What We Do

“In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now.”
— Dr. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

When Women Thrive, The Earth Thrives.

WEA has trained over 5,000 women leaders. They, in turn, have reached 6 million people. That’s the WEA Effect.

In some of the most environmentally threatened regions, WEA leaders are closing dirty energy plants and forwarding clean energy projects, advocating for water, land, and air protection policies, preserving indigenous seeds and cultures, launching regenerative agriculture projects that sustain our communities, drawing down carbon through forest and coral reef conservation, and removing toxins from our environment and our bodies.

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Our Vision and Mission

Women's Earth Alliance (WEA) envisions a world in which women are empowered, communities thrive and the Earth regenerates.

Our mission is to catalyze women-led, grassroots solutions to protect our environment. WEA’s signature Accelerator model provides leadership, strategy, and technical training for women leaders to scale their climate and environmental initiatives while connecting them to a global alliance of peers, mentors, and funders.

How we do this

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WEA’s Accelerator model is designed to exponentially advance women leader’s critical solutions to influence global environmental and climate goals. WEA’s model was honed over 15 years to be inclusive, non-extractive, and culturally relevant. WEA utilizes human-centered design to customize each Accelerator’s curriculum to be regionally responsive.

WEA Accelerators are one-year training programs for 25-35 proven women leaders who are poised to grow their initiatives, organizations and movements. Participants are identified in partnership with a global coalition of leading organizations serving women and girls with the goal of drawing the most talented and often under-represented women into our program.

WEA has a distributed network model whereby regional programs are guided by longtime WEA Alliance Leaders who draw from their lived experiences and dedicated activism to shape WEA’s regional priorities. Where possible, WEA Alliance Leaders collaborate across regions to create long-lasting impact, bridge strategies, and reciprocate learning and support. WEA’s leadership model is largely decentralized with a small U.S.-based team that coordinates communications, operations, fundraising, and programmatic direction. Since its founding, WEA has practiced and iterated a shared leadership structure, whereby authority, responsibility, and accountability is distributed across our organization, unleashing a unique creativity and diversity of approaches.

WEA is fiscally-sponsored by Earth Island Institute, placing us in a collective of mission-aligned organizations that share knowledge and build strength in community, rather than compete for funding. WEA’s Leadership Board provides overarching insights on our direction and evolution.

Why the need

It is globally recognized that women’s leadership is key to just environmental policies and the adoption of climate resiliency strategies. Yet, the women who stand up to prevent environmental destruction and injustice face an uphill battle. Women’s leadership is chronically and globally undervalued, their health threatened, their work under-resourced, and their vision stymied. Structural inequities rob women leaders of their full potential to shape the future of our planet, communities, and our values.

Globally, women and girls are the most adversely and disproportionately impacted by climate change, health crises, and environmental destruction. From these frontlines, women leaders in our Alliance step forward with solutions grounded in their lived experience. Evidence consistently shows that an investment in women is the most effective environmental and social welfare investment society can make. Despite this recognition, structural inequities rob women of their full potential to shape the future on our planet, our communities, and our values.

Our Leadership Model

Our Programs

The “WEA Effect”

Regardless of the unique conditions in each region, the efforts of WEA participants lead to a consistent set of cascading benefits that we call the “WEA Effect”: women are empowered, children are safer, communities are healthier, natural resources regenerate, local economies prosper, regions stabilize, and real transformation takes root.

Our theory of change is simple:

When women thrive, communities, the environment, and future generations thrive.

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