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Ports and Community Grants—South Louisiana

Written by Nayyir Ransome

Nayyir Ransome: Port Community Liaison South Louisiana

My name is Nayyir Ransome, and I’m excited to serve as South Louisiana’s Port Community Liaison to advance Ocean Conservancy’s commitment to a “healthier ocean, protected by a more just world.”

Quite often, already marginalized communities bear most of the burden of climate issues. From the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana is no stranger to the perils that affect our Gulf of Mexico and, indeed, our entire ocean. These perils are particularly challenging to Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities where they often have greatest impact.

Industries and traditions that we rely on are inevitably being disrupted or washed away—pun intended—by the effects of climate change and the lack of support given to marginalized communities in the aftermath of climate-related catastrophes.

South Louisiana is an essential region to the United States economy and a critical area in the field of ocean conservation. South Louisiana boasts five of the fifteen busiest U.S. ports, making it the largest port system in the nation by tonnage. At the same time, Louisiana has been consistently ranked 50th for the quality of life in the nation according to the World Population Review. This is what has become colloquially known as the “Louisiana Paradox.” We have a state that is resource-rich but is often perceived as economically poor. In the face of growing environmental challenges, Louisiana’s BIPOC communities are particularly vulnerable and often underequipped to handle the burdens of the climate crisis.

Ocean Conservancy’s Ports and Justice team has identified South Louisiana as one of the key areas where targeted ocean-justice initiatives can make a significant impact.

Therefore, it is with great excitement that we introduce this round of Ports Community Grants. Our aim is to provide low-barrier, high-access funding to BIPOC-led grassroots organizations who are already doing the work to engage, uplift and empower their communities with innovative solutions that are culturally and geographically specific.

Our essential areas of focus for funding are as follows:

  • Sharing the microphone with BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving organizations working on region- specific challenges.
  • Amplifying existing unique ideas that benefit port communities.
  • Championing authentic relationships with resident leaders,
  • Power-building around community-led port justice education that brings people into the work.
  • Creating lasting ripples to increase the connection between the natural world and port communities.

We strongly encourage you to apply for these funds for your organization and/or your community. Need support with the grant process? Reach out to me, your local Ports Community Liaison. That’s literally what I’m here for!

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