A group of people are gathered in an outdoor setting, standing behind a woman with a cast on her right foot who is seated in a wheelchair.
Two men and a woman are sitting at a conference table with microphones in front of them.
A man stands near a tree and is speaking into a megaphone.
The People Justice council logo
A group of people with their fists raised in a gesture of solidarity stand in front of a table.
Two groups of people standing next to each other are posing for a photo.
A group of people surrounds a sign that says "Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument" in an outdoor space.

People’s Justice Council (PJC)

Birmingham, AL

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 first year running the program, nine organizations received grants ranging from $20,000 to $40,000, including the People’s Justice Council, whose work is detailed below. 


The Alabama Energy Democracy Coalition, led by the People’s Justice Council and Alabama Interfaith Power & Light, seeks to build organizing capacity in targeted electric cooperatives surrounding the Montgomery, Alabama, area to grow the constituency for energy and environmental justice, advocating for clean energy, and reforming democratic processes at electric cooperatives.


PJC leveraged existing capacity and hired new capacity for organizing in the service territory of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC). The organizers were tasked with the following: 

  • Better understanding of the wants and needs of local residents; 
  • Contacting and educating member-owners about their rights as cooperative members; 
  • Activating residents at critical junctures, such as board meetings and annual meetings, to increase the likelihood of success of key reforms;
  • Working with coalition organizations to inform media and communications; and 
  • Recruiting community organizations to join the coalition.

Lessons Learned

The PJC is under no illusions that change will come quickly or easily. Their ultimate intent is to institute changes at CAEC that improve the day-to-day lives of its members and make the cooperative more representative of and responsive to the members it serves. 

Future and Sustainability

PJC is pursuing the creation of energy efficiency programs that are accessible to all residents regardless of income, credit, or home ownership status, the creation of locally-owned renewable energy projects that eliminate the need for extractive fossil fuels, and governance reforms to reflect the cooperative’s membership better.

Filter Grantees by Year:

  • Rio Grande International Study Center

    Rio Grande International Study Center

    RGISC conducts independent research and community education to steward the environmental preservation and restoration of the Rio Grande Basin.

  • Mississippi Communities United for Prosperity

    Mississippi Communities United for Prosperity

    MCUP is examining the feasibility of Duck Hill developing a solar and wind park to convert the town to 100% electric and renewable energy.

  • Miami Climate Alliance

    Miami Climate Alliance

    The Miami Climate Alliance works across three areas: climate and health, energy justice, and advancing The Gulf South for a Green New Deal.

  • South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light

    South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light

    SCIPL develops programming and resources around food insecurity, high energy bills, electric vehicle infrastructure, and resilience hubs.

  • Beyond Toxics

    Beyond Toxics

    Beyond Toxics is fighting the fracking industry, educating Lane County residents on climate and fossil fuels, and advocating for renewable energy projects.

  • Youth vs The Apocalypse (YVA)

    Youth vs The Apocalypse (YVA)

    YVA uses Zoom to both build community and practice key leadership skills from strategic planning to giving interviews to social media strategies.

  • Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas

    Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas

    The Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe travels throughout Texas, monitoring pipelines, disposal wells, ongoing border wall construction, and fracking/flaring violations.