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Funders for Climate Equity September Meeting

Friday, September 16, 2022 -
10:30am to 12:00pm PDT
Zoom Meeting
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A recent report, Much Alarm, Less Action, from the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that both foundation and nonprofit leaders believe that climate change will negatively affect their work —no matter the issues they focus on. However, less than 2% of all giving went to building climate resilience. Continued climate inaction by the philanthropic sector, will undo existing efforts to address a multitude of societal challenges, particularly those around public health.

In California, climate change is threatening the health and safety of communities, and almost every aspect of daily life will be impacted. As one foundation leader says, “[climate change] impacts our political, economic, and social constructs in addition to people’s lives and the ecosystems on which we depend.” We know that:

  • As temperatures rise, extreme heat will increase the risk to outdoor workers and unhoused populations
  • Rural economies and the agriculture sector will continue to be impacted by drought, extreme heat, and pest/pathogen exposure
  • The skies over California cities will be choked with wildfire smoke during the summer and fall, affecting the health of our most vulnerable populations

It is no longer possible to ignore the climate chaos raging around us, and the fragmented nature in which the philanthropic community is engaging with climate change puts the communities they serve at risk.

This webinar invites funders who traditionally don’t fund in the “climate” space, including housing/homeless prevention and public health funders, to consider how climate change is impacting the health of the communities they already serve, as well as selected strategies and tools that support frontline communities’ efforts to build climate and disaster resilience.

Speakers will address

  1. Why climate change considerations are integral to their work and the populations they serve
  2. Why funders should view climate change as an intersectional issue
  3. Ways for non-“climate” funders to support building community climate resilience through their typical grantmaking strategies


Beatrice Camacho, Director, Undocufund for Disaster Relief in Sonoma County
Beatrice Camacho is a first-generation Mexican-American woman born and raised in Sonoma County, California to low-income, working-class parents who immigrated to Sonoma County from Northern Mexico in 1985. As a lifelong renter, growing up on Section 8 Housing, she personally understands the importance of dignified and affordable housing. Beatrice studied Business Management at Sonoma State University and is trained in Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices. She is an organizing committee member for Sanación del People/The Peoples’ Healing Clinic, which offers mutual aid in the form of free healing modalities to community members in Sonoma County who otherwise would not have access to them. She has been a Tenant Organizer with North Bay Organizing Project since 2018 and helped organize the Sonoma County Tenants Union. Beatrice is now the first-ever Director of UndocuFund. UndocuFund was created in 2017, as a form of mutual aid that provides direct monetary assistance to undocumented community members in Sonoma County during times of disaster. Undocufund has disbursed over $16.5 million in direct assistance to Sonoma County’s undocumented community members impacted by wildfires, floods, power shutoffs, and COVID-19.
Melissa Jones, Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII)
Melissa Jones is the Executive Director of BARHII, the coalition of the Bay Area’s governmental public health departments. BARHII is a national engine for health equity thought leadership, powered by the ingenuity of the San Francisco Bay Area’s public health departments and community partners. Under Melissa’s leadership, BARHII has served as an essential "health voice" to help pass groundbreaking legislation that has saved tens of thousands of lives and improved the health of communities impacted by systemic inequities--including expanded paid sick leave, statewide rent-gouging rules, pandemic-related eviction prohibitions, and climate justice programs. Over the last five years, she has trained over 1500 government officials in California in Adaptive Leadership for Racial Equity. Melissa brings to BARHIItwenty years of experience in nonprofit and municipal government in the Bay Area’s large and small cities, as well as time with the nation’s largest community development intermediary, where she launched Resilient Communities, Resilient Families and was awarded the LISC President’s Award for excellence in comprehensive community development. She is a proud resident of Oakland, active community member, and has co-chaired two efforts focused on Equitable Recovery in the Bay Area. She serves on several boards including the Association of Bay Area Government’s Regional Planning Commission and the California COVID-19 Justice Inaugural Steering Committee. She is honored to have been selected as both a Fulcrum Fellow with the Center for Community Investment and an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity with Atlantic Philanthropies.
Dr. Alan Kwok, Director of Climate and Disaster Resilience, Philanthropy California (moderator)
Alan Kwok, PhD, is Director of Climate and Disaster Resilience at Philanthropy California, an alliance of Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers, and Catalyst of San Diego and Imperial Counties. He leads Philanthropy California's statewide funders coordination, advocacy, and public/private partnerships around climate justice and disaster resilience efforts. He has led statewide efforts in creating a statewide disaster resilience and recovery fund, advocated for equitable climate and disaster resilience policies at the state and national levels, coordinated philanthropic responses to California wildfires since 2019, and supported funder's coordination around wildfire resilience.
Dr. Gina Solomon, Program Director Achieving Resilient Communities, The Public Health Institute (PHI)
Gina Solomon is a Principal Investigator at the Public Health Institute, a global non-profit research, and leadership organization that builds capacity for public health programs, policies, and practices. At PHI she directs the Achieving Resilient Communities (ARC) project. Her work focuses on anticipating, preventing, and responding to climate change in the most impacted communities in California, with a particular focus on farmworker communities. Dr. Solomon is a physician with expertise in occupational and environmental medicine and a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).Dr. Solomon served as the Deputy Secretary for Science and Health at the California Environmental Protection Agency during the Brown administration. Prior to 2012, she was a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and held several leadership positions at UCSF. She has served on multiple boards and committees of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine; World Health Organization; and federal and state agencies. She has published more than 80 papers and book chapters, as well as one book. Dr. Solomon received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University, her M.D. from Yale, and her M.P.H. from Harvard.



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