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Building climate resilience, improving health is goal of new initiative from Environment, Health programs

Environment, Health

Building climate resilience with policies and practices that also improve community health is the goal of a multi-year effort from The Kresge Foundation’s Health and Environment programs.

Through the community-based strategy of this national initiative, Kresge will fund planning grants of up to $100,000 each to 12 to 15 community-based nonprofit organizations. After the 14-month planning phase, Kresge will invite up to 12 organizations to apply for multi-year project implementation grants.

Cover of Kresge CCHE application packet

“Climate change is already harming human health by degrading air and water quality, threatening food supplies, putting people’s homes at risk, and creating stressors that erode mental health and well-being,” said David D. Fukuzawa, managing director of Kresge’s Health Program. “High temperatures, more volatile and extreme weather events, and rising sea levels will increasingly impact people’s well-being. Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately at risk due to existing social, economic, and health vulnerabilities that will only become worse in the coming years,” he said.

A request for proposals (RFP) for the foundation’s Climate Change, Health & Equity initiative (CCHE) seeks community-led plans focusing on climate resilience work that advances health outcomes while being grounded in racial equity and social justice.  Kresge’s investment in the CCHE initiative reinforce the foundation’s belief that climate change is the greatest public health threat in this century.

A webinar outlining the community-based funding opportunity will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 from 1 to 3 p.m. EST. Register for the webinar here.

The launch marks the kickoff of one of three distinct but aligned strategies within Kresge’s CCHE initiative. Two others, already underway, are:

  • Building the capacity of health systems and local health departments as leaders in promoting climate resilience and advocating for beneficial climate policies.
  • Shifting the practice of health care and public health practitioners so they engage in climate advocacy, influence public policy efforts important to climate resilience, and incorporate consideration of climate change into their practice.

Lois DeBacker, managing director of the foundation’s Environment Program, said community-based and locally-led solutions that address the links between climate change, health, and equity are critically needed.

“Climate disruption is a global problem, but some of the most effective solutions are locally designed and implemented by those who know their communities the best,” DeBacker added. “That’s why we are excited to partner with organizations that can provide templates and lessons for community-led solutions.”

Interested organizations are invited to submit a Letter of Intent by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 19, 2019 using Kresge’s online application system.

For more information about Kresge’s Climate Change, Health and Equity funding opportunity including the application packet, click our download page here. For questions about the opportunity, please email [email protected].