Just Transition Forum

Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEA) is convening a historic three-day Forum to align frontline communities, greens, labor and funders around a vision of a Just Transition and identify the resources and policy strategies needed to support that vision. Hosted by Cooperation Jackson, the Just Transition Forum will be a unique opportunity to have open and honest dialogue, build authentic relationships, and create shared understanding across critical movement sectors seeking transformative solutions for a global ecological crisis.

The Just Transition Forum will be held in Jackson, Mississippi from February 26-28, 2018.


  • Building Political Power between Workers & Communities

    Share strategies from different regions across the nation where unions and frontline EJ communities are collaborating at key environmental and economic policy tables. Deepen the ongoing dialog between labor and EJ communities on a clear strategic vision for a Just Transition.
  • Grounding Climate & Energy Policy in Local Just Transition Goals

    Discuss climate policy strategies rooted in the development of community-based and -led economic models that are not only carbon-free, but also just, equitable, and toxics-free. Develop protocols that allow policy advocacy groups and coalitions to be guided by popular grassroots mandates.
  • Shifting Investments – Just Transition leads to concrete solutions

    Identify resources needed to support concrete Just Transition solutions that cut emissions, create local jobs, and address systemic issues of economic equity and social justice. Develop strategies to shift philanthropic capital away from fossil fuel investments and towards the creation of community-controlled, non-extractive solutions.
Introductions at a BEA Forum

As with all aspects of BEA’s work, the guidelines/protocols for forum participants shall follow the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing. To embody the principles of “inclusivity” and “bottom up accountability” we are inviting one representative per organization.

These principles have guided the planning of the Forum, which is being led by a multi-sectoral team of representatives from the Environmental Justice Movement, the Labor Movement, National Green Groups and Philanthropy. To determine the invitation list for the Forum, this Team identified organizational leaders from their respective sectors who are already involved at various local, state and national tables where Just Transition strategies are being discussed.
To embody the principles of “inclusivity” and “bottom up accountability” we are inviting one representative per organization, in an order of priority starting with the leadership of community base-building organizations and local unions; then allied funders; and then, national groups who are closely aligned with the goals of this Forum. We are also prioritizing groups identified by our host community, as critical to the long-term success of Jackson’s vision for a solidarity economy.

Read more about the strategy behind this meeting.


Since the 1980s, Just Transition has been a dialogue between labor unions and environmental justice groups collaborating to phase out industries that harm workers, community health and the planet. This discourse has defined the need to build economic alternatives rooted in community self-determination, sustainable livelihoods and systemic change. In recent years, efforts by international unions and the climate justice movement led to the inclusion of Just Transition in the Paris Accord. Despite these advances, Just Transition remains a new concept for many in philanthropy and national greens. The popularization of the Just Transition framework has created powerful new opportunities and challenges. This is a critical moment for environmental justice communities and progressive labor to articulate a clear vision and for national organizations and philanthropy to work towards alignment.

Why Jackson? This summer, the City of Jackson elected a visionary new mayor, illustrating how powerful grassroots movements can defeat the extreme right in their own backyard. This landslide victory has expanded the gaze of progressive movements towards a horizon where Just Transition principles, strategies and pathways hold the best promise for leading us out of troubled times. What better place for us to convene a strategy discussion on our common future?

Forum Planning Team: Climate Justice Alliance, Coop Jackson, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Indigenous Environmental Network, Ironbound Community Corporation, Just Transition Alliance, Southwest Workers Union, AFSCME, Blue Green Alliance, Labor Network for Sustainability, SEIU, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Chorus Foundation, EDGE Funders Alliance, JPB Foundation, Just Transition Fund, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Surdna Foundation.