Author: BIG Staff   Published: 8/7/2023  Blacks In Green

Biden-Harris Administration Selects Blacks in Green

to Serve as New Technical Assistance Center with $10M Grant to Advance Environmental Justice 

Blacks in Green and core partners make history in equitable funding and frontline leadership by and for underserved, rural, and tribal communities.

Chicago, IL – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a history-making selection of finalist Blacks in Green (BIG) with a strong community-based alliance to serve as one of 17 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTAC), as part of a $177M program. BIG will receive $10 million in grant funding over five years to establish technical assistance centers across EPA’s Region 5 territory, which includes 35 tribal lands, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. The centers will provide technical assistance, training, and related support to communities and their partners with environmental justice concerns.

Partners in this innovative approach encourage frontline organizations everywhere to assume financial leadership of solutions being proposed for their communities – a simple, essential “flip the script” that properly positions them in ownership. BIG and partners worked in kinship, through a democratic process to advance this core principle of the new terms of engagement between frontline organizations and white allies, honoring our leadership as experts on the ground.

BIG will serve as lead in the Region 5 EJ TCTAC Alliance, a collaboration with the following frontline, community-based and community serving organizations, building this program together, to provide “front-door access” for people and communities across the region seeking environmental and energy justice solutions.

  • Midwest Tribal Energy Resources Association (MTERA)
  • Black Environmental Leaders Association (BEL)
  • Environmental Health Watch (EHW)
  • School of Public Health (SPH) – University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Read the joint press release from BIG and our partners by clicking the button below.

                                                        CLICK HERE FOR FULL PRESS RELEASE

Missed EPA’s live announcement? You can find the recording on EPA’s YouTube channel linked below


EPA has selected the following 14 organizations to serve as Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCTACs), along with their partners. These organizations will receive a total of $177 million to help underserved and overburdened communities across the country.

  • University of Connecticut
  • West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.
  • Inter-American University of Puerto Rico-Metro Campus
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
  • Research Triangle Institute
  • Blacks in Green
  • University of Minnesota
  • New Mexico State University
  • Wichita State University
  • University of Arizona
  • San Diego State University
  • Willamette Partnership
  • University of Washington

In addition, EPA has selected three national EJ TCTACs that will provide additional assistance across the country, with particular capacity to assist Tribes, including:

  • International City/County Management Association
  • Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • National Indian Health Board

The following is a list of these organizations and their partners.


The EJ TCTAC Program is part of the Department of Transportation’s Thriving Communities Initiative that is working towards a holistic government-wide framework for providing technical assistance and capacity building resources those most in need to improve and foster thriving communities throughout the country.