2023 YBCL Futures Fund Application Launches

March 23, 2023

The Young Black Climate Leaders

Youth Futures Fund

The YBCL Futures Fund provides financial awards to young Black climate leaders who are advocating for and transforming their communities toward racial and environmental justice. The fund provides access to support, resources, and funding for young Black climate leaders who are reshaping the broader climate movement. With a focus on centering local movements and initiatives, YBCL Futures Fund will uplift models of climate resistance and regenerative practices rooted in creativity and advancing transformative change.

The YBCL Futures Fund supports young Black people who are taking initiative to dismantle the delusion of white supremacy and disrupt climate chaos. The fund will support a new generation of Black climate leaders to advance work and initiatives at the intersection of racial and environmental justice by supporting the power of leaders who advocate for community participation and reclamation of Indigenous ecological wisdom and practices of the African diaspora. The YBCL Futures Fund and Futures Fund cohort celebrates Blackness and Afro-Indigeneity; as well, we seek to support leaders who are embracing the principles of Sankofa, Ngoza Saba, and Black Liberation. Through an emphasis on liberatory arts and culture, story-based advocacy, cultural strategy, community organizing, transformative change, ecological principles, and leadership development, YBCL Futures Fund aims to support leaders who want to create popular education and those involved in political and cultural organizing.

Funding Opportunity:

Funding is available for new projects or initiatives already in motion that need additional support and may cover training, classes, workshops, certifications, education costs, the purchase of tools and equipment, etc. Projects must be completed in a community or group setting. All awards will be considered based on the merit of each application. Fund recipients will be selected following a panel application review and (if needed) an interview process.

Funding levels:

Seed- $2,000- This tier of funding provides seed grants to projects in the “idea” phase. These are projects that may need support getting off the ground, proving the concept, etc. These projects may be in the beginning stages and need financial support, thought partnership, mentoring, additional resources, training, materials or skillshare to bring your idea to fruition.  

Water- $6,000- This tier of funding supports projects that are beyond the idea phase but that still need support to scale and grow. Water level funding might support the creation of a product (i.e. visual arts, presentation, event) or more intensive training to further advance your work.

Grow- $8,000- This tier of funding supports projects that are more established. These projects have demonstrated a clear proof of concept, scale, etc., and are working to expand reach and impact. Grow level funding might support more intensive training and skillsbuilding, fund targeted project needs, support scaling a project to reach more people, etc.

Application criteria:

Applicants must:

  1. Identify as Black, African/part of the Afro-Indigenous diaspora.
  2. Be based in the United States.
  3. Be 18-28 years old (OK to turn 18 by July 1 or turn 29 during the project).
  4. Be available to complete an interview the week of May 24, 2023 - May 31, 2023 (if needed).

To receive funding you must be able to commit to:

  1. Signing a scholarship agreement and providing a scholarship reflection at the conclusion of your project term. (Reflections can be in the form of videos, songs, blogs, photojournalism, zines, art, or interviews).
  2. Completing all surveys and evaluations.
  3. Attending a minimum of seven (7) virtual monthly learning calls/training (up to three (3) hours/month, with calls held approximately every other month).
  4. Attending the YBCL virtual welcome/orientation session on July 17, 2023 (11:00 am - 12:30 pm PT/2:00 pm- 3:30 pm ET).
  5. Attending an in-person gathering for 2-3 days during the week of July 24 - July 31, 2023. (Travel expenses will be covered, and safety protocols for COVID in place including masks, daily tests, and hand sanitizer. All staff and participants must test and report any positive results to staff).
  6. Making a one year commitment.

Applications are now open nd will be accepted until May 5, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

Questions? Contact

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