2020 New England Spotlight Series
We are highlighting the dynamic work of 2020 BEA Fund grantees as part of a multimedia series that will include written features sent to our listserv, social media and here on the website.
Read about our BEA Fund Grantee Spotlight organizations below.
- Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE)
Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) is a neighborhood-based, environmental justice and transit-oriented development nonprofit. They organize Roxbury, MA residents and work with community organizers locally, statewide and nationally to build platforms and offer resources that address systemic injustice. They work directly within the frontline communities that are most impacted bringing critical solutions that include advocacy, organizing, legal and regulatory campaigns. ACE is the first environmental justice nonprofit organization in Massachusetts and has defended the rights of Roxbury residents for over 25 years. ACE’s ability to work across national, regional, and local formations empowers frontline communities.
Recently, ACE developed a "We Can't Breathe" campaign. ACE is also working with the Harvard School of Public Health to create an air quality standard on a neighborhood level. They also have a building emissions ordinance working its way through Boston's city council. Finally, Massachusetts passed a key piece of climate justice legislation as a direct result of some of ACE’s 20 years of work on this legislation.
GreenRoots is a community-based organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the urban environment and public health in Chelsea, MA and surrounding communities. They do so through deep community engagement and empowerment, youth leadership and implementation of innovative projects and campaigns. The efforts of the GreenRoots Team have been nonstop and powerful even during the pandemic. Even though all GreenRoots staff members juggled personal demands, the entire team dedicated countless hours to addressing the critical and immediate needs of the community. Chelsea saw some of the highest rates of infection, per capita, in the nation. The systems GreenRoots put into place during the first peak of COVID19 continue today addressing food insecurity, housing stability, community connectivity and more.
GreenRoots, as an organization, believes that social change only happens when the voices of all those affected, particularly the most marginalized, are lifted up and heard. Social change must reflect a vision for the community that is created by residents for residents. They believe in an intersectional approach, ensuring equity across ethnicity, race, gender identity, income level, immigration status, age, religion, sexuality, and languages spoken in order to ensure that social change reflects the needs voiced by all residents. The solutions GreenRoots and its members propose will always be the result of deep analysis and a collective process. Their work is based on the Popular Education Model and Jemez Principles of Organizing.
GreenRoots is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our work and mission. Their organizational vision, developed by their members, board and staff, highlights diversity in hiring practices (racial, gender, LGBTQIA+, ethnicity, lived experience); centers language justice in all internal work and uplifts it externally; supports diverse community members in receiving training and support to grow within the organization (both staff and members); and hires from within to allow for employee growth. The vision is also embodied by the organization itself.