Press Release

Media Contact:

Sharon Donovan, Communications Director
Direct: (510) 859-9161
sharondonovan@earthisland.org

Sierra Club, Women’s Earth Alliance Launch Second Annual Climate Accelerator Program

U.S. Accelerator Program Brings Together Women Leaders for Climate Action

Washington, DC (May 6, 2020) — Today, the Sierra Club’s Gender Equity and Environment Program and Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) launched the second annual U.S. Accelerator for Grassroots Women Environmental Leaders. Building on the success of the 2019 U.S. program, the 2020 Accelerator will continue to support a diverse group of women leaders working on the frontlines of environmental and climate justice. The program will deepen cross-organizational strategies for change, build powerful alliances within and across movements, and scale solutions for environmental protection, health, and justice.

The four-month Accelerator is designed to catalyze the critical efforts of women leaders who have stepped forward to protect families, communities, and ecosystems from environmental and climate threats. In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the program curriculum will be entirely online.

“The unprecedented challenges we’re facing are teaching us all about global resiliency. The same radical, collaborative action that will beat the COVID-19 pandemic and its widespread social and economic disruption is what we need to address the climate crisis. That’s why WEA is honored to continue partnering with the Sierra Club for the U.S. Grassroots Accelerator. Together, we’re supporting women’s critical leadership, so their visionary solutions can scale, replicate, and have a global platform from which to rise,” said WEA Co-Directors Melinda Kramer and Amira Diamond.

“Women continue to lead the way forward on meaningful climate solutions and environmental justice, and the Sierra Club is proud to partner with WEA to highlight this incredible work and support these amazing grassroots leaders,” said A.Tianna Scozzaro, Director of Sierra Club’s Gender, Equity and Environment Program. “Our shared goal continues to be to bring women to the forefront of climate justice solutions.”

Applications for the 2020 Accelerator Program will be accepted May 6 - June 8, 2020.


Nominate a woman climate leader or apply to the 2020 program here.

More About the Accelerator Program

2020 Organizational Partners include Women’s Earth Alliance; the Sierra Club; 350.org; Women’s March; WOCAN; Movement Strategy Center; C40 Cities; Clean Cooking Alliance; Climate Nexus; Earth Island Institute; Earthjustice; WECAN; WE Act for Environmental Justice; WEDO; WRISE; Wilderness Society; Women for Wildlife; Mom’s Rising; 5 Gyres; The Beautywell Project; Toxics Action Center; Namati; Green Latinos; Ecology Center; HBBF; Los Angeles Eco Women’s Alliance; Oxfam America; Kiss the Ground; PRIDE outside; Rachel’s Network; Bioneers; Center for Food Safety; Greenpeace; GRID Alternatives; North Bay Organizing Project; Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, Indian People Organizing for Change, Shellmound Walks; Occidental Arts and Ecology Center; Option House Inc; Perennial Leadership; Plastic Pollution Coalition; Project Drawdown; PSR-LA; Rainforest Action Network; United Religions Initiative (URI); Women’s Environmental Network (WEN); Women’s Foundation of California; World Pulse; Amazon Watch; Green For All; Climate Justice Alliance; Vital Voices; Washington University Sustainability department; Eco-Stewards; GAIA, and Mothers Out Front.

The Accelerator was designed by leaders like Corrina Gould from the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone. Corrina is Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone, born and raised in Oakland, California. She is the co-founder and a lead organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change, a small Native-run group that works on Indigenous peoples’ issues. The 2019 cohort included leaders like:

  • Beth Roach, who is rebuilding food security and culture for native peoples by preserving and proliferating native seed systems in Virginia through her organization Alliance of Native Seedkeepers, of which she is the co-founder.
  • Crystal Huang, co-founder and president of People Power Solar Cooperative, who is creating regenerative economies and working to make solar power accessible to all in Oakland, California.
  • Tosha Phonix, a Food Justice Organizer with Missouri Coalition for the Environment, who is organizing against the food apartheid in St. Louis to improve food access and diverse representation in local food systems.
  • Magaly Santos, a youth organizer with Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, who is educating agricultural workers about their health rights and tools to end dangerous pesticide use in the Central Valley of California.
  • Dee Dee Belmares, a climate justice leader at Public Citizen, who is fighting air pollution and protecting children’s health in her community of San Antonio, Texas.
  • And more.

About Women’s Earth Alliance

Founded in 2006, Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) is a global organization that catalyzes women-led, grassroots environmental and climate solutions. WEA’s Accelerator programs equip women leaders with the skills, tools, networks, and resources they need to protect our earth and strengthen communities from the inside out. In some of the most environmentally threatened regions around the world, WEA leaders are saving indigenous seeds, selling clean cookstoves, launching sustainable farms, conserving forests and coral reefs, providing safe water, protecting land rights, and more. For more information, visit womensearthalliance.org.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.8 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

Contact: Kahea Pacheco, Women’s Earth Alliance, kahea@womensearthalliance.org
Cindy Carr, Sierra Club, cindy.carr@sierraclub.org