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Reviving and conserving Hawaiian wetlands that sustain communities, training farmworkers on climate justice issues, and building zero-waste coalitions of community stakeholders are the focus of three new mini grant awards aimed at supporting local environmental justice efforts
This month, the National Environmental Health Partnership Council announced the three recipients of its Advancing Environmental Justice through Technical Assistance Mini-Grants program, which supports community-based organizations working to advance environmental justice. Grantees will receive technical assistance and $10,000 grants.
“Resolving historical and emerging environmental justice issues in low-income and communities of color improves public health and enhances the quality of life for all,” said Sharunda Buchanan, PhD, director of the Office of Priority Projects, Innovation, and Environmental Justice at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. “CDC is committed to assisting and supporting these communities in building capacity and taking action to find creative solutions to understand and address environmental justice issues that deeply impact them.”
NEHPC’s member organizations will work together to provide technical assistance to support the grantees. NEHPC is convened by the American Public Health Association, with support from the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and includes representatives from over 20 organizations working to promote and support priority environmental health issues.
“To advance health equity, it is critical that we support those most impacted by environmental injustices by centering community priorities in this work,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “We heartily support this collaborative approach and look forward to learning from and working alongside those on the front lines of the environmental justice movement.”
The three grantees are:
Hui o Hoʻohonua (HOH808) / Mālama Puʻuloa (ʻEwa, Hawai'i): aims to end the perpetuation of historical trauma to ʻEwa’s land, water and people through reciprocal learning, working side by side with the ʻEwa community, and serving its kupuna (elders) and current residents. Mālama Puʻuloa is HOH808’s defining project, which focuses on the environmental restoration of Puʻuloa (Pearl Harbor), using community stewardship to revive and conserve its streams, wetlands, shores and loko iʻa (traditional Hawaiian fishponds), which once sustainably fed thousands of people. Environmental justice grant activities will be conducted in partnership with Waiwai Ola Waterkeepers Hawaiian Islands.
Organización en California de Líderes Campesinas, Inc. (Oxnard, California): a community-based organization and statewide network whose mission is to strengthen the leadership of farmworker women and girls so that together, they become the bridge to social, economic and political changes that ensure their human rights. The organization is dedicated to leadership development, outreach and education, and technical assistance in issues directly affecting farmworker communities. Lideres Campesinas will be working on grant activities with the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project. Both Lideres Campesinas and MICOP are part of the Alliance for Resilient Communities, a pilot program with Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy and Public Health Institute.
South Baltimore Community Land Trust (Baltimore, Maryland): a community-led land trust whose vision is quality affordable housing for all in communities free of environmental injustice. SBCLT works to build this vision by transforming vacant buildings from speculative commodities into community-owned assets and through transitioning from burning precious natural resources to a regenerative zero-waste system that benefits community and labor. The organization is creating a new sector of community-driven development that leverages resources to create zero-waste infrastructure and healthy affordable housing while maintaining permanent affordability through the use of the community land trust’s shared equity model.
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.