posted on 9/14/2023

Climate, Crisis, and Care: Our Approach to Philanthropic and Policy Advocacy

Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism

Urgent Action Fund was founded in 1997 when feminist activists around the world said they needed a Fund that could provide grants quickly and with very little bureaucracy in order to respond to critical human rights situations. From the beginning, our mission to resource intersectional feminist movements has included a commitment to philanthropic advocacy, with the goal of equipping feminist activists with the significant resources they need to transform society. 

Through our advocacy work, we aim to increase access to human rights spaces for feminist activists, improve the quantity and quality of resources available to fund movements, and help ensure protection for those on the frontlines of mitigating and visibilizing rights violations and conflict.

Why is Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism Uniquely Positioned in the Advocacy Space?

  1. Removing Barriers to Entry: Feminist movements in most of the regions we serve have historically had limited  engagement in multilateral spaces like the UN, have faced particular barriers (e.g. visa restrictions, travel bans), and have reported that they benefit from our support and accompaniment in these spaces. Consequently, we support and amplify our partners’ advocacy efforts and engage in advocacy with them.
  2. Our Geographic Location: Due to our location in the United States, we have close proximity to geopolitical power hubs in the U.S. and Europe, such as the UN human rights and peacekeeping institutions  as well as the European Union, which gives us unique access to these decision-makers, and the spaces in which to influence them.
  3. Strengthening Connections: Finally, many of the movements we serve are in crisis. We are strategically positioned – because of our proximity to the UN, our expertise in UN human rights advocacy, and our feminist analysis on crisis and response – to strengthen connections between humanitarian actors and feminist human rights movements.

Advocating for a Better Future

While Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism has always engaged in philanthropic advocacy, since 2015, we have expanded our efforts to policy advocacy to better support the work of our grantees. We aim to influence not only the quantity and quality of funding available to feminist activists but also policy decisions that impact the safety and rights of activists, as access to resources and protection are interconnected and indispensable for movements to thrive. 

Finally, as a grantmaking organization that is directly plugged into the movements themselves, we have real time information about the most pressing issues that feminist movements are facing today. Grounded in that data, we are choosing to focus our advocacy work on the following three areas, which reflect the priorities of the movements we support and fill key gaps in the overall advocacy landscape:

  1. Climate and Environmental Justice: We aim to ensure protection for feminist environmental defenders, amplify their voices in climate advocacy spaces, and advocate for resources to advance climate justice from a feminist perspective. 
  2. Collective Care and Protection: We seek to strengthen protections for feminist human rights and environmental defenders to address reprisals while resourcing them to build a holistic infrastructure of care for themselves  and their movements.
  3. Crisis and Response: We aim to clarify a conceptual framework for feminist crisis response and shift humanitarian responses towards equipping movements to address the root causes of crises before they begin.

Advocacy is a central element of our work here at Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism and we view it as critically important to challenge systems of oppression, mobilize resources and support to grow feminist movements, and strengthen the resiliency of intersectional feminist activist movements worldwide. 


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Chinyere Ezie



Chinyere Ezie is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she advocates for racial justice, gender justice, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) rights, and challenges governmental abuses of power. Chinyere previously worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center where she brought cases defending the rights of LGBTQI+ Southerners. She also served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she litigated employment discrimination cases and secured a $5.1 million jury verdict on behalf of workers subjected to unlawful treatment. Chinyere is a William J. Fulbright Scholar, a White House Fellows Program Regional Panelist, and a cum laude graduate of Yale University. She also received a Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School, where she was an Alexander Hamilton Scholar and served as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Gender and Law. Chinyere serves on the Board of Directors of the Transgender Law Center and the feminist grant-making organization the Urgent Action Fund. She was also a Founding Board Member of the National Trans Bar Association.In 2018, she was named one of the nation’s Best LGBTQI+ Lawyers Under 40.