A Growing Alliance
Anthropocene Alliance (A2) has 140 member-communities in 38 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.
2022 was a remarkable year for environmental justice.
It wasn’t just because of the big increase in federal funding, but because so many people in the government and nonprofit sectors worked hard to direct the new money to communities who need it most. Anthropocene Alliance and its partners were among them.
At the start of the year, it seemed the barriers to that distribution would be insurmountable. Many community-based organizations, including some of our members, lack the resources necessary to secure and manage federal funds. That means grant writing experience, communication technology, scientific expertise, and financial management skills. To fill these gaps, A2 established our Frontline 360° service, which comprises 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 — we achieved a lot.
- We helped 18 A2 members submit a total of 15 applications to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation worth over $8 million. (Three were collaborations.) Eight of these 15 proposals were successful, for a batting average of .533! This yielded $3.7 million in grants for green infrastructure and climate migration. Another $2 million of federal funding proposals on behalf of 10 A2 members is 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.
- We increased A2 membership to 140, 84% of whom represent low-income, Black, Latino, Indigenous and other marginalized communities. 73% are led by women.
- Since our founding in 2017, 88% of our member-communities (122) have received pro bono technical support or funding, adding up to $26 million. The funds have come from 26 different sources, some small and some large. For example, we distributed dozens of $4000 community-organizing grants, and helped Rosewood Strong (Horry County, SC) access $13 million to buy-out 60 flooded homes.
- Many of our members have received significant media coverage as a result of A2 referrals. This year, 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.
*What's In A Name?
Anthropocene: noun, An·thro·po·cene | \ ˈan(t)-thrə-pə-ˌsēn , an-ˈthrä-\ – Here’s how to pronounce it.
“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.