Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, which organizes to improve voting rights for Latino and immigrant communities, is one coalition member group that could significantly grow its impact with more funding. Angelica Razo has been with the organization since 2017. Then a recent college graduate, she is now the Texas state director. In this role, Razo localizes national climate policy so people understand the real-life impacts of issues that often feel removed from their everyday lives. She also supports communities in engaging with state-level policy.
In 2021, when the power grid failed as temperatures dropped, Razo spread the message of community power and sounded the alarm on climate change. She continually highlighted that being low-income or a person of color shouldn’t subject people to unequal suffering. “We’ve done a lot of work to try to make sure our community members know that’s not normal, and you can demand more,” Razo says.
Bakeyah Nelson also played a significant role in helping strengthen and grow CEER’s impact. She dedicated four and a half years to protecting public health as executive director of Air Alliance Houston, a nonprofit tackling poor air quality. “I had no idea that people and children were living directly next door to huge polluting facilities,” Nelson says. “I had never seen anything like it.”
Under her leadership, Air Alliance Houston took the challenge head-on, rallying against highway expansions and fighting for industry regulations. She built a powerful foundation to ensure the nonprofit could continue its critical work long after she left. That doesn’t happen overnight. As Air Alliance’s leader, Nelson was also devoted to finding funding. Now, Nelson is on the Hive Fund’s advisory board, and serves as a consultant to foundations, where she continues to apply her experiences to steer resources to smaller, community-run groups that approach climate change systemically.
“I recognize the power in being able to lead an organization, but I also see similarly that there is an opportunity to make a difference on the philanthropic side,” Nelson says.
The opportunity for climate funders