Building the Bigger We
Bridging Movement Across Economic Sectors, Issues, and Geography
Over the last near-decade, Climate Justice Alliance has helped to build and coordinate movement formations that respond to frontline organizations’ needs and elevate their work to Fight the Bad, Change the Rules, Build the New, Change the Story, and Move the Money.
It Takes Roots (ITR) is a multiracial, multicultural, intergenerational alliance of alliances representing over 200 organizations, comprised of Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Right to the City Alliance. Rooted in frontline community wisdom, place-based solutions, translocal organizing, and deep democracy, ITR, which emerged as a collective force in 2014, shows up in rapid response at strategic direct actions; develops narrative power through aligning many voices in support of struggles across issues; and elevates the leadership of the radical grassroots organizing sector. ITR provides a space where the four sister alliances can co-build strategy and deepen relationship across an intersectional movement.
Creative Wildfire, initiated in 2021, is a collaborative call to collective action by artists, activists, and organizers from frontline communities, represented by Climate Justice Alliance, Movement Generation, and New Economy Coalition. It is an initiative meant to spark cultural interventions that grow and amplify the transformative awakening that has happened during the recent years of pandemic and racial justice reckoning. Through Creative Wildfire, our groups engage with artists to create visual and aural art pieces that reflect these times of transition and our visions to build cooperative, caring, connected, community-controlled institutions that provide for our needs.
Communicating Our Power (CommOP) is a communications fellowship program, launched in 2021, jointly led by Climate Justice Alliance, Center for Story-based Strategy, and The Solutions Project. The program supports 20 frontline organizations to integrate a full-time communications fellow, and provides resources, equipment and tools, training, and technical assistance. CommOP builds collective narrative capacity and skills to communicate frontline communities’ bold, solution-centric visions for climate justice and Just Transitions to Regenerative Economies.
In 2014, Black and Afro Diasporic members within the Climate Justice Alliance created the Black Caucus as a vehicle through which to develop a long-term plan to build power, heal, and strengthen movement relationships in a collaborative way. The Caucus organizes for Black liberation and Black self-determination – this includes addressing environmental racism in all its forms. As an autonomous movement space within CJA, the Black Caucus mobilizes support of Black Communities and Black-led organizations to authentically engage and center their leadership within the climate justice movement.
Reinvest in Our Power (RiOP) is a collaborative vehicle aligning groups to oppose the extractive economy by funding the regenerative economy through the Democratic governance of capital as part of the commons. The RiOP campaign, to be launched in mid-2022, will move money from philanthropy to land-based projects and non-extractive revolving loan funds that invest in projects owned/operated by frontline communities to build economic democracy rooted in ecological integrity. RiOP, housed at CJA since 2015, is coordinated by Climate Justice Alliance, Movement Generation, and New Economy Coalition.
Seed Commons is a national network of locally rooted, non-extractive loan funds that began in 2015 to create jobs, build wealth, and challenge inequality. Seed Commons takes in investment as a single fund, then shares that capital for local deployment by and for communities, lowering risk while increasing impact. Seed Commons also shares backend services and a comprehensive, peer-based learning system to give each member the tools necessary to succeed. Climate Justice Alliance is a member of the Seed Commons with its own loan fund, the Our Power Loan Fund.
United Frontline Table (UFT) is a formation of 15 frontline groups, grassroots alliances, and movement support organizations who come together to align frontline policy positioning and collective long-term visioning and action toward Just Transitions to Regenerative Economies. Through A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy, the UFT’s policy and organizing tool, the United Frontline Table focuses on translocal organizing and policy shifts that center frontline communities. The UFT, which began in 2019, is jointly coordinated by Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, People’s Action, and Right to the City Alliance.
Green New Deal Network (GNDN), which began in 2019, is a cross-movement formation which brings together 15 movement partners from frontline, youth, labor, electoral, and environmental groups, and other collaborators specifically to develop and move Green New Deal strategies on a state and federal level. GNDN partners with frontline organizations to carry out its three-pronged strategy focused on narrative change, coalition building, and electoral engagement, all toward the justice-oriented development of a Green New Deal. Climate Justice Alliance was among the GNDN founding organizations and is part of the national Coordinating Team.
The North America Geoengineering Working Group (NAGWG) was convened by Climate Justice Alliance in 2019 to confront the growing threat of geoengineering false solutions. It includes both CJA members and non-member groups, serves as a clearinghouse for information about geoengineering activities in the U.S., and fights the acceleration of geoengineering proposals in Congress and state legislatures. NAGWG has used its tactical strength and strategic contacts to stop the deployment of several geoengineering experiments, and collaborates closely with the international Hands Off Mother Earth Steering Committee.
Fund for Frontline Power (F4FP) is a new, autonomous fund, fully governed by grassroots leaders to support frontline-led climate solutions. F4FP was initiated by a group of allied movement partners in response to disproportionate funding flowing from billionaire philanthropy to big greens. It is both an exercise in collective governance of capital and an effort to deconstruct and reconstruct how dollars flow, with grassroots in the lead. The process to launch the Fund for Frontline Power (forthcoming in 2022) is being stewarded by Climate Justice Alliance and The Solutions Project.
Regenerative Economies Organizing Collaborative (REO) is a collaborative group of allied domestic and international progressive funders following and aligning with social movements to organize toward systemic change to regenerative economies. Movement-led, REO works to: 1) Shift philanthropic resources to support locally-rooted Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Working Class-led transnational movements; and 2) Organize philanthropy against harmful investments in false solutions. Climate Justice Alliance was among the founders of REO in 2018, which grew out of the It Takes Roots Funder Support Circle.
In addition to the aforementioned formations, Climate Justice Alliance participates in several platforms, campaigns, and collective organizing spaces, such as Build Back Fossil Free, Feminist Green New Deal, Red and Black and Green New Deal, Building Equity and Alignment for Environmental Justice, Rising Majority, and People’s Bailout.