This year, we were thrilled to be NY Climate Action Week's official environmental justice partner, being the first youth-led organisation to do so! As part of our partnership with the Climate Group, we worked to promote engagement with NY Climate Action Week, incentivizing the creation of youth-led and socioenvironmental justice events and providing support and advice to those hosting activities during the week. This collaboration marked a significant effort towards fostering collective action in the face of the global climate crisis, with the dynamic energy of youth climate justice movements leading the way. Our partnership beautifully culminated in the official launch of the Youth Climate Justice Fund!
Beyond being a resource and capacity development provider for emerging youth climate justice movements, the Youth Climate Justice Fund works and advises philanthropic organisations about the many ways they can learn, support and give to youth collectives fighting against the climate crisis. As our recent research showed (Youth Climate Justice Study), funders need better spaces and opportunities to learn with and from youth climate movements. We started the week with a ‘Funders workshop’ where we gathered our funders to discuss about our work, progress and current trends in the climate movements. This space offered a key moment to learn from our philanthropic partners’ perspectives and strengthen our collaborative work to unlock more funding to youth climate justice groups worldwide.
Following a successful first day, we organised a space for new funders and partners to learn from the transformative impact that well-resourced and empowered youth-led climate justice movements have. In partnership with the Goals House, we gathered many philanthropic institutions for a breakfast blessed by sunshine at golden hour. Kate Hampton, the CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), emphasized the essential role youth climate movements have played since the start of the environmental movement. Other contributors, such as Laura Garcia, the CEO of the Global Greengrant Fund, reminded everyone of the importance of giving unrestricted and bold funding to movement-led and youth-led funds to make gains in the climate crisis.
After months of work to set-up the Youth Climate Justice Fund, we also wanted to create a space for our community, partners, friends and allies, who have been continuously supporting our work and ambitions. We finished our NY Climate Action Week with a special launch gathering with youth-led intermediaries in the evening. We wanted to showcase the incredible power of other aligned youth-led intermediaries, such as FRIDA, a participatory fund that has been leading the way for youth-led feminist giving, Green Africa Youth Organisation and their new growing grant-making work in Africa focused on climate solutions and The Youth Harbour, who has emerged as one of the largest youth-led climate justice funds in Canada. We showed that youth-led participatory funds are needed to channel essential resources to the most incredible and emergent youth-led climate justice collective worldwide. This was also an occasion to show that youth-led funds are united and committed to increase resources for youth climate justice work globally.
At the end of the week, we ended up feeling very grateful for the continuous support of our partners and friends, and also excited because as NY Climate Action Week came to an end, the open call for our first grant cycle was also closing. And with that, the review and selection process started! 🌱