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Clearing the Air on Gas Stoves
In honor of National Public Health Week, we want to call attention to the dangers of indoor air pollution. Homes that use gas stoves expose themselves to unsafe amounts of indoor air pollution. That matters, because Americans spend, on
After a two-year hiatus, the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum convenes!
After a two-year hiatus, the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum convened in-person last month in the heart of our nation’s capital to reconnect, recharge, and rejoice! The EJ Forum held its 2022 convening in Washington, D.C. this past September. The
A Park Built Upon Environmental Justice
Since moving Uptown from the Dominican Republic at the age of three, I’ve lived within a three block radius of a major highway every time we’ve moved. My parents encouraged me to spend as much time as possible outside, completely
Ashes for Fertilizer: Stepping Into a Legacy of Transformation
There are few times that have catalyzed change in my life as much as the Summer of 2020. Prior to that point I always knew I wanted to work toward social justice, but I hadn’t quite found my direction. I
Why Are Gas Prices So High and What Should the Government Be Doing About It?
Preface: This piece was first written before the release of the Inflation Reduction Act and therefore does not comment on the merits of this proposed legislation relative to gas prices. Gasoline prices across the country have risen at unprecedented
Funding Available for Electric School Buses: What You Need to Know Now
For many schoolchildren, their day begins with riding a school bus filled with their classmates’ chatter and laughter. Most parents, educators, and school districts have no idea that this seemingly safe method of transportation may be the most dangerous part
Juneteenth & Father’s Day: An Intergenerational Look at Our Relationship with the Natural Environment
As a transplant from the South, I have spent a lot of time thinking about not only the connections between environmental justice and Juneteenth, but also the connections that Black people have to nature and the outdoors in general. For
Reshaping NYCHA’s Political Future through Voter Engagement
In recent years voter engagement has become a high-priority program for many advocacy groups, including WE ACT for Environmental Justice, signaling a desire to defend democracy, and to send a message to elected officials that constituencies are motivated and that
Juneteenth 2021: Celebrate with a Vote
As we celebrate Juneteenth, we could take some comfort in the fact that it has just been made a national holiday. But we don’t need a holiday – we need justice. And given the efforts to suppress the study
The Truth About Flame Retardants: They’re Poisoning Us
The Family and Fire Fighter Protection Act (S. 4630-A/A. 5418) will remove highly toxic chemicals from homes in New York State. These chemicals are found in many flame retardants, which are often applied to your mattresses, upholstered furniture, children’s car
SUNS Rises: The Creation of Our Solar Workers Cooperative
Out of WE ACT’s Solar Uptown Now program, 10 solar workers established a cooperative, fulfilling their ambition to own a stake in the emerging green economy, to create job opportunities for other people of color, and ultimately, to give back
Why WE ACT for Environmental Justice Supports the Nomination of Deb Haaland to Lead the Department of the Interior
Rep. Deb Haaland is up for a historic confirmation hearing as the first Native American to serve as Secretary of the Interior. She would also be the first ever Native American cabinet secretary. So, what does this historic nomination mean
Public Green Spaces: Racism, Heat, and Barriers to Access
By Emma Urofsky & Robbie M Parks Public green spaces are cornerstones of our communities. Some, like Central Park, have become cultural icons, distinguishing landmarks. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, public green spaces also confer health benefits to those who make
Embracing Beauty Inside Out: My Journey to Clean Beauty
As I sat in the beauty salon chair, flinching from the sensation of the heat over my edges, I repeated to myself, “beauty is pain and pain is beauty.” That was the affirmation of an 11-year old girl who believed
Earth Day at 50: Reflections from Three Environmental Leaders
1) What does Earth Day mean to you? “I have never been sure what eco-feminism means but when I think of Earth Day, I think of women sheroes like Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai who said, ‘Although this prize comes
Online Learning Opportunities: A Guide to Digital Environmental Justice Education in the Age of COVID-19
In February 2020, Sloan Award for Excellence winning high school teacher Dr. Jared Fox reached out to WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT) to plan our annual Youth Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training (EHJLT) with his students
General Grant Houses Dispatch, Early April 2020
I’m crouching down and leaning sideways to have a clear view outside my living room window. If I kneel down, and scrunch down, I can catch a refreshing breeze. Next, I try to catch a glimpse of the wide view
Enforcing the Law for Healthier Homes
Why We Need New York City to Enforce Local Law 55 of 2018 Sokhna Seye and Temera Degroot, high school students attending The Beacon School, are concerned about the enforcement of Local Law No. 55 of 2018. This New
WE ACT in Albany: Healthy Homes for NYCHA
As part of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Land and Healthy Homes Coalition, WE ACT for Environmental Justice staff and six members of our Healthy Homes Working Group traveled to Albany on March 11, 2019 to advocate for
WE ACT on Capitol Hill
On February 26-27, 2019, WE ACT and fellow environmental justice champions from around the country visited Washington, D.C. to elevate our concerns about the myriad of environmental and health issues disproportionately affecting low-income communities and communities of color. In particular,
Reflecting on MLK’s Dream of Conquering Materialism by Creating Healthier Communities and Good Jobs
A year before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warned us that “when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of
What would happen to health and housing in NYC if tenants had as much power as landlords?
New York City is in the throes of one of the worst housing crises in generations. Affordability is plummeting, displacement and homelessness have reached record levels, and the severe public health consequences of the living conditions that feed gentrification will
The How’s, Where’s and Why’s of Lead
On September 26th, 2018 the Federal Government of the United States’ lawsuit against the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), US v. NYCHA 18 Civ 5213 (WHP), had a public hearing. Among other housing safety and sanitary violations, lead paint
Safe, Affordable, Clean and Dignified Housing is Always the Key to Health
I grew up in California’s wine country with mild and wet weather throughout the winter. My family’s three-bedroom apartment would be mostly warm and cozy during those months but the bedroom I shared with my younger sister would be damp
I was raised in Harlem from birth, born at the old Women’s Hospital on February 17th, 1950. My most vivid memories from my childhood are from my home on 116th Street between 8th and Manhattan Avenue. Living there with my
Transforming Community Spaces: Lessons from West Harlem Group Association
“When Architects and Designers specify better, healthier building products for housing renovations it can make a big impact on the lives of residents and provide concrete evidence for change.” —Alison Mears, Director, Healthy Materials Lab Research demonstrates that substantial human health
People’s Climate Movement Mobilization Meeting Speech
Good evening everyone. My name is Langa Sibanda, I am seventeen years old, and I am here with WE ACT for Environmental Justice. I attend the Beacon School in Hell’s Kitchen, but I reside in West Harlem. Tonight, I am
Let’s Rap About Flint
As famous rapper J.Cole once said, “Lemme take y’all back man as I do so well…” It’s January 2016. You’re on the way to the gym to keep that New Year’s resolution you had made about being healthier. Driving in
Home is Where the Heart – and Lungs Are
The Health Threats of Substandard Housing and Respiratory Illness in Low-Income Communities Whenever someone asks me where I grew up, I always pay homage to Bushwick, a working-class neighborhood in northern Brooklyn. But some of my earliest memories are from
Threats to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and What this Means for EJ Communities
On June 8-9th, 2018, environmental justice leaders from across the United States traveled to Richmond, Virginia for the annual Environmental Justice Leadership Forum meeting. This year’s theme was ‘Strategically Aligned.’ At the meeting, members of the Forum and other representatives
My Experience With Corbin Hill
My name is Castedy Castro, I’m sixteen, and I live in Washington Heights. As a WE ACT intern for a few months, I have learned so much from staff by participating in their activities. For example, WE ACT was given
The Hidden Danger in Children’s Toys
Each year, I buy my little cousins birthday gifts. When searching for the perfect toy, I consider factors such as how age appropriate the toy is and if it improves their mental development. However, I never thought I would have
Why WE ACT and its Allies Sued EPA for Cleaner Air
Everyone in the United States is entitled to clean, healthy air. However, that is not the reality. WE ACT for Environmental Justice firmly believes in the rights of low income residents and people of color to participate meaningfully in the
Why Local Climate Activism (Still) Matters
On a cool October 28th morning, WE ACT members trekked across the Brooklyn Bridge with 5,000 other New Yorkers to commemorate Hurricane Sandy. “SYSTEM CHANGE NOT CLIMATE CHANGE,” was displayed on one of the signs held by WE ACT members.
This Groundbreaking Children’s Health Research is on Trump’s Chopping Block
Over the past twenty years, a joint research program has led to new discoveries on the environmental factors making kids sick. A new report released last week from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institute of Environmental Health
Communities Affected by Hurricanes Need Climate Change Solutions
For environmental justice advocates like myself, hurricane season is always a nerve wracking time of year. Unless you have been on a media diet, you know that hurricanes devastated the United States, Puerto Rico and several other Caribbean islands this
Meet the Candidates: 2017 NYC Primaries
September 12th, 2017 is the New York City primaries. It is time to arm yourself with facts on the City Council candidates in Northern Manhattan. We asked candidates* questions on where they stand on key issues related to environmental and
7 Reasons Why Asthma is an Environmental Justice Crisis
As a child, I spent most of my time outdoors. My family and I enjoyed picnics, hiked mountain trails, and flew kites in the park less than a mile from our home. However, the time I spent outdoors was not
I Lobbied for Climate Justice, and So Can You
We were there to raise awareness and fight for good jobs, climate justice, and 100% renewable energy.
Your Chemical Body Burden Load and the Need for Increased Access to Testing
From the air we breathe, to the clothes we wear, to the food we eat — we are inundated with toxic chemicals.
2016 Climate Resilience Conference
The Urban Communities Organizing for Climate Resilience Conference was held in partnership with the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan and Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health.
From Alabama to North Dakota, Pipelines Threaten Life
As much as pipelines are about our dependency on fossil fuels and climate change, they are often about systemic racism and the continuing colonization of indigenous peoples
8 Ways Environmental Organizations Can Support the Movement for Environmental Justice
Research continues to demonstrate that the very same processes that are degrading the Earth and its systems are also exploiting low-income, indigenous, and/or communities of color. Whether it is flooding in Louisiana, lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, or the construction
How We Can Use Climate Action Planning to Beat the Heat
Cities experience higher daytime temperatures and less nighttime cooling than surrounding neighbors.
Add Lead Tests to Your Back to School Checklist
NY signs the first lead in school drinking water testing bill in the nation into law
This September Will be the Clean Power Plan’s Biggest Moment Yet
The CPP directly impacts environmental justice and all other communities.
WE ACT Spotlight: Neje Bailey’s Plant Power
WE ACT member Neje Bailey has envisioned a project called Plant Power.
A Climate Game Changer for Environmental Justice?
California has been at the forefront when taking steps to address environmental justice concerns.
A Flint Water Crisis in the Halls of Congress
Congressional staffers in Washington, DC have more in common than they’d like with the people of Flint, Michigan.
Growing the Roots of Ecofeminism
What does it mean to be a feminist today given climate change?
Building a Community Response to Climate Change
The big question posed at this workshop was: what are we going to do about the climate crisis?
A Power Plan That is Cleaner for All
The green energy transition affords a unique opportunity for EJ communities to shape, quite literally, the infrastructure of power in the United States
Earth Activist Training
EHJLT participants are equipped with the tools to build a sustainable army of world changers.
Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Natural Hair
How can we, as black women who are disproportionately affected by climate change, protect ourselves and our world while still protecting our kinky ends?
Faith and the Environmental Movement: A Franciscan Perspective
Catholics in the Franciscan tradition embrace an ecology that keeps humans and all of creation out of harm’s way.
WE ACT at Paris Climate Summit
WE ACT heads to Paris to Support Climate Action
What is the 135th Marine Transfer Station Project?
A redeveloped MTS that crystallizes the community’s vision will bring a better quality of life and improved economic development to the West Harlem waterfront.
Is Climate Change Racist?
There is no reason that EJ communities should not have their voices and concerns heard.
The Voices Drowned out by Politics
It’s time to listen to those scientists, the Pope, and everyday Americans.