Today is the launch of the Ohio Climate Justice Fund (OCJF). Led by Director Leah D. Hudnall, the OCJF works at the intersection of racial justice and climate action to award and advise investments into non-profit projects that focus on a sustainable and equitable future for Ohio. About $1 billion is put forward by the top twelve funders for annual environmental and climate grants. Of that $1 billion, only 1.3% goes to BIPOC-led environmental justice organizations.
It is imperative that these diverse voices be heard and influential when addressing climate change and justice, so the OCJF will purposely seek out BIPOC-led organizations and fund in their sustainability efforts. An advisory board of Ohio’s top environmental advocates and leaders will advise where the $15,000-$30,000 grants should be invested. Board members and partner organizations of the Fund will also spend time in conversation with communities. The aim is to identify the most impactful and authentic ways to address climate and environmental justice within a community while organizing grassroots power to support further equitable change in clean energy policies over time.
“The OCJF is not just for organizations that have climate or the environment specifically mentioned in their missions. It is for any organization in Ohio led by a person of color who has proven their ability to build trust in their community and advocate for change,” said Director Hudnall. “Energy, climate, and environmental issues at large affect us all, and we will need all voices at the table to help design Ohio’s equitable clean future.”
It is also important to note that clean energy growth has other positive impacts in addition to the environment. The clean energy industry also provides great jobs for the American people. The jobs have low barriers to entry and high wages and hold the promise of stability and bright futures. However, of the clean energy jobs that exist today, less than 10% are held by Black workers. OCJF is committed to expanding BIPOC employment in the clean energy industry while also improving people’s lived environment.
Clean Fuels Ohio is excited to support the OCJF in advancing environmental and racial justice in our state and look forward to working with Hudnall and the board in the future. To learn more about the Ohio Climate Justice Fund, visit their website today.