The Tech Accelerator Aiming to Address the Climate Emergency

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving In Real Life series features Elodie Read, Program and Community Partnerships Lead at Subak, the first global non-profit tech accelerator dedicated to combatting the climate emergency. 

elodie read
Elodie Read, courtesy of Elodie Read

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I’m pretty early on in my career so this is quite a tricky question to answer. At university and grad school, everyone is full of conviction, zeal and a healthy dose of naivety about how the world is and how it should be. When you start working, it can be easy to get bogged down in reality, but I think it’s important to remember why we got into this kind of work and to keep working with our values and goals at the front of our minds.

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Deb Markowitz: Bringing Women to the Fore in Environmental Work

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Deb Markowitz, director of the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.

Deborah Markowitz
Deb Markowitz, courtesy of Deb Markowitz

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I come to the position of director of the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts after a long career in public service. I was in my mid-30s, with three very young children when I was first elected Vermont’s Secretary of State. After serving for 12 years, I ran for Governor of Vermont, and although I lost the primary election by less than 500 votes, the person who won appointed me to serve as his environmental secretary. From this experience I learned a couple of things. First, if you stay grounded in mission and purpose, you can withstand the ups and downs of ones’ career. Second, nothing great is ever accomplished alone. Ask for help, cultivate trusted partners, and use your power and privilege to lift others.  

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Eco-Feminism and Fossil Fuels: It’s Time to Shift the Narrative

What would happen if we helped communities get deeply engaged in the conversation around fossil fuels? Climate Access, a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating the dialogue around climate change, seeks to answer this question through the power of collective advocacy.

Cara Pike is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Access, an organization dedicated to fighting climate change through community and legislative action. (Image Credit: Cara Pike / Climate Access)

Founded in 2011 to be driving force behind shifting societal awareness, Climate Access generates political and public support and involvement in the fight against climate change. Where other nonprofits focus on on-the-ground solutions, Climate Access works to guarantee that legislature and logistics are in place for grassroots organizations.

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WOC Environmental Activists: Apply for Catalyst Award by June 17!

Rachel’s Network just announced the 2021 award cycle of its initiative honoring women of color fighting for the environment: The Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award recognizes women of color across the country who are leveraging their activism for environmental impact.

Rachel’s Network is now accepting applications for its Catalyst Award, supporting women of color environmental activists. (Image credit: Rachel’s Network)

With applications and nominations due by June 17th, now is the ideal time to make your voice heard in the world of eco-activism.

Winners of the Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award receive a $10,000 prize, networking opportunities with the full network, and public recognition within the environmental, philanthropic, and women’s leadership communities.

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The Feminist Green New Deal: How Care Jobs Impact Climate Change

According to a new report, care work is integral to efforts toward decarbonization.

March for climate justice (Image credit: feministgreennewdeal.com)

Coming on the heels of debate about the Green New Deal proposed primarily by Senator Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, a similar coalition brief was released this month. The Feminist Green New Deal highlights the relation between climate change and the care industry. 

Care and Climate: Understanding the Policy Intersections is co-authored by Lenore Paladino and Rhiana Gunn-Wright. The former is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The latter is the Director Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. 

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Getting to Work for Ecofeminism with WILD ELEMENTS

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to get to work — the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation has arrived! Just in time for Earth Day, this planet-focused grantmaking organization is leading the conservation conversation with a three-pronged “kindness” approach. And what’s more, WILD ELEMENTS is helmed by two incredible women: Nikki Eslami and Heidi Nel.

WILD ELEMENTS is Eslami’s brainchild: as the CEO and Founder of the organization, Eslami is also a Board Member of the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation, alongside the Foundation’s President and fellow board member Heidi Nel.

The WILD ELEMENTS Foundation launched its first initiatives in April 2021. (Image Credit: WE Foundation)

WILD ELEMENTS is a purpose-first platform, which consists of three unique organizations – a nonprofit corporation (the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation), a storytelling studio, and mindfully made brands. Beginning with a $3 million investment, the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation will support the stories and innovations of leaders around the world through grantmaking, advocacy, network building, and other charitable activities.

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When Women Lead, the Environment is in Safer Hands

A comprehensive look at the voting habits of Congressional women on environmental issues reveals that women are a substantial factor in passing environmental legislation.

A graphic from Rachel’s Network shows how women’s leadership is rising in proportion to men’s leadership in Congress. The report, When Women Lead
Women’s Environmental Voting Records in Congress, 1972-2020, gives detailed analysis on women’s environmental voting record in Congress. (Image credit: Rachel’s Network)

Women leaders have been recognized as some of the most significant supporters of environmental policy and legislation for years now. A new report by Rachel’s Action Network breaks down women’s participation in environmental change since 1972. The ecofeminist funder network has previously released similar reports in 2003 and 2011.

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Hive Fund Update: Growing Imprint of New Climate and Gender Funder

When we last heard from the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice, the new grassroots funding organization had just announced its first round of grantees in the spring of 2020. Almost a full year later, the fund has expanded its grantmaking efforts to four states (and a few regional and national partners) and is making waves in funding impact in the historically underserved American South.

The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) is one of the grant recipients from The Hive Fund. WECAN is “a solutions-based organization engaging women and feminists worldwide in policy advocacy, on-the-ground projects, direct action, trainings, and movement building for global climate justice.” (Image Credit: The Hive Fund)

So, What’s Been Going on So Far with The Hive Fund?

What we were initially so excited about was the Hive Fund’s unique approach to fixing a very prevalent problem: The conspicuous funding gap for women’s climate organizations in the American South. And so far, the Hive Fund has proven to be a wave-making, impact-oriented force for the greater good.

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Fighting Climate Change, And Age Bias, With 16-Year-Old Sarah Goody

Sarah Goody’s work in environmental activism has been honored by Prince William and Harry, The Duke of Sussex, recognized with awards from Blume, SheKnows, the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership, and more.

Sarah Goody marches in the Youth Climate Strike in San Francisco on May 24, 2019. (Image Credit: Sarah-Goody.com)

She has led weekly Friday demonstrations at San Francisco’s City Hall and the Ferry Building, and has been published in Forbes and Teen Vogue.

She is the founder of Climate NOW and Broadway Speaks Up, two organizations dedicated to putting a face on climate action, and is Chair of the Corte Madera Climate Action Committee, where she leads a team of 15 in the carbon neutrality efforts of her California hometown.

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Lead With Love: Elena Marszalek on the Feminist Climate Movement

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Elena Marszalek, Managing Director of Del Mar Global Trust, a private foundation dedicated to the environment. 

Elena Marszalek
Elena Marszalek, courtesy of Elena Marszalek

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I started my career in philanthropy as the only employee of Del Mar Global Trust, a newly established family foundation focused on the natural environment. Although I had previous experience working in climate change, I had little experience in philanthropy. I felt both hopeful and overwhelmed. 

Joining Rachel’s Network, a community of women environmental philanthropists, broadened my knowledge of complex environmental issues, and significantly improved my ability to select and monitor grant recipients. Networking with other women with similar goals and interests helped my career in numerous other ways, for example sharing information about projects that as individuals we would not be aware of. Perhaps most importantly, I have access to other members with many years of experience who offer advice and mentorship. As in all professions, you learn through experience. 

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