WE ACT for Environmental Justice Co-Hosts Webinar for New York State Legislators on Federal Funding Opportunities for Local Environmental Justice Initiatives with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus

Billions of Dollars Available Through the Inflation Reduction Act with Priority Given to Needs of Disadvantaged Communities via the Justice40 Initiative


June 28, 2023
Contact: Chris Dobens, chris@weact.org, 718-679-8542


HARLEM, NY – Today WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT), U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus (BPHA Caucus) hosted a webinar for New York State legislators on how the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can benefit the state’s disadvantaged communities. WE ACT has been working closely with the Biden administration to secure IRA funding for historically disadvantaged communities – primarily communities of color and low-income – through the Justice40 Initiative, a 2021 Executive Order that requires federal agencies to direct “at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy” to disadvantaged communities. That Executive Order also created the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, which is Co-Chaired by WE ACT’s Executive Director and Co-Founder Peggy Shepard.

“As the federal government continues to unlock funding opportunities for States to pursue environmental justice projects and improve communities, it is vital that state legislators understand how to access these funds to ensure that the communities they represent that have been unfairly burdened by environmental hazards can get their fair share of the funding to address these issues and provide a degree of environmental justice,” explained Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, who helped lead the webinar.

Senator Schumer and representatives of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, and Department of Transportation provided the 131 attendees guidance on current and future funding opportunities and answered questions. You can watch the webinar here.

In addition to this webinar, WE ACT has been bringing together community leaders and elected officials together in cities across the country as part of its Justice40rward Campaign, a community-led effort launched by WE ACT to raise awareness of the initiative and federal funding opportunities available as well as  ensure transparency and collaboration between elected officials, municipalities, and those who live in disadvantaged communities.

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WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at weact.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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