The effects of climate change and environmental health hazards are rapidly increasing, especially for poor communities and communities of color. This disproportionate impact, whether created by conscious design or institutional neglect, is the focus of the environmental justice movement happening now.
The Dayton Foundation continues to be an active partner in local and statewide efforts to bring environmental justice and sustainability to the forefront of our region. In addition to supporting local climate and conservation nonprofits through the Foundation competitive discretionary grants process, the Foundation is involved in the following efforts.
Community Foundation Climate Collaborative
Launched in 2023 and managed by the Community Foundation Opportunity Network, this coordinated effort is a nationwide collation of more than 30 community foundations, including The Dayton Foundation, working to help local communities secure funding and more effectively respond to climate change. Federal, state and private funding dedicated to climate projects is occurring at unprecedented rates, and the work of this Collaborative will help leverage funding and prioritize efforts to aid communities most effected by climate change.
Dayton Regional Green Business Certification
Within the Foundation, an internal staff sustainability team has worked to adopt green business practices, including adding operational improvements and staff educational opportunities, to reduce energy usage and overall waste. Thanks to these efforts, The Dayton Foundation is now a Certified Green Business through Montgomery County’s Dayton Regional Green initiative.
Environmental Justice Academy
The United States Environmental Protection Agency and Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission partnered to launch the first Environmental Justice Academy in the Miami Valley in 2021. The EJ Academy was a training program for emerging community, nonprofit and environmental leaders to help cultivate skills to identify and address environmental challenges in Greater Dayton. The Dayton Foundation sponsored a staff member’s participation in the first cohort, who was elected to the National Environmental Justice Academy Alumni Association as a member at large.
Environmental Justice and Sustainability Taskforce
The Dayton Foundation currently convenes this taskforce that brings together regional partners to address local environmental justice issues and to pursue funding opportunities. The Foundation and the taskforce partners have supported grant-writing efforts to bring funding from the Federal Government’s Justice40 Initiative to local nonprofits through convening partners and funding a grant writer.
Sustainable Development Goals Learning Cohort by The Cleveland Foundation and Philanthropy Ohio
During a nine-month process in 2023, The Dayton Foundation joined with other leadership throughout the state to learn more about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and how to align local efforts with these goals. This was the first-of-its-kind regional initiative to use the SDGs in local efforts to advance social change.
United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals
The 2023 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future. The identified Goals are an urgent call for action for all countries and recognize the need to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality, address climate change and more.