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Great progress on children’s health has been made, but the data shows we have much more to achieve. Black Americans, for example, are 75% more likely to live in neighborhoods close to toxic or environmentally unsafe sites. And, air pollution increases with the proportion of non-white residents in a neighborhood (source).

By studying pregnant women and their children, we know that climate change and air pollution are causing serious harm to children’s health and developing brains, even while they are in the womb (source). Research has linked prenatal as well as postnatal air pollution exposure to reduced IQ and other cognitive problems, developmental disorders such as ADHD and autism, depression and anxiety, and even structural changes in the brains of children.

It is nothing short of a public health emergency and particularly for children who, due to their skin color or family income, are the hardest hit. But policy, technological, and individual solutions exist, and there is much we can do.

Most cities have strong community-based nonprofit organizations (CBOs) that collaborate and partner with other stakeholders to develop strategies to reduce air pollution and create healthier environments for the kids in all our lives.

In recognition, the US Environmental Protection Agency released the “Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program” in January 2023 for $150,000 to $500,000 grants to CBOs and their partners to develop strategies that address local environmental and public health issues. It is highly anticipated that this RFP will be released again in early January 2024.

Healthy Babies Bright Futures wants to help by providing $25K pilot grants to build momentum in your community for positive change while laying the groundwork for larger amounts of federal funding. Find the RFP here.

Applicants for the Healthy Babies Bright Futures RFP can coordinate their proposed project with an anticipated EJCPS application or any other relevant federal or state grant program. Both the Federal Funding Sources for Municipal Sustainability Tool and Local Infrastructure Hub offer regular opportunities to engage with experts and other applicants going through federal grant application processes. Check out these helpful resources when planning your application.

PROPOSALS ARE DUE SEPTEMBER 30, 2023, via email to Kyra Naumoff Shields, PhD, at knaumoff@hbbf.orgAward recipients will be notified by October 16, 2023, and funds will be dispersed at the outset of the project. 


Questions? Contact Kyra Naumoff Shields, PhD, Bright Cities Program Director at knaumoff@hbbf.org or 510.847.7948.

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