People, Parks, and Power—A National Initiative for Green Space, Health Equity, and Racial Justice

From the Announcement:

New initiative will provide $7 million in funding for community-based organizations to work on park equity and racial justice.

We’re excited to announce the launch of People, Parks, and Power (P3), a national initiative to invest in green space, health equity, and racial justice. People, Parks, and Power seeks to accelerate a national movement for park equity led by communities that have shouldered generations of park inequities and associated health inequities. This initiative is a joint effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, led and managed by Prevention Institute. We encourage you to share this Call for Proposals with your networks.

“Change comes from organizing and power-building; in that regard P3 breaks new ground. It’s the first national funding initiative that supports community-based organizations to build power for local policy change to eliminate the deplorable park and green space inequities found in urban African American and Latino communities across the U.S. This new investment recognizes just how crucial low-income communities of color are to moving the needle toward equity on issues central to environmental, health, and racial justice. P3 holds the promise of expanding the bench of local leaders and innovators working for park and green space equity and jumpstarting a new movement.” —Manuel Pastor, PhD, director of the University of Southern California’s Equity Research Institute and a grantee of RWJF’s Lead Local Initiative.

P3 focuses on supporting community-based organizations to build power to take on the policies, institutional practices, and power dynamics that produced park inequities in the first place. P3 seeks to fund local-level, community-driven initiatives to work on issues such as public finance measures for parks and green infrastructure; assessments of park needs and inequities; joint use policies to open school grounds for recreational use; land use policies that facilitate equitable access to parks and green space; community engagement units within government agencies; and anti-displacement protections, among others.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will award grants of up to $500,000 over a 24-month grant period. Awards will be made to up to 14 sites, and the Foundation reserves the right to make more awards should additional funding be made available. Letters of intent are due November 4 by 3PM Eastern. We will invite selected applicants to submit a full proposal in early January 2022, with funding awards to be announced in March 2022. The grant period will start May 15, 2022.

We strongly encourage applications from community-based organizations that are led by people of color and focus on building community power to influence local policy. This includes groups that are already working on local, equity-focused park policy, as well as groups that may be new to this issue but have a history of advancing equity-focused policy on related issues (e.g., built environment, civil rights, climate change, community development, environmental justice, racial justice, water equity, etc.). P3 will fund grantees in urban areas, with a particular interest in small and midsized cities (under 500,000 population).

To learn more about eligibility and selection criteria, and how your organization can apply, please download the Call for Proposals here. Please reach out to with any questions. Key dates include:

  • September 29, 2021 (1–2:30PM Eastern)
    Optional applicant webinar (register here)
  • November 4, 2021 (3PM Eastern)
    Deadline to submit letter of intent
  • January 4, 2022
    Selected organizations will be invited to submit a full proposal


Learn More about the Prevention Institute here and why we need park equity here