Environmental Justice Education
Collectively, our environmental educational programming has spanned the past ten years. While traditional understandings of environmental education include studying ecology, food chains and other natural topics, our educational curricula and programming offer explorations at the intersection of traditional education, and environmental health & justice. Our oldest program, Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training, has produced over six cohorts of local community leaders who have influenced WE ACT campaigns and initiatives. From here, WE ACT has both created and facilitated curricula, consulted on creating more inclusive programming, with public, charter and private schools, non-profit institutions, and other environmental groups. WE ACT is a proud member of The New York State Outdoor Education Association (NYSOEA) is the professional membership organization supporting outdoor and environmental education and interpretive services in New York State since 1968.
Adult Curriculum and Programming
Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training (Ongoing – Spring)
We have a dozen WE ACT members participating in this summer’s Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training program. They are developing the skills and knowledge needed to become community advocates, whether supporting WE ACT initiatives or leading their own. To date, they have learned about the foundations of organizing, clean air quality, climate justice and energy security, and healthy homes with guest speakers such as Mike Harrington of the New School’s Tishman Environment and Design Center, Dr. Jeanette Stingone of Columbia University’s Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan, and Dr. Maida Galvez of the New York State Children’s Environmental Health Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
The Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training (EHJLT) introduces WE ACT members to environmental justice, environmental health, community organizing, and campaign work to prepare more leaders from Northern Manhattan for advocacy work. After completing the training, participants of the EHJLT are equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to organize campaigns or projects for WE ACT and/or broader environmental/social justice movements. Learn More
Educational Programming with other Institutions
5th Avenue Committee (2016 – 2017): One of our first consulting projects on education and environmental justice was with Fifth Avenue Committee. During this project, we replicated our EHJLT for NYCHA residents in Gowanus, Red Hook, and Wyckoff Garden Developments (with a particular focus on EJ issues in S. Brooklyn). This program graduated 30 NYCHA residents Developed toxics and treasures tour for Gowanus and Red Hook committees.
The Highline Network: WE ACT in collaboration with The Highline Network developed a place-based curriculum for its 11 NYC-based projects. The curriculum was modeled after WE ACT’s Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training (EHJLT) program. The WE ACT curriculum for the Highline Network had a primary focus on environmental justice issues in public spaces in NYC and in developing a collaboration between local project leaders and community-based advocates.
Youth Curricula and Programming
Youth Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training (Ongoing – Spring)
Each year we conduct a special Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training program for students at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS). At the end of this program, WHEELS and WE ACT host a joint science and social justice expo fair, based off topics presented through the youth curriculum. Pictured above is the 2019 graduating class of that program, and below is a video they put together to say thank you. Stay tuned for additional images!
Online Learning Mini-Modules
In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, which created a sudden need for online educational content, WE ACT introduced a series of free online learning modules for children in grades 4 -12 in the coming weeks. Based on our successful Environmental Health and Justice Leading Training program, these mini-modules provide students – and their parents – with an introduction to the basic concepts of environmental justice.
Climate Change and Health Youth Program (CCHP) (2015 – 2017)
The objectives of the Climate Change and Health Youth Program were to engage high school students, pediatric, pre-natal and public health professionals in learning about climate change, public health impacts and solutions, create networking opportunities among all participants and increase students’ knowledge of public health careers. Throughout this program, students walked away with being able to communicate climate change issues at hearings, debate from multiple perspectives, engage in citizen science and implement resilience strategies.
Visiting Classrooms & Workshops
If you are interested in incorporating some of our curriculum into your school, workshop, or program, please contact Taylor Morton, WE ACT’s Environmental Health and Education Manager at 212-961-1000 ext. 313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.