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The Institute of Sustainable Communities recently launched its inaugural issue of Centering Climate Equity, a comprehensive quarterly update on the Institute for Sustainable Communities’ work in the United States.

One core ISC objective is to build climate leadership in communities of color, nurturing a national network of leaders of color who learn from and support one another to advance climate and equity policies. The common goal of this network is to dismantle pervasive systems that were not built with the safety and economic vibrancy of people of color in mind. Alongside this, we work with local and regional governments to develop equitable climate solutions.

Centering Climate Equity will be an essential tool for fostering connections among all ISC partners and grantees across programs - from the Partnership for Resilient Communities (PRC) to the Urban Equity Climate Compact to the Kresge Foundation’s Climate Change, Health and Equity initiative and more - with the hope that we can continue to inspire one another as we enact necessary change in this country. We will occasionally include updates from ISC’s work in India, China, and South East Asia that may have resonance for our U.S. work. Further, we hope to engage diverse stakeholders - policymakers, funders, other climate organizations, and members of the community at large who, with a deeper understanding of equity, might be inspired to join our collective efforts.

This newsletter represents an evolution from a singular focus on PRC updates to a more comprehensive approach to our U.S. Programs. We will regularly seek content from our partners and welcome input on what you find to be pressing climate justice topics. If you are reading this, we encourage you to share broadly with your networks and constituents. We want to create a large and inclusive community that embraces our values in supporting equity and resilience.

It’s been six years since we piloted PRC, and we are proud of our success in partnership with community-based organizations in 14 cities. However, work like this is a continuous process, dependent on the involvement of impacted communities and their leaders. The JPB Foundation, the catalytic funder of PRC, recognizes this and continues to be a mainstay of our efforts. We are pleased to announce that in keeping with JPB’s generous and unfailing commitment to this work, funding for PRC has been renewed (once again!) for another three years. The PRC team stands ready to continue this critical work and will be collecting requests for proposals for the new round of funding. ISC will open its Request for Applications to join the next PRC cohort on July 18, 2022. We will host an informational webinar on July 25, 2022.

Last month, we also received news that the Kresge Foundation, a staunch partner in ISC's pursuit of its mission, is continuing funding for the Urban Equity Climate Compact (UECC) program over the next two years. This critical support from Kresge will bolster efforts in providing community leaders of color with project resources, technical support, and guidance as they work to unite community organizations and local governments to further climate work.

Finally, I have a bit of personal news. I am pleased to share that I have accepted the role of ISC‘s Director of U.S. Programs. I am grateful to ISC president, Deeohn Ferris and Vice President of Global Programs, Trina Mallik, for their support and encouragement in my undertaking this leadership role. My portfolio of work has evolved quite a bit over the past year, but one thing that remains unchanged is my commitment to supporting our programs, our partners and grantees, and their community-based organizations.

I thank each and every one of you for making this work so rewarding, and I look forward to working with you all in the future.

In solidarity, Sonia Joshi Director of U.S. Programs

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