Climate and Equity Policy Project

Climate and Equity Policy Project

RAFI-USA’s Climate and Equity Policy Project puts farmers of color at the center of policy conversations by providing funding and support to groups predominantly led by or serving farmers of color in order to engage in climate-related policy advocacy for the 2023 Farm Bill.

In late December 2022, Waverley Street Foundation and the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation in collaboration with RAFI-USA and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) awarded more than $300,000 to 14 BIPOC-led and serving organizations to enable them to increase or begin advocacy work on the 2023 Farm Bill.

 In June 2023, we elected to both continue supporting organizations who began their work with the first round of funding, and to put out a call for new applications from organizations currently conducting or looking to begin advocacy work on the 2023 Farm Bill. Thirteen new organizations were selected to receive funding. Overall, the second round of Climate & Equity Project grants totaled $295,500. Our diverse pool of grantees consists of farmer cooperatives, food system advocacy and reform organizations, technical assistance providers, and stakeholder outreach organizations from Massachusetts to Kentucky, to California. RAFI looks forward to partnering with our grantees to provide technical assistance and expertise where possible.

The full list of awarded organizations and their plans can be found here

Our four-person review committee consists of BIPOC food systems advocates and leaders with decades of shared expertise. A short bio of each person can be found here.

Grantees Fly-in for Farmers for Climate Change: Rally for Resilience

Many of the recipients of the first round of Climate & Equity grants participated in the March 2023 Rally for Resilience.

Media Coverage of Farmers for Climate Change: Rally for Resilience

The Background

The climate crisis becomes more critical by the day. Farmers are deeply impacted by extreme weather, bearing the brunt of droughts, floods, fires, and hurricanes on their land and livelihoods.

Climate change issues are also equity issues: the impacts of climate change are not shared equally among people. The history of agriculture in our country is a history of racism, wherein BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) farmers have seen federal resources flow disproportionately to building the farms and capital of white farmers. While farmers of color often have effective solutions, they do not have the same access to resources to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The 2023 Farm Bill is a crucial opportunity to address climate change in agriculture. For the next five to 10 years, the 2023 Farm Bill will shape financial support for farmers, access to land, funding, and disaster relief programs, and our national response to the climate crisis in agriculture. The stakes are high: climate policy must address both mitigation and climate impacts in a meaningful way. It must also promote equity, recognizing past harms and seeking to provide additional support to those who have been underserved and discriminated against in the past. For equitable, effective climate policy, farmers of color must be at the center of the Farm Bill conversation.

However, funding inequity also extends its roots into the landscape of nonprofits and policy advocacy: predominantly white nonprofits have had an easier time finding funding for their work, including policy work, than BIPOC-led and-serving groups. Thus, the Climate and Equity Policy Project was born.

Contact us at [email protected] with questions about the Climate & Equity Policy Project!

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