Application Form
Applications open through May 25, 2019 at 8:00 PM Pacific Time
Location: U.S. and U.S. Territories
U.S. Grassroots Accelerator for Women Environmental Leaders
Accelerating women’s leadership to transform pressing environmental and climate challenges into scalable solutions for all
In recognition of the critical role that women play in environmental and climate movements and the acute support they need to grow their impact, the Sierra Club and Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) are launching the U.S. Grassroots Accelerator for Women Environmental Leaders.

This action-oriented accelerator will convene a powerful group of women leaders who are out front -- fiercely protecting our water, food, air, forests, land, sacred sites, indigenous lifeways, and future generations. By investing in leaders like you to scale your solutions for change, we aim to help create the conditions for an inclusive, safe, and thriving world.

Why Women's Environmental Leadership?
It is globally recognized that women’s leadership is one of the greatest leverage points for increasing our collective climate resilience. Yet the women who step forward to prevent environmental destruction and injustice face an uphill battle. Women’s bodies and health are threatened, their work is under-resourced, and their leadership is stymied. Deep structural inequities rob these leaders of their full potential to profoundly shape our communities, our values, and the future on this planet. We know that it is time to invest in women's environmental leadership. We cannot afford to wait.
Our Collective Impact
Together, the Sierra Club and WEA are committed to generating measurable and sustained improvements to our environment, economies, and communities by catalyzing women-led, grassroots solutions. The Accelerator will work with selected women environmental leaders to:

• Generate quantifiable impact in leaders’ projects that restore ecosystems, transform agriculture and food systems, build green economies, and protect people’s health, rights and safety

• Grow public awareness and visibility for key environmental campaigns and causes via Sierra Club’s 3 million + membership and WEA’s international network

• Bolster women’s environmental leadership nationally and internationally by strengthening women’s networks, spheres of influence, and access to resources

Through the Accelerator you will gain:
• A comprehensive action plan to strengthen and grow your environmental/climate initiative - you will have all of the support you need to complete the Accelerator with ready-to-go proposal building blocks for funding, including refined mission statement, impact framework and metrics, implementation strategy, timeline, and budget

• A communications plan and professionally produced media assets

• A stipend of $1,500 to support your time investment in the Accelerator, plus a certificate in Women’s Environmental Leadership

• Alliance- and relationship-building among a cohort of cutting-edge women leaders

• Visibility of your work within the Sierra Club’s 3 million + membership and Women’s Earth Alliance’s international network

• Speaking, facilitation, and other leadership opportunities within the Sierra Club and Women’s Earth Alliance national and global programming

• Ongoing mentorship and access to and input into both organizations’ resources, networks, and repository of best practices

• Please note: We are committed to building a collaborative, hands-on, non-extractive, and culturally relevant experience for all participants. As with all of our programs, this Accelerator will be co-created alongside participating leaders through a collaborative application process and program. We carefully consider the needs and offerings that you share in your application, and we draw upon your responses to shape the program. We know that many solutions already exist in our communities and that one of the most important things we can do is facilitate the spaces for women to exchange solutions in an empowering and peer-led container.

The Accelerator includes:
• 4 months of weekly facilitated online skill-building, knowledge exchange, and coaching with an action-oriented focus specifically tailored for your work with a cohort of 20-30 allied women leaders

• Twice-monthly group video calls and speakers

• Program content offered by experts on topics such as how to measure the impact of your work, increasing awareness of your work through effective communications strategies, diverse models for raising funds, building strong coalitions, hands-on environmental technologies, leadership development, and healing and self-care

• Sector-specific working groups to dig deeper into environmental technologies, networks, and communities of practice

• The Collaboratory: A 4-day immersive experiential learning and knowledge-share at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC), an 80-acre research, demonstration, education, advocacy and community-organizing center in West Sonoma County, California (all travel and accommodation costs covered by the Accelerator)

• Estimated time commitment of 2-3 hours per week plus 4-day in-person “Collaboratory”

• Graduation into the Women’s Earth Alliance - an alliance of women environmental leaders who are building relationships for the long-term, co-designing a diverse and just movement of women’s environmental leadership, and unleashing solutions that will shape our collective future

The Accelerator is right for you if you are:
• A woman or woman-identified leader engaged in an environmental/climate initiative that is creating impact in your community, and, in some cases, nationwide

• Active in non-profit leadership, grassroots advocacy, business, community organizing, or movement building

• In the process of strengthening or growing the impact of your work to create game-changing environmental/climate justice and impact

• Engaged in building networks and forging diverse partnerships

• Committed to growing your capacity in order to advance your cause

• We believe that many environmental movements have perpetuated the marginalization of the global majority — including people of color, native peoples, people from working class backgrounds, women, and LGBTQ people. We believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do. Therefore, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized communities

What happens after you apply?
Here is what you can expect next:

(1) The Accelerator committee will review your application and nomination. Please note that we can only review your application once we have also received your nomination. All applications and nominations are due by May 25, 2019 at 8:00 PM Pacific Time.

(2) During our application reviews, we may request a phone interview.

(3) We will respond with your application status by July 1, 2019.

If accepted:

• Be prepared to begin the Accelerator (online portion) on August 15, 2019.

• Plan to attend the Northern California Collaboratory on October 13-17, 2019, plus travel time.

• During the month leading up to the start of the Accelerator, we will connect participants with each other and engage in preparatory activities.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email us at or call us at (510) 859-9106.

Apply today. Unlock the Future.
Please note: Each applicant must also be nominated by someone familiar with the applicant's leadership by May 25, 2019 at 8:00 PM Pacific Time. Here is a link to the nominator form: Please share this form with one of the references who you list at the end of this application. If you have trouble getting a nomination, please reach out to us at so that we can make other arrangements, like setting up a call with one of your references.
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