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Mobilizing for Environmental Change – How Infrastructure Can Accelerate Progress

May 17, 2024

Green 2.0 Team

Jennifer Lesorogol Eyen, Program Officer at Mosaic. Photo credit: Mosaic.

By Jennifer Lesorogol Eyen, Program Officer, Mosaic

Jennifer is a Program Officer for Mosaic, a national grantmaking initiative focused on building a bigger, more influential environmental movement. She leads the initiative’s grantmaking operations. In this blog, she discusses the opportunities to leverage the critical connections, tools, and resources that help movements thrive in the near term and advance long-term change in this historic moment for environmental action.

Nearly two years following the passage of historic federal environmental legislation through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), marking the most significant action Congress has ever taken on clean energy and climate change in the nation’s history, we stand at a critical juncture. With trillions of dollars in federal funding available to address climate change, the environmental movement has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to achieve significant victories. The only way we can seize this moment is by building field-wide capacity and coordination on a national scale.

In 2023, Mosaic focused particularly on bolstering the necessary capacities and resources to support movement organizations in responding to the opportunities presented by the IRA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Justice40, and 30×30, a strategy identified and developed by our Governance Assembly.

2024 remains a critical moment for climate action and ensuring the promise of these nascent landmark federal climate laws – and it is not without challenges. In framing our grantmaking for 2024, we worked to better understand the barriers environmental organizations are facing.

Mosaic’s Governance Assembly (Abbie Dillen, Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Mily Trevino-Saucedo, and Angela Mahecha). Photo credit: Mosaic.

To do so, we reached out to our grantees and partners across the field, and they shared critical insights. Many communities, overwhelmed by the magnitude of the new federal climate laws, often feel unsure of where to begin or how to engage. Technical support programs are often oversubscribed or at capacity, leaving potential avenues for impactful change untapped.

And crucial regions, where emissions are high and participation is low, are at risk of being left behind in the race for funding and resources. These conversations underscored the need for greater mobilization infrastructure, including communication, expanded pathways to technical assistance, and resources that can enable organizations to engage alongside their existing work.

Mosaic’s Governance Assembly (Melissa Lin-Perrella, Rashad Morris). Photo credit: Mosaic.

Drawing from extensive outreach and engagement, our goal is to tackle these gaps through a responsive and targeted strategy. The goal is to build a more robust, inclusive movement capable of accelerating progress in this key period. Our approach focused on mobilization, supporting the building of near-term capacity for long-term movement resilience, and strategically targeting critical regions and constituencies.

Our 2024 grant slate represents a multi-million dollar investment in the future of environmental advocacy focused on filling these key gaps with catalytic funding to support engagement on potentially the largest resourcing opportunity for the movement. At the heart of this approach are a series of new regional movement mobilization hubs, strategically placed in areas with significant greenhouse gas reduction potential that have not yet drawn down the available federal dollars.

True population-level change requires the collective efforts of diverse voices and perspectives. That’s why we’re also deepening support for 50+ projects designed to rally new voices, people, and communities to take action on federal implementation opportunities. From youth activists to faith-based communities, from rural areas to urban centers, we’re activating organizations to be catalysts for change from coast to coast.

These projects advance near-term wins and are laying the groundwork for lasting transformation. By activating networks, engaging a diverse field of leaders, and converting awareness of federal implementation opportunities into action, we are supporting building a movement that is as resilient and capable of advancing critical climate and justice priorities.

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Mosaic is an initiative specially designed for moments like this, where unprecedented collaboration and action are needed. Led by a diverse and representative group of field leaders, Mosaic was established to be by and for the environmental field. Since its launch in 2020, Mosaic has supported hundreds of organizations, advocates, and activists advancing key environmental priorities with over 350 grants totaling $25M.