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Thriving Communities Grantmaking

The Great Lakes Thriving Communities Grantmaking (TCGM) Partnership is pleased to announce a call for applications from environmental justice leaders interested in serving on a 10-member Regional Community Advisory Committee.  

We are accepting applications until June 7, 2024. Please help us spread the word about this opportunity by forwarding this email to potential applicants. Visit our website to learn more, submit an application, or nominate someone you know to serve on this committee.

Communities throughout six Midwestern states will receive an infusion of $50 million for environmental justice projects over the next few years, thanks to a new program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will be administered regionally through a partnership among the RE-AMP Network, Midwest Environmental Justice Network,  and NDN Collective and the Minneapolis Foundation.  

This EPA program aims to strengthen the capacity of underserved communities to address the environmental and public health challenges they have historically faced, as well as current and future challenges. In order to reduce barriers to the federal grants application process, the EPA is selecting grantmakers across the nation to serve as intermediaries for this funding. RE-AMP and  its partners have been chosen to administer the program in Region 5 of the EPA, an area that includes Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and 35 tribal nations.  While the Thriving Communities Region 5 grantmaker program is open to all environmental justice communities in these six states, RE-AMP’s role in the partnership will be focused on outreach and education to rural Midwestern communities. 

RE-AMP has done extensive work building capacity and funding efforts in rural Midwestern communities on clean energy, air and water quality, and energy efficiency. We know that rural environmental justice issues are usually invisible and under-funded. This project provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring resources and attention to environmental injustices in rural communities. RE-AMP is honored to join this partnership and lead the outreach to rural and remote environmental justice communities in our region.” said Melissa Gavin, CEO of the RE-AMP Network.

Melissa Gavin

Grant funding through this program will be distributed to community-based nonprofit organizations and other eligible groups, with guidance from a Regional Community Advisory Committee- a group of environmental justice leaders reflecting the region’s diversity. The goal is to create a process that will center those most impacted by environmental injustice in the decision-making for this program. The $50 million will be allocated over a three-year period as follows:       

  • 30% ($12 million) to Tribes and Indigenous groups and communities 

  • 25% ($10 million) to rural communities  

  • 45% ($18 million) to urban communities 

The grants program will offer three types of grants:

Phase I grants will be fixed-amount, one-year awards of $150,000 for  capacity constrained CBOs and “entry-level” applicants. 

Phase II competitive sub-grants will be variable awards of up to $250,000 for one-to-two year grant periods.

Phase III competitive sub-grants will be variable awards of up to $350,000 for a two-year sub-grant period. 

It will take several months to develop grant guidelines, and we look forward to sharing more details as they are available. We expect to announce more information about the first round of grants in Spring 2024. For news and updates, please continue to check back here, visit the Minneapolis Foundation’s website,, or submit your email below to sign up for email updates on the Thriving Communities Grantmaking for Region 5. 

Blacks in Green (BIG)

BIG is coordinating technical assistance centers across EPA’s Region 5 territory, which includes 35 tribal lands, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Start by completing BIG’s EJTCTAC Region 5 Technical Assistance Participant Intake Form.

blacks in green

Great Lakes Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center Hub

Coordinated by the regional center at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, this technical assistance hub hosts resources for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to help underserved communities fund environmental projects. Contact them here:

Heartland Environmental Justice Center

The Heartland Environmental Justice Center supports individuals and organizations who serve communities across Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and adjoining Indigenous Nations that are impacted by environmental injustice. Contact them here:

Sign Up for Updates

Complete the following to receive updates on the Thriving Communities Grants Program



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