West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT for Environmental Justice) is a Northern Manhattan community-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by assuring that people of color and/or low-income participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.
- Climate Justice- Low and Medium income communities of color are the first ones to suffer when the country experiences shifting weather patterns from climate change. The "Northern Manhattan Climate Change Resilience Project" is a collaborative planning process for ensuring that New York City's response to climate change meets the needs of low-income and other marginalized communities in Northern Manhattan and beyond. In addition to advocating for public policies that reverse the city's legacy and trajectory of socio-economic inequality, participants will work to develop systems of local cooperation that can support social resilience in the face of climate change.
- Healthy Indoor Environments- More than any other part of New York, Northern Manhattan residents suffer the most from indoor air pollutants such as, mold, pest infestation and lead dust. Our New York City Healthy Homes Campaign is working to improve the housing conditions and the health of Low and Moderate income New Yorkers by engaging government agencies and elected officials to discuss accountability, advocating for the right to have healthy and affordable housing, and by passing legislation including The Asthma Free Bill (Intro 385).
- Clean Air- President Obama announced a new plan that would cut carbon emissions in half, but it’s not clear how these cuts will affect our communities. EJ community members deserve a seat at the table in decision making around cutting emissions and creating green jobs. WE ACT and our Federal Policy Office is undertaking Clean Power, Clean Air, Cleaner Communities, a nationwide campaign that involves 33 grassroots Environmental Justice organizations in 19 states in decision-making around the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. We are working with groups in key states to help them better understand and have a voice in the creation of their own State Implementation Plans.
- Sustainable Land Use- Land use planning and zoning policies directly support community health, wellness and equitable development. With the completion of the new West Harlem Piers Park (a result of WE ACT and Community Board 9’s advocacy around the development of the waterfront), WE ACT is continuing to work on transitioning the former Marine Transfer Station (MTS) on 135th street into a green-use, public facility that will benefit that will benefit Northern Manhattan residents.
- Green Jobs Initiative - In partnership with the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ), we are training low-income residents in Harlem and the Far Rockaways in new and emerging areas of the hazardous waste workforce. The Hazardous Waste Workers Training project offers expensive certified training courses in Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, OSHA/Construction, Lead and Asbestos removal, free of-cost to trainees.
- Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training: EHJLT is an 8-week grassroots education and skill-building program that offers hands-on training and participation in local, national and global environmental issues and actions. The program builds community capacity and leadership development by engaging NYC residents in a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on the environmental justice movement and builds participants’ organizing and advocacy skills.