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SVP International

$110k Invested in Collective Action for Transit, Equity and the Environment

Posted by Zamzam Abdulgani

Over the last year, SVP’s Environment Collective Action Team (EnviroCAT) has invested $110,000 to advance environmental and transit solutions that benefit all people. They focused specifically on initiatives and organizations that engage and represent the needs of low-income people and communities of color – recognizing that they are often disproportionately affected by environmental degradation.

Read more about the initiatives SVP funded below!

Transit for All

Since inception, the EnviroCAT has invested in transit-oriented development – beginning with funding individual organizations in the transit field and now investing in four key organizations working collaboratively.

In 2016, the Puget Sound region has the opportunity to expand light rail and bus rapid transit service, increasing resident access to jobs, housing, healthcare and a multitude of other amenities. Transportation Choices Coalition, Puget Sound Sage, One America and Futurewise seek to create an equitable policy framework and shared communication strategy to advocate for the $50 billion Sound Transit 3 ballot measure, while helping to ensure new developments benefit those who need it most.

A campaign of this scale requires additional staff capacity. The $60,000 EnviroCAT grant will partially support a full-time staff member to assist in the coordination and communication among the four nonprofits, as well as a joint long-term strategic planning process.

EnviroCAT members met with the executive directors of all four organizations in March and were impressed with their candor, shared vision and respect for each other’s work. SVP’s grant will complement investments from Bullitt Foundation, Boeing Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Loom Foundation, New Belgium Foundation, Satterberg Foundation, Kirkpatrick Family Foundation, Ford Foundation and the Center for Community Change – with total funding reaching $1,173,500.

Front and Centered

EnviroCAT members are acutely aware that nontraditional environmental organizations and smaller community-based groups play a vital role in promoting environmental solutions, hence their $25,000 investment in Front and Centered.

Front and Centered is an emerging coalition of more than 50 organizations working across the state to amplify the voices of low-income people and communities of color. Their work is grounded in racial and social justice, with a core belief that in order to expand the traditional environmental movement and create just solutions, communities of color and low-income people must be engaged as environmental stakeholders.

SVP’s investment will enable Front and Centered to engage in a thoughtful and inclusive strategic planning process that reaffirms the core principles and common agenda of the coalition as well as provide time and capacity for Front and Centered to develop an organizational structure for the coalition that meets the needs of its members.

EnviroCAT members are excited by the coalition’s increasing momentum and the opportunity to support the coalition in building sustainable organizational practices moving forward.

Sustainable Communities Funders

In addition to these direct investments, the EnviroCAT also committed to a fourth year of collective grantmaking with the Sustainable Communities Funders Collaborative (SCF). This group invests in organizations and initiatives that advance equity, the economy and environmental health. The SCF includes the Seattle Foundation, Bullitt Foundation, Loom Foundation and SVP. Together they have given more than $445,000 in aligned grants.

This year, SVP contributed $25,000 to the pooled fund and served as the co-chair of the collaborative.

Learn More and Get Involved!

If you are interested in learning more about SVP’s collective action work or joining one of our Collective Action Teams to help select next year’s investees, please contact Mike Quinn or sign up for one of our info sessions!


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