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Women of Color Lead "Fighter League" to Combat Climate Change in the South

Florida is in the crosshairs of climate change, putting real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea-level rise. (Adobe Stock)
Florida is in the crosshairs of climate change, putting real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea-level rise. (Adobe Stock)
July 30, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A pilot project called "Fighter League" is arming women of color with the tools they need to fight climate change.

Two national groups, the Movement Strategy Center and the Solutions Project, founded by celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo, are making a concerted effort to fund and support women such as Mary Gutierrez. She is the co-founder of Another Gulf is Possible, a collaborative that uses a variety of strategies to fight for environmental justice in underserved communities.

Gutierrez is among six women who will each receive $10,000 to participate in climate leadership development training to help boost their efforts in the Gulf South.

"It's certainly grateful to be receiving funding, because it's not often that we women of color that are doing this type of work receive any sort of funding,” Gutierrez said.

Studies show areas in the U.S. that will be hit hardest by climate change are those along the Gulf South, a region activists say receives the smallest amount of climate funding.

Rudi Navarra, director of investments with The Solutions Project, said they've found the people and talent are already on the ground working on solutions. So the partnership will fund $60,000 in total grants to women leaders in the year-long fellowship program designed to help foster more collaboration and promote clean energy solutions.

"So our effort is to, through the Fighter League, to begin to at least highlight and deal with some of the racial and gender inequities and, by doing so, also get to be better and get to better solutions,” Navarra said.

Gulf South Rising is a five-state grassroots initiative anchored by the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy. It's also receiving funding through the Fighter League. Navarra said he hopes other organizations will follow suit and start funding similar projects.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - FL