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Last week, Jake Matlak, Philanthropiece Foundation’s Director of Programs, spoke at Boulder’s City Council meeting to highlight the work of our community partner, the Just Transition Collaborative. His words captured the work that we are doing here in our home community on the theme of climate justice.

Hello, my name is Jake Matlak, and I am the Director of Programs at the Philanthropiece Foundation. We are a local nonprofit that works in Colorado, as well as in México and Guatemala. Our mission is to build deep and authentic relationships, so we can collaborate with changemakers around the world to co-create resilient communities. We began conversations with the Just Transitions Collaborative in 2016 and quickly understood the great potential of this particular initiative, and also the immediate urgency of the movement JTC pertains to.

The science clearly demonstrates that we are in a climate crisis, but intricately entwined with this challenge, is the fact that the social and economic systems that led us to the brink of collapse are the same systems that continue to exclude our best hope of survival.

We were thrilled to enter into a partnership with the JTC, the City of Boulder, and Partners for Places in 2017 and 2018 that led to the creation of the Climate Justice Leaders. Their initial success highlights the importance of collaboration. Governments, public institutions, businesses, philanthropic organizations, and most importantly, people, all have a role to play.

The Climate Justice Leaders started the long overdue process of incorporating the voices of those most affected by climate change into the search for solutions. We must not be afraid to confront the oppressive systems that have led us to this point. The progress we have created together only demonstrates the value of allocating resources and attention to equity.

Thank you JTC and the City of Boulder and special thanks to the Climate Justice Leaders. On behalf of the Philanthropiece Foundation, I strongly encourage the city to adopt JTC’s recommendations and to keep equity at the center of our Climate Action Plan.

Go here to learn more about the City of Boulder’s climate commitment, and to learn about actions you can take.