Uptown Chats Podcast

Welcome to Uptown Chats, New York City’s first community-based environmental justice podcast! Join Jaron Burke and Lonnie Portis every month as they explore issues in their community through the eyes of everyday people, and discuss how environmental justice is showing up in the news. It’s not just for experts, it’s for everyone!

You can find Uptown Chats on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, or stream directly from Castos. New episodes will be posted on the second and last Mondays of every month. Check out our most recent episode below!

 

Episode 16: New York City’s Environmental Justice Report
In this episode, Jaron and Lonnie talk with WE ACT’s Co-Founder & Executive Director Peggy Shepard about the EJNYC Report, New York City’s first-ever Environmental Justice Report, which will soon be released by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice.

Episode 15: City & State Budgeting in New York
In this episode, Jaron and Lonnie explore how the budget gets decided at the city and state level in New York with the help from WE ACT’s State Legislative Manager Briana Carbajal and Uptown Chats very own Lonnie Portis, who is WE ACT’s New York City Policy and Advocacy Manager.

Episode 14: The War on Rats!
In the follow-up to our previous episode, Rats!, Jaron and Lonnie talk about rat contraceptives and other rat prevention strategies with the help of New York City Councilmember Shaun Abreu.

Episode 13: Rats!
Switching to a bimonthly format, Jaron and Lonnie kick off the new year with their first listener-requested topic – Rats! We all know those furry creatures are a nuisance, but are they also an environmental justice issue? Listen to find out!

Episode 12: The WE ACT Story Holiday Special
In this special holiday episode, Jaron and Lonnie sit down with two people who were instrumental in helping create and shape WE ACT for Environmental Justice: Eric Goldstein, NRDC’s Senior Attorney and Director, New York City Environment, People & Communities Program and Vernice Miller-Travis, Executive Vice President at the Metropolitan Group and Co-Founder of WE ACT. Listen to these two long-serving WE ACT Board Members tell their stories of our formation and early years.

Episode 11: The Legacy of Lead (Pb)
In this episode, Jaron and Lonnie speak with WE ACT’s Director of Policy Sonal Jessel, MPH and Matthew Chachere, Former Staff Attorney at Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC), about the long, ongoing struggle against childhood lead poisoning in New York and why it’s such a critical environmental justice issue.

Episode 9: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
In this episode, which celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Jaron and Lonnie speak with New York City Councilmember Carmen De La Rosa as well as WE ACT’s Environmental Justice Research Analyst Manny Salgado and Bilingual Community Organizer Marileidy Pimentel about their experience working in the environmental justice movement.

Episode 8: Air Pollution & Asthma
In this episode, Jaron and Lonnie speak with WE ACT’s Community Organizer Coordinator Tyisha Smalls and South Bronx Unite’s Clean Air Project Organizer Leslie Vasquez about how air quality impacts communities in New York City.

Episode 7: Trains, Buses, and Environmental Justice
In this episode, Jaron and Lonnie speak with WE ACT member Flora Huang and WE ACT’s Manager of Membership and Organizing Louis Bailey about how transportation and public transit impact environmental justice communities in New York City.

Episode 6: Extreme Heat – Too Hot to Handle
In this episode, Jaron and Lonnie speak with WE ACT members Nan Faessler, Louis Kleinman, Liz McMillan, and Stuart Aaronson as well as WE ACT’s Resiliency Coordinator Caleb Smith about extreme heat, the deadliest impact of climate change.

Episode 5: Workforce Development – May the Workforce Be With You
In this episode, Jaron and Lonnie speak with Charles Callaway, WE ACT’s Director of Workforce Development & Green Institute on the importance of jobs and job training in the environmental justice movement.

Episode 4: Energy Democracy – Power to the People
In this episode, Jaron and Lonnie speak with Stephan Roundtree Jr., Deputy Program Director, Northeast at Vote Solar, and Briana Carbajal, WE ACT’s State Legislative Manager about energy justice and energy democracy.

Episode 3: Women of Color in Environmental Justice
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Jaron and Lonnie speak with three generations of women working for environmental justice: WE ACT Co-Founder and Metropolitan Group Executive Vice President Vernice Miller-Travis, WE ACT’s Senior Director of Strategy and Federal Policy Dana Johnson, and Browngirl Green Founder Kristy Drutman.

Episode 2: Don’t Be Toxic, Be Beautiful
In this episode, hosts Jaron and Lonnie speak with TK Saccoh, Founder & Content Creator at the Darkest Hue, and Yuwa Vosper, WE ACT’s Policy & Regulatory Manager, about colorism, toxics in beauty products, and our Beauty Inside Out campaign (weact.org/beauty).

Episode 1: Get the Most Out of Compost
In our first full episode of WE ACT’s Uptown Chats podcast, hosts Jaron Burke and Lonnie Portis speak with Nando Rodriguez, Environmental Program Coordinator at the Brotherhood Sister Sol, and Annie Carforo, WE ACT’s Climate Justice Campaigns Coordinator, about urban composting.

Trailer 2: What is Environmental Justice
WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s Uptown Chats podcast hosts Jaron Burke and Lonnie Portis define environmental justice and explain how we are working to achieve it. You can find Uptown Chats on here on our YouTube channel, on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, or stream directly from Castos. New episodes will be posted on the last Monday of every month.

Trailer 1: Welcome to the Uptown Chats Podcast
Listen to WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s new Uptown Chats podcast! Join hosts Jaron Burke and Lonnie Portis every month as they explore issues in their community through the eyes of everyday people, and discuss how environmental justice is showing up in the news. It’s not just for experts, it’s for everyone! You can find Uptown Chats on here on our YouTube channel, on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, or stream directly from Castos. New episodes will be posted on the last Monday of every month.

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