Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
On September 18, 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of a nation-wide HHS Environmental Justice Community Innovator Challenge (Challenge) to support disadvantaged communities and Tribal Nations experiencing environmental injustices, such as harms resulting from climate change. This Challenge strives to provide an opportunity to highlight community and Tribal-led solutions that address local level environmental justice and public health issues.
HHS is inviting Tribal Nations and Tribal organizations to participate in the Challenge by submitting approaches for improving public health, reducing pollution, and addressing local climate change impacts. The Challenge has two phases with awards totaling $1,000,000. All eligible entries will be evaluated, and separate awards will be given for each phase. Additionally, Challenge participants will have access to technical assistance opportunities in each phase. Currently, Phase 1 of the Challenge is now open and will focus on design of concept or development of approach. Entries for Phase 1 will be accepted from now until January 30, 2024 at 11:59pm ET. Up to 12 submissions may be selected to each receive a prize of up to $25,000.
HHS plans to host an upcoming Tribal informational webinar. Details regarding this Phase 1 Tribal informational webinar are as follows—
Entries for Phase 2 will begin in Spring 2024 and will focus on small-scale testing or implementation of well-developed approaches for community-led efforts to mitigate health disparities and advance health equity. Up to 10 submissions may be selected to each receive a minimum prize of $70,000. To view an overview of the Challenge, including the judging criteria, rules, and entry submission requirements, click here, or visit HHS’s website.
For more information, please contact Brian Howard, USET SPF Senior Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.