BEA Transition Message

April 3, 2019

Dear BEA Participants,   

We want to begin by expressing our deep appreciation for your support for the work of the BEA and the incredible work you are all doing to help achieve environmental and climate justice.  The BEA is entering its sixth year of existence and has achieved enormous progress, thanks in large part to the work that you do.   

We are writing to share with you that a transition process is underway that will allow the Weaver Team to assess the governance and structure of the BEA and to decide on an improved structure that will continue to move us towards our common goals. Like other movements, we see opportunities in this political moment to shift to the way we organize and explore new ways to continue the momentum of what we’ve built.

This transition process is motivated by a fundamental recognition of the tremendous achievements and value of the BEA as a unique space that supports grassroots leadership and principled alignment with green and funder allies. Our achievements include noticeably influencing philanthropy around the issues of equity and the strategic importance of the grassroots sector, organizing two very successful forums on critical issues facing the larger movement, disseminating case studies that creatively illustrate actual principled alignment among the three sectors (Clean Power Plan case study), and the power of grassroots campaigns (Richmond case study). Together and with the support of Grassroots International we have created the BEA Fund which has allocated more than $1 million to grassroots organizations and will soon make an additional disbursement to grassroots organizations in Puerto Rico. 

Now however, we have come to a point where this existing structure is no longer sustainable.  The demands of our work require that we strengthen the staff infrastructure of the BEA while maintaining the unique value of grassroots leadership, principled alignment, and finding creative ways to engage BEA participants in our work without significantly adding to the demands of their work.

Based on a recognition of these challenges and our achievements and mission, we are exploring new structures that will enable us to more effectively strengthen the movement. As you know, the founding structure relies heavily on grassroots members of the Weaver Team who are balancing the demands of their own organizations and the BEA. Additionally, the Weaver Team acknowledges that our work group and communication structures need updating to ensure that BEA participants are more fully engaged in the work of the BEA.

To evolve a new BEA operating structure that includes key staff positions, provides opportunities for active participation, and clarity on governance, we have established a grassroots led governance committee to propose governance and infrastructure options to the Weaver Team.  Since December, the governance committee has been working to develop viable options that will better enable us to do our work, while maintaining the unique value of grassroots leadership and principled alignment. 

In April 2019, the Weaver Team will discuss these options and engage BEA participants in May and June to get your input and to make a final decision on our new structure.  In the meantime, the Weaver Team is fully committed to advancing the work of BEA, particularly collaborating with GRI to raise support for the BEA Fund.  In the coming weeks, you can expect to receive communications related to this transition process including job announcements and invitations to provide your feedback.  The Weaver Team would greatly appreciate your help in identifying strong job candidates dedicated to supporting the Grassroots sector that can help bring the BEA to its next level.

Most of all, the Weaver Team would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you, our BEA participants, without whom none of our progress would have been possible.   Your participation and support has helped to make the BEA a voice within philanthropy that is taken seriously, and created a space of trust and equity in which our three sectors can engage, work together, and collaboratively address important issues facing our movement.  

We are confident about our future, and that confidence largely derives from you all, truly the most important resource for Building Equity and Alignment.

 

Antonio Lopez

Bill Gallegos

Nelson Carrasquillo

Lisa Garcia

Melissa LinPerrella

Andrew Rosenberg