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MacKenzie Scott awards a USD 7 million grant to the Climate Justice Resilience Fund

Special Interest Programme / Partner story

Community gathering in the Sundarbans, India, as part of a CJRF-supported climate action project led by the Development Research Communication and Services Centre (DRSCS), a not-for-profit development organisation. Photo © Oak Foundation.

In 2016, Oak Foundation helped create the Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF), an organisation that aims to support communities that are being directly affected by climate change. We provided a grant to the CJRF of USD 20 million over six years, via the New Venture Fund, a 501©(3) public charity registered in the United States.

Recently, we were happy to hear that the great work of CJRF has not gone unnoticed. CJRF was recently awarded a USD 7 million grant from MacKenzie Scott. This grant is part of a nearly USD 3.9 billion set of 465 grants that were announced 23 March. According to Scott, this set of grants is being directed to organisations that support people to participate in solutions, with a focus on the needs of those whose voices have been underrepresented.
“Scott’s gift is an endorsement of CJRF’s justice-centred funding to date and of our path forward,” says CJRF director Heather McGray. “Scott has been a leader in a new funding movement that emphasizes equity, both in what gets funded and how.”

Oak is proud to have been one of the first funders of CJRF, which takes a human-centred approach to finding solutions for communities to deal with the effects of climate change. Like CJRF, we wanted to learn from the leadership of these communities on how they think climate resilience solutions could be developed. The CJRF supports women, youth, and indigenous people to adapt and build resilience to the changing climate, and to build movements to advocate on behalf of their communities. “We support grassroots, community-led initiatives to help those on the frontlines of climate change reduce risk, manage shocks, rebound and continue on the path to sustainable development,” says Heather.

Working in East Africa, the Bay of Bengal, and the Arctic, the CJRF focuses on four key climate justice issues: food security, water access, sustainable livelihoods, and climate-related migration. CJRF also seeks to ensure that these communities’ insights into climate resilience inform national- and global-level action and are shared broadly. CJRF will leverage the funding to support its second phase of funding under a more participatory model. Read more about the design of CJRF’s second phase on its website.”

“We have already seen firsthand the great work of the CJRF,” says Anne Henshaw, programme officer for Oak’s Environment Programme. “It is wonderful to see how the work of the organisation is being further endorsed by the generous grant from MacKenzie Scott.”

Oak’s grant to CJRF was an Oak-foundation wide cross-programme initiative. We believe that we have a responsibility to take care of our planet for future generations, and we face a range of challenges in the process. While none of us may know what the future will hold, we can focus our efforts on what we can do – strengthening those on the frontlines of climate devastation and helping to build their resilience in the face of it. You can read more about the Environment Programme by clicking here, or visit Oak’s website by clicking here.