River Network’s Climate Justice Flow Fund Circle
The River Network Climate Justice Flow Fund Circle is a community of people and organizations working with flow funds distributed by River Network, inspired by Flow Funding philanthropy principles. As the initiator, River Network funds people and projects that are typically outside of the traditional proposal-based grantmaking structures while examining the privilege and power inherent in typical philanthropic efforts. For a second year (Oct. 2022 to Jun. 2023), River Network is giving money to four Flow Funders to support Flow Fund Recipients in their communities on projects that address the impacts of climate change and promote social and water equity.
Meet the Flow Funders & Flow Fund Recipients
“I think that it’s the delivery of hope. It’s one thing to believe that you will arrive at the intended outcome or to reach your goal. It’s something different to witness accomplishing those goals and seeing the difference that it makes when you have accomplished something. And so there’s a delivery of hope that’s transferable through the entire journey through this entire process that keeps me inspired.”
– Teresa Davis, in a 2023 Meet Your Network interview
“I felt it was important to tie these [the Leona Tate Foundation and Lower Ninth Ward Voters Coalition] together with Dr. Singleton…He knows the importance of science and education and research into building stronger community. If you build stronger community, you build stronger people…from the ground up. Then those communities start to make more connections.”
Arthur Johnson, speaking about why he selected these three Flow Fund Recipients
“There is a desperate need not only for a new workforce around water, but a desperate need and understanding the human right to water and all of the places where public health and Community interest are touching water.”
– Monica Lewis-Patrick, speaking about the Flint Development Center
Daniel’s Flow Fund Recipients
“Trail Mix” by Sharee Harrison
“Trail Mix serves as a guided tour for youth, seniors, and everyone else in between to be introduced or rediscover the accessible preserved land close to them. During the tour, folks learn about the history of the land, the importance of the Rahway River, and encourage everyone to advocate for green spaces and clean water in their communities. It also addresses the importance for accessibility to safe, natural spaces for the well-being of BIPOC communities.”
Daniel Joseph Wiley, via email when sharing pictures and providing an update on his recipient
“Getting Unstuck: Stepping Into Power with Philanthropy”
As River Rally 2022 approached, we knew trust-based philanthropy would be a powerful, important, and timely topic for a plenary panel. Panelists Mike Harris (a Flow Fund recipient), Melanie Allen (The Hive Fund), Teresa Davis (a Flow Funder), Arthur Johnson (a Flow Funder), Tyeshia Wilson (Philanthropy Together), and moderator Ronda Chapman (River Network board member) encouraged us to rethink our relationships to wealth and community and shared inspiring stories about novel approaches that both democratize philanthropy from the ground up and use trust as a vehicle for shifting power. If you missed the panel at Rally or weren’t with us in DC, we’re thrilled to share the panel in full, free for all to watch and listen to.
We hope you use will use the recording of this plenary panel as a catalyst for conversations in your own organizations and communities and want to point you to these resources from Trust-Based Philanthropy to serve as an additional resource. Whether you are a community-based or non-profit organization or a funder, we invite you to let this conversation challenge you and change the way you think about philanthropy. This is a deep and heart-felt conversation – we encourage you to take a walk, sit in the sun, go to a nearby park or body of water, tend to your garden or any other activity that brings you peace and allows your mind to truly focus and absorb the content so you can bring your perspectives and reactions fully to any follow-up conversations you may have.