GARE, PolicyLink, the Communities First Infrastructure Alliance, are excited to announce the 2023 Transformative Justice Infrastructure Fellowship for public sector leaders who play strategic roles in embedding equitable approaches to local infrastructure investments.
The Transformative Justice Infrastructure Fellowship will support a cohort of 19 infrastructure-related public sector leaders who embody practices of radical transformation in the transportation, water, housing, planning, and environmental sectors. We believe that collectively, as public sector practitioners and racial equity organizations, that we can put communities first — to uplift the best community leaders and ideas — and give them the investment needed to turn possibility into reality.
Sixteen out of 19 fellows are racial equity practitioners working in GARE member jurisdictions. GARE Deputy Director of Network Strategies, Marsha Guthrie reflected, “GARE sees a tremendous opportunity for government leaders to repair past harms by investing in communities of color. The infusion of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) dollars create unprecedented possibilities to repair old infrastructure and build new infrastructure in water, transportation, energy, climate, housing and the like so that Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities can live long, healthy, joyful, and dignified lives.”
Reflecting on the power and potential of this fellowship, GARE Senior Director, Gordon Goodwin offered, “Several of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law federal department allocations are subject to the Justice 40 initiative. This requires that no less than 40 percent of the grants, programs and initiatives from the US Department of Energy, EPA, Transportation, Agriculture, Labor, FEMA, Fish and Wildlife flow to disadvantaged communities. The work of the infrastructure fellows is further strengthened by this federal commitment.”
GARE will support the fellows to embed the GARE approach of visualizing, normalizing, organizing and operationalizing racial equity approaches into government infrastructure policy and practice, so that the development of new infrastructure policies and projects reflects the needs and aspirations of the communities of color that have long been excluded from the benefits of public investment, and overburdened by the harms of infrastructure projects.