In 2022, the University of Chicago Air Quality Life Index released some sobering data. It showed that particulate air pollution is the single largest threat to human health globally. This pollution causes more deaths than viruses, accidents, behavioral choices like cigarette smoking, and war. In Oregon, according to the AQLI, unregulated toxics like diesel mixes with climate-induced wildfires to place our state as the second most polluted in the nation, costing Oregonians 4 months of life expectancy and over $3.5 billion in health care costs, missed workdays and environmental damage.
Despite the threat, philanthropic support of air quality issues comprises only 1% of all global funding. Through this presentation, we will discuss the essential role of philanthropic funding in addressing this crisis and possible investments that would make all the difference.
Kristin Teigen (she/her/hers), MA, M.Ed., is the Director of Development and Communications for Neighbors for Clean Air. She is also an educator, teaching the history of communities of color and women’s housing issues at Portland State University. Her 35 years of nonprofit experience includes roles with philanthropic organizations.