Access Fund Awards $10,000 in Inaugural JEDI Grants

Access Fund is thrilled to support advocates across the country that are committed to making climbing a place where all people can thrive. Local climbing organizations (LCOs), affinity groups, and climbing gyms are taking on more and more projects oriented around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the climbing community. The JEDI Grant program supports that work with individual grants designed to help projects get off the ground and make an impact.

Climbing in the Gunks, New York, where one of the grants will go toward getting NYC youth from marginalized communities out of the gym and into the world of outdoor climbing. Ancestral lands of Munsee Lenape. © François Lebeau.

The inaugural grant cycle awarded a total of $10,000 to four different organizations with powerful and compelling projects that will make their local climbing areas more accessible to all. We received an incredible number of applications for the relatively small pool of funding, including many worthy projects we were unable to fund in this round. Given the high level of interest in grants to fund JEDI work, we hope to continue growing the program to support even more excellent work in the future.

Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition – Infrastructure Development
The Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition received funding for infrastructure development in the Bald Rock Fork area of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, including wheelchair-compatible trails and accessible parking, to allow better access for adaptive climbers to the Red River Gorge’s world-class climbing.

Texas Climbers Coalition – Guided Climbing Access for Children of Incarcerated Parents
The Texas Climbers Coalition received funding for a program that will partner with the CR Bloom Project to create multiple opportunities for guided access for 50+ children of incarcerated parents. The project will give them the chance to experience climbing for the first time at their local crag of Medicine Wall in San Antonio, Texas.

Stone Age Climbing Gym – Free Climbing Guide Training for Indigenous Youth
Stone Age Climbing Gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico, received funding to support a program that trains local Indigenous youth as climbing guides free of cost in partnership with the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation. Its funding will also go toward subsidizing guided access to climbing for additional Indigenous youth, in part facilitated by the guides trained through the program.

Rise Outside – Gym-to-Crag Project for NYC Youth
Rise Outside, a New York-based nonprofit received funding for a gym-to-crag project that will bring 20+ NYC youth, largely from marginalized communities, out of the gym and into the world of outdoor climbing via a three-day trip to the Gunks in partnership with the Laru Beya Collective.

Access Fund is humbled to support the great work these organizations are doing and eager to share the stories that come out of these projects. Stay tuned for updates on these projects as well as news on future JEDI grant cycles.