Executive Director Kari Jo Lawrence was featured in an article about the new Growing Justice Fund, titled Democratizing Grantmaking To Support Climate, Health and Equity. Community members leading the Growing Justice fund have first-hand experience in farming and ranching. The fund prioritizes racial equity and regenerative agriculture.
Excerpt from Democratizing Grantmaking To Support Climate, Health and Equity by Masha Hamilton, Manager Editor at The Rockefeller Foundation
Climate Change as A Focus
Another key goal of the [Growing Justice] fund is to support farmers using sustainable and regenerative practice to fight climate change.
Kari Jo Lawrence grew up on a North Dakota cattle ranch, a member of the Hidatsa tribe. One of her first memories, at about age three, is of standing on the seat of her family’s pickup truck and steering it on a low gear through the fields while her dad stood in the truck’s bed throwing feed to the cows, and her baby brother sat next to her in a car seat.
She continues that steady steering now as the Executive Director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council after 20 years of working for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. She served on the committee that helped design Growing Justice and believes the fund offers an opportunity to help both the Earth itself and Indigenous communities like hers heal.
“We cannot separate humans from the Earth,” she says. “They are holistically joined. We have to support community farming that also prioritizes protecting the environment and the soil.”