Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training

Our award-winning Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training (EHJLT) program 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 on their own.


Summer Search students who graduated from this summer’s Youth Environmental Health & Justice Leadership Training program applied what they learned to make presentations on environmental justice issues impacting their community. One team developed a website on food waste, called Save the Scraps, which gives a good overview of the problem as well as offers some potential solutions. It also features a map for dumpsters diving (including ratings for specific dumpsters, for the gourmets out there) and another map of community fridges. Check it out here!



In addition, each year we conduct a special Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training program for students at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS). Pictured above is the 2019 graduating class of that program, and below is a video they put together to say thank you.

To give you a sense of the passion and enthusiasm these students have for our EHLJT program, below is short clip from the awards ceremony. At the end of the program, we hold an expo where teams of students present their projects, showcasing what they learned. We give out awards for the best presentations, and this the team that came in 4th place!

Also in 2019, we had a dozen WE ACT members participate in a summer Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training program. They developed the skills and knowledge needed to become community advocates, whether supporting WE ACT initiatives or leading their own. This included learning 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.

Below are some testimonials from members who took our EHJLT program the summer of 2019.





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