Supporting Community Transformation

The Greenlining Institute works with communities of color to gain equitable opportunity and access to tools to transform their lives for the better. Our goal is to build the capacity of local leadership to advance community-driven, equitable solutions that strengthen community power. 

Our neighborhoods have been shaped and carved out by exclusionary and racist public policies. Government policies, coupled with private sector investments, segregated communities of color into less desirable neighborhoods and denied them investment resources. To reverse decades of disinvestment, we invest in local leadership, supporting communities to identify their own needs and visions, develop partnerships, build skills, access capacity building and technical assistance resources, and advance projects, grants or policies. 

By expanding local capacity, we work towards building community power, self-determination, and the ability of all communities to have ownership over the decisions that shape their lives. 


Ground-Up and Top-Down Changes

While communities of color suffer disproportionate inequities, we are nevertheless resilient and powerful. Greenlining invests in community-led transformation by:

  • Supporting communities from the ground-up to develop the capacity needed to lead their own transformations and deliver direct, tangible, and significant benefits to achieve self-determination.
  • Changing the structural conditions from the top-down by advancing an equity agenda that champions community-led solutions that can then be scaled and replicated at the local, state, or federal level.

These dual approaches will ladder up to build the community capacity and power needed to advance systemic transformation. Taken together, we build real relationships and invest in our partnerships over the long-term so that together we can develop tangible, enduring, and systemic solutions.


Fostering Collaboration, Connecting Resources

The Capacity Building team works collaboratively to seed projects and partnerships, direct immediate benefits to historically under-resourced communities, and build long-term capacity and community power. Our approach is grounded by a commitment to community leadership, knowledge, and power. At the same time, we also support and bring together the ecosystem of change – the local stakeholders including community-based organizations, non-profits, local governments, and other partners who can create greater collective impact. 

From the Ground Up: Our Work with Communities

The Capacity Building team strengthens community power to advance intersectional and equitable solutions. We approach this work as both bridge-builders, bringing different stakeholders together to work towards powerful solutions, and advocates, helping to shape and lead strategy and policy efforts. 

Capacity Building in California

Our local work spans California: Stockton, Oakland and the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys in Los Angeles County. We collaborate with frontline communities to cultivate multi-sector partnerships for the long-term, advance neighborhood projects and build community power.

Multi-State Capacity Building

Greenlining and Forth co-manage the Towards Equitable Electric Mobility Community of Practice, a peer-to-peer community of advocates building capacity and developing a mutual commitment towards advancing equitable electric mobility strategies across five states: Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Learn More

From the Top Down: Changing Structural Inequities

Greenlining is changing the structural conditions – embodied in government programs, policies and guidelines – so that all communities can participate and lead on local climate action.

The Capacity Building team incubates the following community-centered solutions to advance our policy agenda:

Transformative Climate Communities

Greenlining co-sponsored AB 2722 (Burke, 2016) with the California Environmental Justice Alliance to create the Transformative Climate Communities program. TCC  funds and empowers the communities most impacted by poverty and pollution to define their own solutions to fight climate change and redlining.

Learn More

Regional Climate Collaboratives

Greenlining co-sponsored SB 1072 (Leyva, 2018) with the Trust for Public Land to create the Regional Climate Collaboratives program. RCC builds the capacity of under-resourced communities to secure funding for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience projects.

Learn More