Close Subscribe

Get the Weekly Recap!!

Get recaps, exclusive offers, stories and discounts. We’ll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise.
14 Black-Led & Black-Focused Nonprofits Working For A Clean Environment
Philly

14 Black-Led & Black-Focused Nonprofits Working For A Clean Environment

Black-run nonprofits are allocated fewer resources than White-led ones, according to a 2016 report commissioned by the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum. Because of this disparity, black nonprofits are heavily dependent on grants for funding—leaving them vulnerable when unexpected events like coronavirus, recessions, changes in government, and other dubious financial situations occur.

It’s important to build a community-based cushion by throwing our support behind nonprofits that deserve more resources and stronger advocacy.

Take time to learn about (and donate to, if you have the means) these transformative black-led and black-focused organizations.

14 Black-Led & Black-Focused Philly Nonprofits Building a Sustainable City

1. Sacred Seeds

Sacred Seeds, spearheaded by Philly Union soccer player CJ Sapong, combats nutrient deficiencies in underserved communities by teaching young people to create their own urban gardens and greenhouses.

“We want to create a lifestyle that, now that this kid has spent however many weeks at Sacred Seeds… they feel empowered to go into their community and start making changes,” said Sapong in his Green Philly profile.

To support their efforts to fight nutrient deficiency, encourage community gardening, and highlight the importance of organic food, donate here.

2. Philadelphia Urban Creators

Philadelphia Urban Creators fosters community development and fights food insecurity through agriculture, transformative education, and art. Their home base is Life Do Grow, a neighborhood creative commons situated in North Central Philadelphia. The space includes an urban farm, a public park, outdoor classrooms, community spaces, and a co-creation area for several small businesses.

They’ve provided jobs and other opportunities for 136 local youths since 2012, and continue to mentor the next generation of environmental leaders and creatives.

Donate here.

3. Serenity Soular

A nonprofit developed from a collaboration with Swarthmore College, Serenity Soular began when North Philadelphians expressed an interest in bringing more solar—and solar jobs—to the region.

Their long-term goal is to launch a worker-owned, triple-bottom-line solar installation cooperative that would employ locals, make solar energy affordable, and facilitate the transition to clean energy. They also seek to develop their partnership with YouthBuild, a charter school in North Philadelphia that empowers young adults to learn trades.

To help Serenity Soular achieve their goals by the end of 2020, you can make a tax-refundable donation through their fiscal sponsor, the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance.

4. Soil Generation

Soil Generation

Soil Generation is a coalition of Black and Brown farmers, gardeners, and community organizers working to regain control of land and food in Philadelphia. They also aim to secure access to the resources that determine how land is used, address community health concerns, and participate in sustainable growing practices.

Soil Generation was a SustainPHL award recipient in 2017. The organization protected urban gardens from a 2011 zoning amendment, helped pass Philadelphia’s land bank bill, and was heavily involved in its strategic planning process.

To support Soil Generation’s promotion and protection of urban agriculture, donate here.

5. Mural Arts Philadelphia Trash Academy

At Mural Arts Philadelphia, community members of Southeast Philly, artists, environmental activists, and high school students collaborate to bring awareness to trash issues. The Trash Academy program facilitates grassroots community organizing, public education, and the creation of environmental solutions through art and sustainability.

One of their most well-known projects is “Trash Trouble”, where students created a multimedia video series exploring how recycling and landfills function, as well as how they affect our experience of the city.

You can help fund Mural Art Philadelphia’s innovative creative projects here.

6. Philly Thrive

Philly Thrive played an instrumental role in the closure of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) Refinery, and they continue to fight against the transformation of Philadelphia into a fossil fuel energy hub.

The nonprofit has built a multi-racial, cross-class movement that believes the health of low-income communities is more important than the profits of corporations. They organize events, mobilizations, and protests to further this message, but need financial support to move forward. Money goes towards pamphlets and flyers, space rentals, food, action supplies, and more.

Donate here.

7. One Art Community Center

One Art Community Center offers a number of spaces and programs for locals to become more connected with the natural world around them. Visit the With Love Café to have an authentic farm-to-table dining experience, or sign up for one of their workshops, classes, or retreats that center holistic healing and environmental sustainability. 

Make a one-time donation here. If you’re interested in more long-term involvement, you can become a member and subscribe to the One Art newsletter to find volunteer opportunities. The newsletter registration link can be found at the bottom of the membership page.

8. POWER

POWER is an interfaith organization that calls attention to the communities of color and working-class families suffering from declining opportunities and dysfunctional systems. They work to advance policy changes, as well as collaborate with public and private sector leaders to bring necessary resources to the city.

Their climate justice encourages a just transition to a green, renewable and inclusive economy. Their Power Local Green Jobs campaign, co-sponsored by the Earth Quaker Action Team, calls on local energy corporations to address climate crisis and inequality.

You can volunteer or donate here.

9. Mill Creek Farm

Mill Creek Farm is a farm and environmental education center working to improve access to fresh, local, and chemical-free produce at low cost for the Mill Creek community and surrounding neighborhoods.

Visit their site at 49th and Brown Street in West Philadelphia on Tuesdays from 10a.m.-12 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you have specific skills you’d like to offer up, you can apply to volunteer. Alternatively, you can provide financial support here.

10. Food Moxie

Food Moxie partners with schools and community organizations to build educational growing spaces that offer opportunities to learn gardening, farming, culinary arts, and nutrition.

A whopping 2,400 pounds of food are grown at their sites, and students have reported a desire to consume fruits and vegetables more frequently following their time with Food Moxie.

Explore volunteer opportunities, or look into the numerous other ways to give.

11. Overbrook Environmental Education Center

Jerome Shabazz Overbrook

Overbrook Environmental Education Center aims to make technological and environmental projects in the region accessible to all.

The site also hosts several programs. NatureWorks provides daytime education for children 5 to 12 years old, their Lead Program teaches individuals how to safely renovate old homes where lead paint is a health risk, and their “Did You Know?” environmental justice awareness campaign centers education on water quality, domestic toxins, and public health.

Apply to volunteer or donate here.

12. The Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden

Located in Southwest Philadelphia, The Sankofa Community Farm works to bolster the importance of African agricultural legacies and cement a commitment to food sovereignty. The project provides older African American families and new West African immigrants easy, affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The four-acre property produces and distributes over 15,000 pounds of food each year, and the group manages weekly neighborhood farmstands and grocery partnerships to sell its produce locally.

Donate to the Bartram’s Garden Resiliency Fund to ensure this program continues while programs are inactive and offices remain closed.

13. Let’s Go Outdoors

Let’s Go Outdoors provides convenient, nature-themed experiences for the Philadelphia community. The outdoor programming organization was founded by Tarsha Scovens, who used her Turning Point Prize winnings to fund it.

Programs for children and adults are hosted year-round with direct partner locations in North, Northwest, Southwest and West Philadelphia neighborhoods.

The organization is funded by its nonprofit affiliate program, Urban Outdoor Initiatives (UOI), under the fiscal sponsorship of United Charitable. Check out the events calendar, and donate here.

14. UC Green

UC Green encourages volunteer environmental stewardship in University City and its surrounding communities. It was founded by the University of Pennsylvania’s Facilities and Real Estate Services in 1998 and has since blossomed into a successful nonprofit with a strong volunteer base and several local collaborations.

UC Green partners with Woodland Cemetery, Bartram’s Garden, Spruce Hill Bird Sanctuary, and the Walnut Hill Community Garden.

Support their efforts by donating here.



Become a Supporter!

If you love what we do you can support our mission with a one-time or monthly contribution.
array(10) {
  [0]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4441 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3575)
    ["name"]=>
    string(18) "Bartram’s Garden"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(15) "bartrams-garden"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3583)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(2)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [1]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4440 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3859)
    ["name"]=>
    string(18) "Black Lives Matter"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(18) "black-lives-matter"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3867)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(3)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [2]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4442 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3456)
    ["name"]=>
    string(10) "Food Moxie"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(10) "food-moxie"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3464)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(4)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [3]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4443 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(1932)
    ["name"]=>
    string(12) "Get outdoors"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(12) "get-outdoors"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(1942)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(14)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [4]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4444 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3263)
    ["name"]=>
    string(15) "mill creek Farm"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(15) "mill-creek-farm"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3271)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(3)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [5]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4445 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3555)
    ["name"]=>
    string(40) "Overbrook Environmental Education Center"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(40) "overbrook-environmental-education-center"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3563)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(5)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [6]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4448 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(2626)
    ["name"]=>
    string(23) "Philadelphia Mural Arts"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(23) "philadelphia-mural-arts"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(2639)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(6)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [7]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4609 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(593)
    ["name"]=>
    string(23) "philadelphia nonprofits"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(23) "philadelphia-nonprofits"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(596)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(9)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [8]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4379 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3584)
    ["name"]=>
    string(12) "Sacred Seeds"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(12) "sacred-seeds"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3592)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(3)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
  [9]=>
  object(WP_Term)#4580 (10) {
    ["term_id"]=>
    int(3439)
    ["name"]=>
    string(15) "Soil Generation"
    ["slug"]=>
    string(15) "soil-generation"
    ["term_group"]=>
    int(0)
    ["term_taxonomy_id"]=>
    int(3447)
    ["taxonomy"]=>
    string(8) "post_tag"
    ["description"]=>
    string(0) ""
    ["parent"]=>
    int(0)
    ["count"]=>
    int(2)
    ["filter"]=>
    string(3) "raw"
  }
}
Avery Matteo
Avery is a junior at Bryn Mawr College majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in English. She is currently an Editorial Intern at Green Philly. In her free time, you can find her curled up with an iced coffee, a book, and her adorable dog Cosmo. View all posts by Avery Matteo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Green Philly

Featured
In These
Great Spots: