Public Resource
Blueprint for a Multiracial, Cross-Class Climate Movement: The Report on Coalitions
Lynsy Smithson-Stanley and Jack Zhou

Multiracial, cross-class (MRXC) coalition-building is essential if the climate movement is serious about tackling the climate crisis at the scale it demands. However, a historical lack of collaboration, trust, or healthy mechanisms to deal with conflict often impair those efforts. This Blueprint report and accompanying workbook provide an analysis of the difficulties MRXC climate coalitions are likely to face and offer recommendations for a proposed path forward. Our intention
is that these insights help advocates fighting for a livable climate and communities grounded in justice and shared prosperity.

We begin with a careful study of the social movement and organizing literatures, as well as analyses of five recent MRXC climate coalitions at the state and municipal levels: campaigns advocating for the Portland Clean Energy Fund, New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Minnesota’s fight against the Line 3 pipeline, Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, and Washington state’s I-1631 ballot measure.

From scholarship and first-hand accounts of working in MRXC climate coalitions, we find that robust and healthy coalitions require foresight and intentionality around certain variables. In particular, we focus on the concepts of trust, clarity, resources, inclusion and voice, governance, anticipating and planning for conflict, ways of working, collectivizing identity and reflection, and learning. We argue that MRXC coalitions need to address each of these elements explicitly in order to maximize their collective power and minimize harm.