Environmental coalition to match Latino community groups with federal grants

The Biden Administration has earmarked millions of dollars from federal programs to help Latinos and other disadvantaged groups fight climate change. The group GreenLatinos is joining forces with seven other Latino organizations in a program called Colaborativo40 to ensure communities of color in Illinois and elsewhere get their fair share of federal grant dollars. The money is earmarked to help communities mitigate the effects of the climate crisis. Joan Kato, campaign director for GreenLatinos, said finding and obtaining grant money can be a confusing process for community groups.

“We’re working to get the information out in a more digestible manner for people of color, specifically the Latino community,” Kato explained. “Making that information available in English and Spanish on our website.”

The Biden Administration’s program, the Justice40 Initiative, is making hundreds of millions of dollars in grant funds available. The order specifies dozens of agencies set aside 40% of their funding for investments to flow to disadvantaged communities historically marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The funding will come from investments through the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the American Rescue Plan. Kato pointed out GreenLatinos and its partners have been working behind the scenes, organizing their membership in anticipation of starting the new program.

“Forty percent of federal grants should go to benefit historically low-income and disadvantaged communities. And it’s not for every agency, but I believe approximately 15 to 20 agencies are participating.”

GreenLatinos is based in Colorado and is made up of the eight largest Latino organizations in the United States working to disseminate information about federal climate change grants.

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