Press Release California Strategic Growth Council Announces 22-Person Inaugural Cohort for “Partners Advancing Climate Equity” Training Program


Pilot State program helps locals build capacity to lead equitable community climate action

Sacramento, Calif. - Twenty-two leaders representing California’s diverse communities, organizations, and lived experiences will spend 2021 as part of the inaugural cohort of the California Strategic Growth Council’s (SGC) Partners Advancing Climate Equity Program.

Developed by SGC’s Community Assistance for Climate Equity team, Partners Advancing Climate Equity focuses on increasing the capacity of local leaders from across California to advance community-driven, equitable climate solutions at the pace and scale demanded by climate change and ongoing racial, social, and environmental inequity.

“The California Strategic Growth Council is proud to partner with established and emerging leaders to enhance their capacity to advance climate and equity in their own communities across the state,” said SGC Executive Director Louise Bedsworth. “Through Partners Advancing Climate Equity, the State is investing in the social infrastructure that communities need to address climate change and build resilience to its impacts.”

The program consists of two phases: a peer-to-peer learning cohort, and place-based technical assistance to support local capacity building to advance community-identified initiatives. SGC is offering the program in partnership with the Local Government Commission, Climate Resolve, Urban Permaculture Institute, Greenlining Institute, and Movement Strategy Center. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Grant enables SGC to provide participants, who represent under-served communities, with up to $8,000 to support their participation in the program.

The members of the inaugural cohort work on an array of issues at the intersection of climate and equity, including affordable housing, air quality, youth and resident empowerment, water and wildfire resilience, and urban greening. The cohort primarily comprises individuals working in partnership with broad coalitions or at non-profit organizations that prioritize and uplift resident-led initiatives.

Recognizing the variety of challenges faced by frontline communities throughout California, the Partners Advancing Climate Equity team prioritized regional diversity within the inaugural cohort. Its members represent coastal and inland Southern California, the San Joaquin Valley, the Central Coast, the Sacramento region, the Bay Area, and throughout the North Coast and Sierras. In addition, five members of the cohort represent Tribal governments or Tribal-serving organizations. [ 1 ]

“Tribes play a crucial role in our collective effort to prevent the worst impacts of climate change,” said Christina Snider, the Governor’s Tribal Advisor. “The Partners Advancing Climate Equity program is a great example of how the State can build partnerships with California Native American Tribes to jointly address climate change, while supporting Tribes’ access to State grants and other resources.”

The program curriculum advances four primary objectives:

  • Leveraging available resources to advance local climate resilience and social equity priorities;
  • Forming and sustaining cross-sector partnerships that enhance collective impact;
  • Creating data-driven, community-led needs assessments and action plans; and
  • Navigating state funding programs, policies, and resources

During their participation in the program, members of the cohort will develop community-informed needs assessments with a focus on tangible strategies to build long-term capacity with partners.

The Partners Advancing Climate Equity pilot reflects SGC’s commitment to long-term capacity building for under-resourced communities and advancing health and racial equity. The program received tremendous interest with over 150 applicants from communities across the State, indicating a clear demand for further capacity building support. The program is inspired by SB 1072 (Leyva, 2018) and in part seeks to inform long-term capacity building efforts, including the Regional Climate Collaboratives grant funding program.

Learn more about the Partners Advancing Climate Equity program and meet the 22 cohort members.

California Strategic Growth Council Media Contact:
Sandra Lupien, (916) 634-3359,

The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is a cabinet-level State body committed to health, thriving, and resilient communities for all. SGC coordinates and works collaboratively with public agencies, communities, and stakeholders to achieve sustainability, equity, economic prosperity, and high quality of life for all Californians.

  1. When the California Strategic Growth Council refers to “Tribes,” “Tribal Governments,” or “California Native American Tribes,” we mean those recognized and those not recognized by the Federal government, unless otherwise explicitly stated.