One day early last June, a group of journalists of color from newsrooms around the country gathered for the first time—on a Zoom call, naturally. The gathering marked the inaugural convening of the Environmental Journalists of Color (EJOC), a transformative network dedicated to advancing the careers of journalists of color who have historically been underrepresented in environmental journalism. Convened by Grist, a Seattle-based media organization focused on climate solutions and environmental justice, EJOC began taking shape last year, aiming to bring critical and fresh perspectives to the field while building collective power and confronting the inequities of racial representation in environmental media.

The June convening brought together more than 30 journalists representing Crosscut, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, The Verge, Gizmodo, Grist, and more to strategize about how to best support other journalists of color in this precise moment and make plans for the months ahead. Across their diverse platforms and geographies, the group shared a determination to change the way we talk about climate—explicitly to make climate justice and its disproportionate impacts a central tenet of the climate narrative—and a belief that by adequately highlighting these impacts, we might start to build policy to sufficiently address climate inequity. The group also shares a common belief that people of all backgrounds must see themselves represented in the story of climate change; that in a representative democracy, media must be representative of our democracy. Their conversations brimmed with possibility.

Grist and the EJOC are among the 13 inspiring grantees that received a total of $925,000 in funding as part of Seattle Foundation’s Climate Justice Impact Strategy this year. All of these organizations are doing work at the forefront of the climate justice space and each of them concentrates on one or more of our priorities:

  • Adaptation – We must adjust to current and future changes from the pollution we’ve already emitted
  • Leadership – We must build the voice and change the narrative, so those most impacted are leading
  • Resilience – We must build strong, networked communities with the power to shape decisions
  • Mitigation – We must slow carbon pollution with strategies that center equity

Read the full article about climate justice by Dionne Foster and Elizabeth List at Seattle Foundation.