helped more than 50 A2 members submit a total of 33 federal funding proposals — individual and collaborative. 15 were successful, another 17, worth $6.5 million are pending.
- In addition to helping A2 members prepare their own grants applications, we also acted as a sub-granter. In 2022, we awarded $1 million in sub grants to our members.
- Since our founding in 2017, 78% of our member-communities (140) have received pro bono technical support or funding, adding up to $27 million. The funds have come from 26 different sources, some small and some large.
- We have distributed dozens of $4000 community-organizing grants, and helped Rosewood Strong (Horry County, SC) access $13 million to buy-out 60 flooded homes.
- We’ve helped almost 30 A2 members join our free EveryAction account, letting them run petitions and send out email blasts.
- 13% of A2 members have received media coverage as a result of A2 referrals resulting in 51 stories. Recent stories about our members appeared in The Hill, The Guardian, Grist, ABC News, The New York Times, E&E News, The Washington Post, Earth Island Journal, Counterpunch, Mississippi Free Press, CNN, and the popular podcast, America Adapts.
- Cynthia P. Robertson of Micah Six Eight Mission, Louisiana, was able to expand her post-disaster relief work thanks to the intervention of A2’s lawyer, Dr Barrett Ristroph, who helped remove some of the hurdles created by her city.
- Terri Straka and Melissa Krupa of Rosewood Strong in South Carolina, were able to relocate from their flood-prone homes, thanks to A2’s advocacy support.
- Treva Gear of Concerned Citizens of Cook County recently reached a settlement against a toxic wood pellet facility. They were represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, A2 made the introduction.
We believe that grassroots power is key to systemic change, and that the most effective and durable policy solutions will emerge from communities on the front line of the climate and environmental crisis. 67% of our frontline leaders are women and 83% represent Black, Latinx, Native American and low-income communities. They live in cities like Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, and New York City, but also in small and mid-sized towns including La Playa, Puerto Rico; Miami, Oklahoma; and Koyukuk, Alaska.
Our community leaders are diverse: LGBTQ, rural, urban, Indigenous and immigrant. We also have middle-class white leaders in Houston, Charleston and Copiague, Long Island. By maintaining solidarity among different classes, ethnicities, and gender identities, we have gained better support from politicians and regulators. A tight network of cooperation and commitment is essential to the work of curbing harmful development and reducing the use of climate-destroying fossil fuels.
*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.