N4J: One Year In – Progress!

September 15, 2021 is the one-year anniversary for the creation of Nature For Justice (N4J).   On our first anniversary let me begin by thanking those that have contributed to our success to date.

For N4J, the list is (very!) long and first and foremost are the two other co-founders, Kevin Bryan and Frank Hicks, but it also includes our Board members Melissa Dann (chair), Debbie Cohen (treasurer), Lisa Thomas, and our newest Board member, Leavy Mathews.  Also, a special shout out and thanks to our South African-based Creative Director, Lisa Cloete, Flynn Bucy for the mentoring support for Los Aliados, Steve Nitah for his guidance on Indigenous issues, Gary Bivings for the web support, and the entire N4J Team. There has been many a day when my energy level may have been flagging but their dedication, creativity, and commitment inspires me to do more.

Next, our partners – from Planet Women to RESOLVE to Nature Conservation Research Center (Ghana) to Los Aliados (Ecuador) to Cultivo — and that is just the tip of the iceberg as we’re in exploration with a range of other potential partners!   Thank you for helping us to create an organization with a bright future.

Our mission to use nature to address the social justice needs of vulnerable populations confronting the climate crisis around the world is taking shape and inspiring us further every day. We have secured funding from companies and other sources and provided technical resources to leading, in-country non-profits and businesses working with these marginalized communities. We received our registered non-profit 501(c)(3) status and now have active projects or projects in development in 13 countries including the Americas, Africa, and the Asia/Pacific region.

Our cornerstone program is with Black Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) in the southeastern United States as we aspire to create networks of BIPOC landowners who are being impacted by climate change.  We are also beginning to explore work with coastal communities as part of this program.

In Canada, we are expanding our work with the First Nations beyond the Northwest Territory. A key role we have embraced is to help First Nation groups, who do not have experience with voluntary carbon markets, understand the opportunities and challenges if they engage in the carbon markets.

Many of our field partners have expressed a need for management advice and our mentoring and advisory program has taken shape through our work with Los Aliados.

Finally, in setting the foundation for our future programmatic growth, we have started N4J Catalyst as a registered public benefit corporation that is majority owned by Nature For Justice.  N4J Catalyst undertakes consulting projects (e.g. advising a company foundation in Papua New Guinea) and a portion of revenues go back into Nature For Justice as unrestricted funds for research and new project development.

Financially, we expect 2021 revenues to be about US$700,000 and if any of the large grants are awarded that we are waiting to hear about, that will increase our revenues to over $1 million for our first full year.

It is too soon to talk about our impacts but we are committed to measuring and transparently reporting our progress. (Stay tuned!)  On brand building, our web and social media presence has enabled us to get our message out to over 30,000 individuals.

We are committed to the themes that are covered in the many stories we have published including Thrive Through Reinvention, Help People Where They AreEmbrace Risk, Building a Big Tent – Diversity Matters, Theory of Change: Creating Access, and Nurturing Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.   Please join us on this journey as we act as a bridge between vulnerable communities and companies, investors, and donors.  We work with a sense of urgency as people and nature cannot wait.

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