For Immediate Release
December 13, 2023

Deep South Center for Environmental Justice Receives $825,000 Grant from The Kresge Foundation

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an $825,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to strengthen its organization as a resource for education, research, community and student engagement, and technical training, with innovative programs for community capacity building in the Gulf Coast Region to respond to the impact of systemic inequities, and the devastating impact of climate change and water quality/water justice issues. Activities for this project have begun and will conclude in October 2026.

The DSCEJ will employ its unique “Communiversity Model,” which has effectively fostered meaningful collaborations between communities and academic researchers, to help its partner CBOs learn about policies governing flood protection, to develop strategies to identify and prioritize common and recurring flood risks that threaten their communities and region, and to identify practical solutions to mitigate these flood risks.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from The Kresge Foundation,” said Dr. Beverly Wright, Executive Director of DSCEJ. “This funding will bring critical capacity-building support to Black communities who are significantly vulnerable to flood events caused by increasingly frequent rainfall and major storms.” Flood hazards in Black communities in the Gulf Coast Region have deep roots in systemic racism in zoning, housing, and community development. The DSCEJ anticipates that the increased knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy in communities across the Gulf Coast are expected to have long-term impacts on legal decisions, targeted actions, and policy development at the local, state, and national level.

Since 2017, The Kresge Foundation has generously supported DSCEJ community engagement projects with $2.95 million in grants.

About the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
Families in the Gulf Coast deserve to live in communities that are free from deadly air and are more resilient to climate change and extreme weather. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) works to empower and engage communities to put environmental justice and equity at the center of all climate action. Led by environmental justice scholar and advocate, author, civic leader and professor of Sociology Dr. Beverly L. Wright, the DSCEJ uses research, education, and community and student engagement to advocate for policy change, lead health and safety training for environmental careers, develop social and emotional community wellness programs, and create new and environmentally healthy opportunities for the residents of communities disproportionately impacted by historic environmental injustice.

About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit