Providence, RI- Today Mayor Jorge Elorza announced that the Office of Sustainability has been awarded a $100,000 grant as part of the Partners’ for Places Equity Pilot Initiative. The funding, which includes a $50,000 match from the Rhode Island Foundation, will help the City better understand and better address the environmental concerns and needs of the city’s low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
“This pilot will help Providence focus our sustainability efforts on the communities that face some of the greatest environmental challenges,” said Mayor Elorza. “I’d like to thank the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Rhode Island Foundation for making this critical work possible here in Providence and look forward to continuing to encourage social equity throughout our City.”
The funding will be used to hire a team of experts to evaluate the City’s Sustainable Providence plan with a social and racial equity lens, engage stakeholders and residents in this evaluation process, and to conduct social and racial equity trainings for city staff, community leaders, and other key decision makers. By placing social equity at the center of sustainability planning, this initiative will help guarantee that all communities are involved in shaping policy and have a fair distribution of both the burdens and benefits of sustainability efforts. The Office of Sustainability will be working with the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island and Groundwork Providence to complete this work over the next year.
“Environmental Justice is engaging and creating a culture where the frontline communities that are most vulnerable to climate change and most impacted by environmental hazards are in the forefront of the decision making and policy making,” said Dania Alejandra Flores-Heagney, Interim Director of the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island. “This exciting initiative will ensure that our frontline communities will be at the center of sustainability planning and at the forefront of shaping policies that will place social equity at the core of what it means to guarantee sustainable environments and healthy communities for all residents in Providence.”
Partners for Places is a matching grant program led by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The Equity Pilot Project is supported the Kendeda Fund and Kresge Foundation.
“From helping low-income households benefit from solar energy to preparing coastal cities for climate change, Partners for Places brings together city officials with local funders to develop some really dynamic sustainability projects,” said Arturo Garcia-Costas, the New York Community Trust’s program officer for the environment. “This kind of collaboration can form the lasting relationships that help create vibrant, thriving communities.”
About Partners for Places
Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that improves U.S. and Canadian communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders, and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects developed through these partnerships to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for all residents. The program’s Equity Pilot Initiative provides financial and technical support to cities and place-based foundation partners committed to sustainability and climate change initiatives that benefit all residents. Partners for Places is a matching grant program led by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. The Equity Pilot Project is supported the Kendeda Fund and Kresge Foundation.