The Conservation Alliance Announces New Confluence Program Grants
December 16, 2021
Four groups have been awarded $100,000 in multi-year grant funding
BEND, Ore. (December 15, 2021) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – This week, The Conservation Alliance announced the Confluence Program grantees: Apache Stronghold, Monumental SHIFT Coalition, Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission, and Valentine Conservation Community Project. Each of these four groups will receive $50,000 in grant funding in December 2021 and another $50,000 in 2022, as well as resource sharing and communications support through 2023.
Apache Stronghold is an organization based in Arizona that works with conservation organizations and all those who share a love for natural places. The grant funding will help support the organization’s efforts to protect an Apache sacred site, Chi’chil Biłdagoteel (also known as Oak Flat), from proposed underground mining.
Southwest-based Monumental SHIFT coalition is a collaborative network of BIPOC-led groups working together to grow the traditional conservation movement to better represent and honor lands and places sacred to its communities. The organization is working to secure National Monument designations for the Castner Range in Texas and Avi Kwa Ame in Nevada, and Wild and Scenic River designations for the Gila River in New Mexico.
The Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC) is a consortium of fifteen federally-recognized Tribal governments that formed to protect their ways of life throughout Southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Their mission is to protect Tribal lands and waterways region for future generations. SEITC is working on developing an Indigenous-led framework for co-managing transboundary watersheds flowing from British Columbia through Southeast Alaska, which are currently threatened by mining development.
The Valentine Conservation Community (VCC) is a group of 30 residents led by a multi-generational Black family, who are seeking to create the Valentine Street Park and Trails in East St. Louis, Illinois, located within a mile of the Mississippi River. Their mission is to preserve the land, protect the wildlife, and restore the Valentine Street neighborhood by imbuing a historical culture of conservation and love for nature in their neighborhood.
The Confluence grant program was directed by seven advisory committee members, with support and guidance from The Conservation Alliance staff. The committee established the funding criteria, project types, and application process. The advisory committee also reviewed applications and chose the final grant recipients.
“I’m happy to have been part of the Confluence Program. It was an experience that definitely changed my outlook of how grants are established and administered,” said Teresa Baker, Founder of the In Solidarity Project and Committee Chair for the Confluence Program.
“My hope is that other orgs and foundations will reconsider their grant programs as it relates to who qualifies and under what terms. I’m thankful for the openness The Conservation Alliance has shown through this process and for the trust they displayed with each committee member.”
“Creating a new grant program designed to center historically racially marginalized groups would not have been possible without the commitment of our advisory committee,” said Josie Norris, Grant Program Director at The Conservation Alliance. “Reading 80 applications from groups located in every corner of the U.S. and Canada expanded our thinking about how people connect to land and water, the reasons why natural places are important to their community, and how people are working to protect these special places.”
The Conservation Alliance developed the Confluence Program in 2021 to intentionally connect to historically racially marginalized people for the protection of natural places. The program is a first step in the organization’s efforts to help create new systems and structures that bring together all of the groups, businesses, and people committed to this work.
The program aims to achieve its goal through multi-year grant funding for groups that are led by Asian, Black, Brown, Indigenous, Latinx, and other People of Color working to elevate voices and perspectives of people working to protect a natural place. In 2022 and 2023, the program will focus on relationship-building founded in trust and resource-sharing, and will be shaped according to the specific needs of each grantee organization.
One of the grant program goals was to capture and share learnings regarding the gap between financial needs and available funding. The Confluence grant program received 80 applications, representing a need for $4 million in funding. Please contact The Conservation Alliance for information about the groups that applied and how to directly support them.
About The Conservation Alliance
The Conservation Alliance is an organization of like-minded businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where people and wildlife thrive. Alliance grant funding has played a key role in protecting rivers, wildlands, and climbing areas throughout North America. Since its inception in 1989, The Conservation Alliance has contributed more than $24 million to help protect more than 73 million acres of wildlands and 3,576 miles of rivers, stop or remove 35 dams, designate five marine reserves, and establish 18 climbing areas. For complete information about The Conservation Alliance, visit www.conservationalliance.com.
The Conservation Alliance
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