Philadelphia-based Dr. Jackie “Bouvier” Copeland is the founder and CEO of the Wise Fund. This organization invests in women-led companies and nonprofits that use affordable, clean technology to manage and reduce the impact of climate change on Black, indigenous, and Latino communities in the US and worldwide.
In an interview with ecoWURD Magazine, Dr. Copeland discussed the reasons behind founding the Wise Fund, saying that the concept of “Women Invested to Save Earth” came to her in a dream after experiencing the impact of climate change in Australia, California, and her polluted community in Philadelphia.
Dr. Copeland emphasized that women are disproportionately impacted by climate change and that their communities often lack equal access to information and funding. “Women are the key because all the studies prove that women tend to circulate every investment or grant dollar they get 20 times in their community, sharing it with family members,” said Dr. Copeland. The Wise Fund aims to provide equitable funding for women-led companies and nonprofits and show that there can be no solution to climate change unless women, indigenous, and people of color are part of the solution.
Some examples of the types of businesses the Wise Fund supports include a company that uses food waste to produce organic fertilizer and a nonprofit that teaches young people how to grow their own food using hydroponic systems. When asked how she finds funds for the Wise Fund, Dr. Copeland said they leverage existing networks and partnerships with corporations, foundations, and individuals interested in investing in climate solutions and social impact. She is also the founder of Black Philanthropy Month, a global celebration and promotion of African-descent giving. She encouraged people to get involved and support Black-led organizations and initiatives in their communities.
Overall, Dr. Copeland’s message is clear: climate change is an economic and social change opportunity that requires the participation of everyone, especially those who are most impacted. The Wise Fund is a step towards achieving a more equitable and sustainable future for all.