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DDCF Announces Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Capacity Building Program Grantees Skip to main content

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DDCF Announces Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Capacity Building Program Grantees

Eighteen U.S. Environmental Conservation Organizations Will Receive More Than $1 Million in Grants to Strengthen Their Efforts to Become More Diverse, Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces.

New York, Feb. 25, 2021 – The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) today announced the 18 recipients of more than $1 million in grants through its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Capacity Building Program, a national funding competition to support efforts to foster organizational change in conservation organizations toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive field. Each grantee will receive up to $60,000 over two years to support activities ranging from equity-centered board development and leadership trainings to internal policy reviews and strategic planning.

“To build a more diverse and inclusive conservation movement, to generate more equitable and positive outcomes for wildlife, the environment and people, it takes organizations that prioritize and implement those values,” said Sacha Spector, program director for the environment at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “These organizations, selected from a pool of more than 360 applicants, are dedicated to internal culture change that will benefit both their communities and the environment. This cohort of grantees demonstrates that all types of conservation organizations – from white-led to Black, Indigenous and people of color- led, small to large, and community-based to nationally focused – have opportunities to continue learning about, supporting and engaging in anti-racism work.”

Grantees of the program were selected by an external advisory committee for their demonstrated commitment and internal action to making organizational changes to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion, a clear ability to learn and grow from previous related efforts, and for the potential to accelerate or sustain organizational change. Many applications responded to equity-related learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement and articulated a sense of urgency for ensuring their workplaces – and ultimately, the conservation field – are as inclusive and equitable as possible.

The organizations receiving grants are:

  • Blue Water Baltimore in Baltimore, Md., with a grant of $60,000 to fund a needs assessment that will inform the development of trainings for board and staff, identify strategies to address implicit bias in their policies and practices, and help identify tools to foster equitable partnerships and outcomes;
  • Bronx River Alliance Inc. in Bronx, N.Y., with a grant of $60,000 to hold a series of facilitated learning and trust building conversations and a retreat with all staff and board, conduct an organizational audit, and create and implement a diversity, equity and inclusion plan to institutionalize anti-racist policies and procedures;
  • Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund in Santa Fe, N.M., with a grant of $60,000 to integrate racial equity within all internal systems and operations, support professional development for staff and identify ways to increase the accessibility of decision-making spaces for communities of color;
  • Environmental Leadership Program in Greenbelt, Md., with a grant of $48,600 to examine and change organizational systems and structures, strengthen their team through intensive retreat experiences and purposefully explore ways to work in partnership with other organizations to share and cross-promote resources and learning opportunities;
  • Faith in Place in Chicago, Ill., with a grant of $37,300 to hold staff and board workshops, hire a consultant for coaching staff, perform an equity audit, and support staff members’ time involvement in diversity, equity and inclusion project planning and implementation;
  • GreenRoots in Chelsea, Mass., with a grant of $60,000 to perform an organizational equity audit with the support of external consultants, host both staff and board member workshops centering racial equity, and provide community anti-racism workshops;
  • Institute for Sustainable Communities in Montpelier, Vt., with a grant of $60,000 to support development of an equity action plan, recruit and hire consultant expertise to develop equity indicators, and provide board and staff with trainings to facilitate progress;
  • John Bartram Association in Philadelphia, Pa., with a grant of $60,000 to provide leadership and professional development for Black staff as the future leaders of Bartram’s Garden and support staff in partnering with neighbors in local advocacy;
  • La Semilla Food Center in Anthony, N.M., with a grant of $60,000 to perform an organizational assessment, provide ongoing trainings, and create a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team to advance equitable initiatives across the organization;
  • Lomakatsi Restoration Project in Ashland, Ore., with a grant of $60,000 to provide trainings for all staff and board members, refine board equity and recruitment strategies, and strengthen internal policies by incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion into organizational documents;
  • Montana Wilderness Association Inc. in Helena, Mont., with a grant of $30,000 to provide trainings for staff, incorporate a diversity, equity, inclusion and justice lens into chapter operations and organizational infrastructure, and work with all eight Mont. Tribes to create an Indigenous listening tour;
  • National Young Farmers Coalition in Hudson, N.Y., with a grant of $58,000 to provide board and leadership training, create membership affinity spaces, and build a pipeline of engagement that supports Black, Indigenous and People of Color farmer leaders;
  • New Jersey Future in Trenton, N.J., with a grant of $60,000 to perform cultural competency assessments to establish a baseline of understanding, conduct a visioning workshop with staff and board to plan an equitable future, conduct an organizational audit and create a strategic plan for organizational diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Oregon Environmental Council in Portland, Ore., with a grant of $60,000 to interview and hire a consultant with experience in strategic planning and equity and facilitate work sessions for staff and board that provide equity literacy;
  • Pacoima Beautiful in Pacoima, Calif., with a grant of $60,000 to support a staff retreats focused on race, gender and sexual identity and learnings from COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, outings to culturally relevant sites and professional development;
  • Resource Media in Beaverton, Ore., with a grant of $60,000 to support an equity strategic planning process to work towards anti-racism, to more fully decolonize their organizational operations and inform their social change work;
  • Utah Diné Bikéyah in San Juan County, Utah, with a grant of $50,000 to perform an organizational assessment, expand its research of traditional matriarchal structures by interviewing Tribal elders and implement the assessment findings; and
  • Washington Environmental Council in Seattle, Wash., with a grant of $60,000 to fund staff participation in racial equity work groups, COVID 19 and Black Lives Matter solidarity work, policy team members’ work to shift the structures and processes of coalitions and professional training.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Environment Program
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The mission of DDCF’s Environment Program is to ensure a thriving, resilient environment for wildlife and people, and foster an inclusive, effective conservation movement. For more information, please visit