Foundation for Louisiana: Linking Economic and Environmental Justice

Foundation for Louisiana: Linking Economic and Environmental Justice
Six outstanding community foundation teams from across the country completed their participation in CFLeads’ two-year Economic Mobility Action Network pilot this summer.

We’re sharing community foundation stories from our recently published report, Advancing Economic Mobility in our Communities, which documents the outcomes of these community foundations that came together to develop economic mobility agendas for their communities.

Foundation for Louisiana

Shaping a community-grounded strategy

Flexible funding provided through the Network made it possible for the Foundation for Louisiana to hire a full-time economic justice program officer whose interviews with organization leaders,organizers and community members shaped the development of a complete economic justice strategy.

We do need a great deal of active policy work. This is not just in terms of lobbying or advancing certain policies, but also making sure the population is aware of what’s going on … providing good information so that people can say, ‘This, I don’t like. This, I do like.’
Nathan RuppSenior Fellow in Economic Justice

Locally crafted climate resilience

In particular, the foundation is exploring emerging opportunities in green and blue economies and the transition away from oil and gas. The foundation is also looking into land use, zoning and the managed retreat away from coastal communities that are past the points of climate change mitigation or adaptation.

The Network support has also enabled the foundation to engage with a local tribal organization on ways to manage disaster recovery or potential migration. The results, it predicts, will be a set of clear community-created decisions on responding to various forms of disaster. This plan — the first of its kind in the state — may be used as a template to support resilience responses and forced migration for other communities.

We really have to think about economic mobility in the context of resilience building. There’s been a lot of work also in connecting the dots on safe and affordable and resilient housing, and equitable community development … finding the sweet spot where those points intersect.
Flozell Daniels, Jr.former President and CEO

Shifting dominant narratives

By shifting dominant narratives in support of racial justice, the foundation is working to make Louisiana a place where people can tell their own stories, own their experiences, and stand in their power to correct the history shaped by white supremacy culture.

This dialogue acknowledges, heals, transforms and restoratively repairs wounds from the past and the presence of racism and injustice.

We envision a Louisiana in which all people are free and well-equipped to thrive in life, in work, in school and play and all the different things they might want to pursue. Our vision is that it’s done explicitly in a liberation and collective-freedom framework, where we are naming the history of settler colonialism, chattel slavery, and pervasive systems of anti-Black racism.
Jamie SchmillVP of Programs


If you have any questions about CFLeads’ future economic mobility work, please contact Leonard Brock at or 617-854-3549.