HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT

Goals + Outcomes for statewide program funding

>> View a list of 2019 AFO grant awards sorted by portfolio

Goal: Ensure that environmental impacts + benefits are equitably distributed among communities 

A core purpose of this goal is to support efforts to build power in communities that experience disparities by investing in organizations and solutions for a healthy environment led by those communities. These solutions offer new ways of thinking and new paths for action, challenging assumptions that underlie current systems and perpetuate environmental problems. Through this goal, we also support efforts that eliminate disparate pollution impacts and improve environmental protection and other benefits of a healthy environment in communities that experience disparities.

Intended outcomes

• Community Influence: Increased emphasis on the priorities of communities experiencing disparities to shift and broaden perspectives and reform policies, systems and institutions
 

• Increased Opportunities: Increased opportunities for communities experiencing disparities to benefit from nature and environmental protection
 

• Reduced Burdens: Reduced environmental health burdens on communities experiencing disparities
 

• Organizational Capacity: Strengthened long-term health and capacity of key organizations, collaboratives and networks

Examples of what we might fund

Examples of the types of environmental inequities we aim to address include (but are not limited to) eliminating exposure of Oregon’s farm and forestry workers to pesticides and poor living conditions, disproportionate health burdens impacting Native communities as a result of high levels of toxics exposure and inadequate protection of traditional food sources, the disparate impacts of air pollution and industrial pollutants on many of Oregon’s most racially diverse communities, and poor access to parks and nature by many low-income communities and communities of color. 

Three examples of projects funded under this goal include:

• A grant to reduce the disproportionate burden of poor working conditions and occupational injuries and illnesses for immigrant forest workers and harvesters in southern Oregon


• A grant to ensure impacted communities benefit from Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup and redevelopment


• A collaborative project to support rural communities of color in advocating for water justice priorities and influencing the 100-year Oregon water vision

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.

Goal: Support a movement for a healthy environment that is effective + relevant for all of Oregon's diverse communities 

We recognize that building an inclusive environmental movement in Oregon means that the current movement needs to change and grow. To do this, organizations must learn to think differently about their work, including learning about and building relationships with other communities and cultures to make sure that their approach and how they operate respects and includes them. They must be committed to ongoing learning about equity and developing practices and policies to support greater diversity and an inclusive and equitable organizational culture. It means building alliances and developing new stories and narratives to describe the change we are trying to create so that the words we use to explain our vision for the future do not reinforce the status quo and existing power structure that favor certain communities and identities over others.

Intended outcomes

• Equity Focus: Increased commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion among organizations working for a healthy environment and improved understanding of how to advance equity through their work

• Collaboration: Increased collaboration and sector alignment that engages diverse constituencies toward shared environmental priorities

• Narrative Change: Increased emphasis on the concerns and interests of diverse communities in the public discourse related to a healthy environment 

Examples of what we might fund

Examples of projects that we fund to advance this goal include support for organizational diversity, equity and inclusion training, planning and implementation; collaborations between organizations that serve or are led by communities experiencing disparities, environmental organizations and other nontraditional partners; and support for key intermediaries and coalition builders to advance coordination, effectiveness and impact of the field as a whole. In addition, funded projects may include communications research, message framing and creative engagement to change and expand the narrative of Oregon’s environmental movement.

Three examples of projects funded under this goal include:

• Diversity, equity and inclusion work, including building an inclusive culture and developing equitable internal systems


• Strengthening a partnership between The Klamath Tribes and The Nature Conservancy to identify mutual conservation priorities, including integrating conservation practices that reflect the Tribe’s traditional knowledge with science-based practices to conserve and restore ecosystem health in the Klamath Basin


• Capacity building to support a coalition developing a shared vision and plan to address disparities in access to the benefits of a healthy environment for Latinx communities in central Oregon

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.

Goal: Ensure that natural systems are healthy and able to adapt to changing conditions + long-term impacts

We depend on healthy ecosystems for our health, livelihoods and community resilience. However, climate change is amplifying many long-standing environmental problems and rapidly creating new and far-reaching threats to ecosystem health, human health and safety, and for Tribal communities’ cultural preservation. At the same time, our economic system continues to prioritize growth and profits over sustainable approaches that value and account for healthy ecosystems and communities. Meyer’s aim for this goal is to support organizations and collaborations that are developing and expanding promising and proven approaches, policies and systems for protecting and restoring ecosystems to ensure their long-term health and resilience.

Intended outcomes

• Ecological Health: Identification and expanded use of new, promising and proven strategies for protecting or restoring ecosystems and critical natural resources to ensure their long-term health

• Policy and Systems: Adoption and implementation of public policies, public investments and institutional practices that support healthy ecosystems and natural resources

• Organizational Capacity: Strengthening of long-term health and capacity of key organizations, collaboratives and networks

Examples of What We Might Fund

Projects may focus on protecting and restoring the full range of Oregon’s ecosystems, including forested mountains, deserts, agricultural valleys, rivers and wetlands, shrub- and grass-covered plains, beaches, and nearshore marine ecosystems.

We will prioritize systems change, landscape-scale and statewide efforts, particularly public policy work aimed at establishing new funding, protection and restoration strategies, as well as efforts that aim to implement existing plans and policies based on sound ecosystem management principles, including traditional ecological knowledge. We expect that funded organizations will demonstrate a commitment to equity, operationalize it in their work and demonstrate progress over time.

In general, fundraising capacity building grants are a low priority in this goal. For other capacity building projects, strong applicants will be those whose programmatic work is landscape-scale and/or statewide.

Three examples of projects funded under this goal include:

• Coordination of Oregon Tribes to develop Tribal renewable energy, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas policies and investment project

• Support of a collaborative's efforts to address landscape-scale conservation, climate resilience and Tribal cultural and ecological priorities in the Greater Hells Canyon area

• A collaborative to address escalating wildfire risks, smoke and a changing climate within the dry, fire-dependent forests and surrounding communities of the Rogue River Basin in southern Oregon

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.