The People’s Justice Council
In 2021, Climate Nexus launched an Energy Equity Regranting Project to help resource organizations, tribes, and community leaders on the frontlines of climate change and the impactful work they are doing to fight the gas industry. The energy equity transition grants prioritize grassroots groups with an annual budget of $1 million or less to boost their efforts in racially, ethnically, gender, and culturally diverse communities across the United States and at the intersections of public health and energy justice.
In our second year running the program, 11 organizations received grants ranging from $20,000 to $40,000, including The People’s Justice Council, whose work is detailed below.
The People’s Justice Council (The PJC) is a faith-based organization based in Birmingham, Alabama, led by pastors, community organizers, and working professionals to create a world that is equitable, sustainable, and just.
The People’s Justice Council works with many interfaith organizations across the Gulf South states. Their campaigns focus on biomass, weatherization, environmental justice mapping, connecting which companies fund exploitative processes of Black, brown, and low-income communities, and educating the communities they work with through outreach.
The PJC has strengthened partnerships with the Dogwood Alliance, and Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate And Health Organization (EEECHO), and has started working on community health surveys with the Southern Environmental Law Center.
From Resilience to Restoration (FRtR)
With the support of its first federal grant, The PJC launched a national resource hub in each Gulf South state. The PJC developed more than two dozen local, frontline community restoration plans. They seek grant funding to take FRtR “from the Gulf South to the Whole South!”
Rural Electric Co-ops (RECs)
The PJC has hired an outreach specialist to organize a letter-writing campaign targeting every rural electric co-op in Alabama to educate communities about IRA funding opportunities on the table.
Weatherizing Every Residence in the South East (WERiSE)
WERiSE is part of the South for Energy Justice campaign, a joint program of The PJC and Alabama Interfaith Power & Light. A new technical director is working with communities from North Carolina to Texas to reduce the energy burden of high utility bills by assisting residents to invest in energy-efficient technology and weatherizing their homes.
Reverend Michael Malcom, Executive Director of Alabama Interfaith Power and Light, noted, “My next hire is going to be a development director. Not only do you need someone who can help you get the grants, but you need someone to help you manage them as well.”
Future and Sustainability
The PJC is building a coalition that will carry out direct actions as part of an ongoing campaign against companies such as Nationwide, which are financially supporting the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, known as Cop City. Rev. Malcom said, “If we can get them to pull out through shaming them and boycotting, then perhaps we can send a loud enough message that none of the other insurers will want to test this. I aim to make it as costly and inconvenient [for Nationwide] as possible.”
Filter Grantees by Year:
Earth Care is fighting false solutions like hydrogen and carbon capture, and is building public awareness of the health dangers of fracking.
The Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples is a forum for tribal communities to protect sacred sites and advance environmental priorities.
Rise to Thrive builds community among Women and Femmes of Color across the country to catalyze a shift of power within the environmental movement.
RENEW Worcester advances energy projects that prioritize communities and the buildout of affordable, renewable energy.
Viet Voices educates San Diego’s Vietnamese community about sustainability, environmental health, and accessible housing.
The Society of Native Nations works in Texas and California to contest the oil, gas, and petrochemical buildout from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast.
The Vessel Project is a mutual aid organization supporting people in Calcasieu Parish by meeting their emergency needs efficiently and without barriers.
VISIÓN works with community organizations to establish health and safety buffer zones between oil wells and homes and schools.
7 Directions of Service is fighting to cancel the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s Southgate Extension and to advance Rights of Nature laws.
PJC organizes not-for-profit electricity coops around Montgomery and is organizing their constituency around energy and environmental justice.
Washington Interfaith Network is working to help low- and moderate income DC households switch from fossil fuels to clean and efficient electric heating.
MCUP advances energy equity in Black and Indigenous communities by training women in clean energy contracting and project management.