Energy Democracy: Honoring the Past and Investing in a New Energy Economy


Energy Democracy is a framework that is grounded in the solutions of BIPOC communities to invest in a regenerative economy that sustains our people and our planet. This report works to elevate the work of our community-based partners and to provide specific recommendations for how philanthropic partners can invest in local solutions that not only support communities in these regions, but also have ripple effects across the nation. Solutions include:


  • Uniting with other funders in bold support for radical organizing happening in Black, Indigenous and People of Color environmental justice communities
  • Join many funder communities in providing adaptable funding during COVID-19
  • Ensure that funder commitments to trust-based philanthropy actually translate into shifts in material conditions for grantee partners and applicants
  • Address racial biases that often show up when funders act fast in moments of crisis and sustain these practices in future grantmaking.
  • Commit to tracking your grantmaking dollars, collecting data on the racial demographics of the grantees you are funding, and sharing that data with movement leaders.


Ongoing calls for more racially equitable grantmaking practices are even more critical at this time, as the reality of losing the safety nets that keep communities of color surviving day-to-day is met with the sharpened threat to the vitality of our racial justice movement infrastructure. It is important now more than ever to divest from an extractive economy—including the private accumulation of wealth, exploitation of labor, income and race disparities—and to invest in a future that protects the Earth’s commons and centers community governance. We stand in solidarity with our communities and with the Earth to find a more just energy system.

Read the Full Report