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  • Writer's pictureGR Climate Coalition

Member Spotlight: LINC UP

From time to time we will feature spotlights on our inspiring member organizations. Read today's below!

With a mission to advance a racial equity agenda in Grand Rapids by expanding affordable housing and increasing community power, LINC UP operates throughout the GR community and is based in an office at the intersection of Madison and Hall on the city’s south east side. Isacc DeGraaf, LINC UP’s Policy Advocacy Liaison sat down with the GRCC to discuss current initiatives and how they intersect with climate advocacy in the region.

As a 20+ year old organization, the roots of LINC UP lay in community-based planning processes. LINC UP’s strategic planning orients its work around three main pillars- Affordable Housing, Community Empowerment, and Equity, specifically addressing the racial wealth gap.

Additional areas of work include Physical/Mental Health, Environmental Sustainability, and Police Accountability. They host a range of engagement events including workshops and community town halls under these umbrellas and are dedicated to advancing home ownership and supporting civic engagement in GR policy development. For example, prior to city commission meetings, LINC UP will host a resident dinner and transport attendees to observe and participate in the meetings. They also run a Fellows program that offers stipends to residents to pay for their time and effort as they engage in policy processes with local leaders.

LINC UP is an active participant in the Community Coalition on Climate Change (C4), actively stepping into the environmental justice arena in 2019 when industrial contaminants were found in the southeast business corridor. They are excited to be part of the GRCC and to leverage the collation as a way to continue to build a base for advocacy.

-Jessica Riccardo, GR Climate Coalition Volunteer

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