Institute for Sustainable Communities Selected as National Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaker by the U.S. EPA

ISC to receive $50 million to support community-based organizations in accessing federal environmental justice funding

Montpelier, Vermont, Feb. 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Montpelier, VT – The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) is excited to announce its selection as a National Grantmaker for the Eastern region receiving $50,000,000 under EPA's Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking (EJ TCGM) program. The goal of this program is to make it easier for small, community-based organizations—particularly those with low capacity or resources—to access federal environmental justice funding. The project is in response to community feedback about the need to reduce barriers to federal funds and improve efficiencies to ensure communities that have long faced underinvestment can access the benefits of the largest climate investment in history.

"ISC is thrilled to work with the EPA to support its national Environmental Justice Grantmaking efforts alongside our partners. We welcome this opportunity to reduce the barriers communities face in applying for federal grants through a bottom-up, community-centric approach, and recognize the important role of multi-sectoral partnerships like the EJ TCGM program to mitigate cumulative impacts of the climate crisis in overburdened communities," said ISC President Rebecca Kaduru.

ISC’s role will include providing additional support, coordination, and oversight to the subgrantees, applicants, and the Regional Grantmakers across the eastern part of the country. Through the Grantmaker program, ISC will leverage its expertise, experience, networks, and implementing partners to provide equity-centered coordination services to the regional Grantmakers. The partner organizations include:

  • Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC), a network of national and local organizations that is building a stronger environment while creating sustainable, just, and inclusive economies.
  • Groundwork USA (Groundwork), a national network that is revitalizing and transforming communities across the U.S., providing technical assistance (TA) under the EPA Brownfields Program (2023–2028) to lead brownfield revitalization projects in local communities.
  • Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), a national organization that brings government actors together to learn, collaborate, and accelerate the work of sustainability.
  • Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national organization with over 30 field offices across the U.S., working to create parks, protect land, and ensure livable communities for future generations.
  • River Network, a national network of nearly 900 organizations and 2,500 advocates that provides capacity-building, TA, and peer networking opportunities to build stronger advocacy for healthy rivers, safe drinking water, and climate-resilient communities.

"Emerald Cities Collaborative looks forward to working with the Institute for Sustainable Communities and collaborating with ISC's partners," said Meishka L. Mitchell, President & CEO. "ECC is committed to centering the voices of underserved communities that align with the goals of the EPA, bringing our expertise in community engagement, equity-centered policy, program development, and economic inclusion to support our most vulnerable communities."

ISC is excited to lead this team of experienced organizations with extensive networks and the expertise to carry out the national grantmaker role. Our implementation focuses on participatory governance approaches, and our partners are key to the success of designing, decision-making, and achieving the results of the program. 

“The EPA's EJ TCGM program is a historic opportunity to bring critical investments in climate resilience and environmental justice to communities that have been under-resourced for generations. We’re thrilled to bring our decades of experience supporting grassroots nonprofits to this collaboration to create new pathways for these essential funds to reach the communities where investments are needed most,” said Heather McMann, CEO of Groundwork USA.

About the Institute for Sustainable Communities

ISC is a non-profit organization with a mission to create equitable, climate change solutions around the world. We do this by forming collaborative, people-focused partnerships that support communities disproportionately impacted by the global climate crisis. Since its founding in 1991, ISC has utilized a unique, locally-led approach to ensure solutions emerge from within communities, rather than being imposed from the outside. Our projects focus on divested communities throughout the world, with specific attention paid to the impact systemic racism and gender inequity has in communities, workforces, and industrial sectors as they move toward a just transition. For more information, please visit



Contact Data