Riff City: Millions moved to climate justice, progressive donor group powers Dem wins, fully driverless AV testing launches in SF
Riff City is turning four! Wow, time flies. Our team of brand builders, advocates, and communications and public affairs strategists has been reflecting on how lucky we are to get to work on movements that matter with organizations at the intersection of climate, tech, and our communities.
Below is a snapshot of that work and a spotlight on our incredible clients who are stepping up to meet some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Communities of color are hit first and hardest by climate change. Yet, only 1.3percent of philanthropic funding for climate work goes to organizations led-by people of color and accountable to communities of color. That’s a moral failing and an ineffective strategy to win on climate.
Riff was honored to help the Donors of Color Network launch the Climate Justice Funders Pledge to help us win on climate and put Americans back to work! The world-changing campaign, featured by the AP, challenges the nation’s top funders to commit at least 30% of their annual US climate funding to BIPOC-led organizations and to greater transparency moving forward. The goal? To transform public statements for racial justice into real action and to win the battle against climate change. Check out our campaign launch video narrated by Rosario Dawson!
Another critical aspect to addressing our climate crisis? Rapidly scaling electric vehicles. Cruise is on a mission to launch safe, shared, sustainable all-electric autonomous vehicles (AVs) to build a future free of CO2 emissions. They’ve been working tirelessly to give everybody the opportunity to take a green ride! Cruise recently received the first approval to begin safe, driverless testing on San Francisco streets — a major step forward for that movement.
When we last checked in with you, we mentioned Cruise had partnered with the SF-Marin Food Bank and SF New Deal to deliver more than 100,000 meals to those in need since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Nearly a year later, Cruise continues to help feed San Francisco residents in need (without polluting our air)!
Record turnout among people of color helped turn “traditionally red” Arizona and Georgia blue. Those wins were the result of years of organizing and strategy led by women and people of color to expand the electorate and change the electoral map for a generation.
Way to Win saw the math, developed a Plan to Win that was anchored in the Sun Belt, and then marshalled millions to make it a reality. Since their founding, Way to Win has moved more than $130M+ to turn out the rising new majority of voters of color, young people, and women in key swing states. We thank Way to Win and the leaders on the ground across the country for their critical role in securing a Democratic trifecta and electing new leaders focused on improving people’s lives.
The EV revolution relies on major increases in Cobalt and Nickel — the two metals needed to create powerful, sustainable batteries. The real challenge comes in finding deposits of these materials, which are concealed deep underground, virtually inaccessible to a mining industry that hasn’t changed much in decades and lacks the expertise and modern technology.
KoBold Metals, backed by Andreessen Horowitz and the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, is the tech and exploration company looking to change that by helping the U.S. ethically and efficiently source the materials needed to bring EVs to scale. With a team of world-renowned mineral explorers and dozens of PhDs in physics, math, materials science, and geophysics, KoBold is bringing next-gen machine learning and scientific computing techniques to mining. As the Biden administration renews our focus on EVs, KoBold is taking center stage to help hit our ambitious climate goals.
Other Stories We Are Riffing About:
- Inside Philanthropy: Who Pays for Hate?
- Bloomberg Law: U.S. Wins Military Rape Statute of Limitations High Court Case
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Foundations to Pledge to Direct More Grants to Climate Groups Led by People of Color
- Business Insider: 54 tech start ups you can bet your career on in 2021
- Inc.: Best in Business 2020 (Accela)
- TechCrunch: 2020 was a defining year for cannabis – what comes next?
- Univision: Latina soldier says she was abused in the Army shortly before Vanessa Guillén: now pressure is increasing for Congress to act
- Crunchbase: Blueprint Maps Out Data-Driven Mental Health Platform With $3.4M Seed
- Politico: The way to keep Georgia blue
- The Washington Post: The military has promised many times to combat sexual assault. Biden must ensure that it finally does.
- Reuters: Exclusive: For years, the Pentagon sits on racial discrimination survey data
- MSNBC: ‘You start with vision. You dream big.’
- Authority Magazine: Women Of The C-Suite: Martha Johnson of Hypur On The Five Things You Need To Succeed As A Senior Executive
- California Information Technology Report: Leadership in a time of crisis
- Forbes: Dutchie Seeks To Become ‘Shopify For Cannabis’ With New e-Commerce Offering
Hopefully these stories bring you a bit of inspiration and hope for a better future as we settle into 2021. If you want to learn more about any of our clients, give us a shout. As always, if you have a movement you’re looking to launch or an idea you’re hoping to nurture, don’t hesitate to reach out! Stay safe everyone.