J40 logo REVISED




In 2021, President Biden established the Justice40 Initiative to advance environmental justice and spur economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities. Justice40 is a whole-of-government effort to ensure that Federal agencies work with states and local communities to make good on President Biden’s promise to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. 
Although Justice40 holds the potential to strategically invest in communities that have historically been environmentally and economically left behind by infrastructure redlining in the past, it’s going to take more than money. The Administration must create the conditions for the infrastructure dollars to be spent equitably and actually reach historically marginalized communities, including the need for greater accountability and transparency of federal agencies charged with distributing and investing funds.

History has shown that too often projects intended to benefit our communities never reach us. Thus, the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, along with our partner the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University, will launch a Justice 40 Community Engagement Project that will build the capacity of communities through education and training to participate in the “just” implementation of Justice40.

We have designed this project using the collaborative insight of hard-learned lessons from our decades-long history of research, education and community engagement work to document, address and bring change through our struggle for Environmental Justice.

Strategic Leadership Team: 

These environmental justice pioneers currently serve on the The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC)


► Justice40 Resource Guide  - Equitable and Just National Climate Platform (EJNCP)

DSCEJ Justice40 Events Timeline:

⇒ August 2023
August 16-19, 2023
JW Marriottt
614 Canal Street
​​​​​​​New Orleans, LA 70130

For our Justice40 August Convening, we assembled a gathering of activists, community leaders, and policymakers committed to advancing environmental justice and equity.

This in-person event took place on August 16 - 19, 2023 at the JW Marriottt (614 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.)

Our speakers and panelists discussed strategies for achieving the goals of the Justice40 Initiative, which seeks to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. We'll also explore ways to address environmental racism, promote renewable energy, and build resilient communities.
We welcomed 240 Hub Leaders, Hub Members, Staff, Speakers, and Presenters, 80 Community-Based Organizations, and 7 Federal Agencies representing 18 U.S. states.

⇒ March 2023

March 20 - 22, 2023
Location: Texas Southern University - Houston, TX
Convening of Justice40 Hub Leaders and Community Based Organization Representatives

During this session, J40 Hub Leaders learned how to use multiple screening tools including the highly anticipated HBCU Climate and Environmental Justice Screening Tool (HCEJST). 

The HCEJST was developed to supplement the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) that excluded  race as an indicator—despite race being the most potent predictor of environmental and climate vulnerability and despite feedback from Drs. Bullard, Wright and other members of the WHEJAC. Community leaders will be taught to use several tools to properly understand environmental and climate justice data in their communities and assess the efficacy of screening tools to accurately identify “disadvantaged” community designation for Justice40 funding.

⇒ February 2023

February 22 - 25, 2023
NOPSI HOTEL, New Orleans, Louisiana

Convening of Justice40 Hub Leaders and Community Based Organization Representatives
The first 2-day Communiversity training for Regional Hub Leaders took place on February 22 - 24, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the NOPSI Hotel. The convening helped to bolster the capacity of community-based organizations to secure funding for environmental justice projects in their communities. The Communiversity model helps to create a collaborative learning environment that brings together academic researchers, community-based organizations, and residents to address environmental issues in a holistic and equitable way.


⇒ January 2023
Hub Leaders Chosen
The growing list of Justice40 Hub Leaders are: 

  • Susanna Almanza of People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources (PODER) in Austin, TX;
  • Rev. Calvin Avant of Unity in the Family Ministry (UFM) in Pensacola, FL;
  • William Barber, III of Rural Beacon Initiative, LLC of Durham, North Carolina;
  • Rev. James Caldwell of Coalition of Community Organizations (COCO) in Houston, TX;
  • Katherine Egland of Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO) in Gulfport, MS;
  • Rashida Ferdinand of Sankofa in New Orleans, LA;
  • Dawn Hebert of the East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission in New Orleans, LA; 
  • Dr. Nataki Jelks of West Atlanta Watershed Association (WAWA) in Atlanta, GA;
  • Darren Leach of Genesis Church in Columbus, MS;
  • Paulina Lopez of Duwamish River Community Coalition (DRCC) in Seattle, WA;
  • Carolyn Moseley of Eastwick United CDC in Philadelphia, PA;
  • Bridgette Murray of Achieving Community Tasks Successfully (ACTS) in Houston, TX;
  • ​​Għanja O'Flaherty of North Carolina Environmental Justice Network in Rocky Mount, NC;
  • Juan Parras of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) in Houston, TX;
  • Robert Taylor of Concerned Citizens of St. John (CCSJ) in St. John the Baptist Parish, LA;
  • Angel Torres of Organization for Human Rights and Democracy (OHRD) in Atlanta, GA; 
  • Darilyn Turner of Zion Travelers’ Cooperative Center in New Orleans, LA;
  • Debra Walker of Sunnyside Community Redevelopment Organization (SCRO) in Houston, TX;
  • Donele Wilkins of Detroit Green Door Initiative in Detroit, MI;
  • Huey Wilson of Northeast Houston Redevelopment Council (NEHRC) in Houston, Texas; and
  • Joe Womack of Clean, Healthy, Educated, Safe & Sustainable Community (CHESS) in Mobile, AL.

⇒ August 2022

August 22 - 23, 2022
NOPSI HOTEL, New Orleans, Louisiana

FIRST Convening to discuss Justice40 Project in ACTION - New Orleans, LA
The project is designed to build a grassroots infrastructure that will support community-based organizations (CBOs) and Environmental Justice groups to advocate for:

  • thoughtful, transparent and sustained stakeholder engagement, 
  • the identification and dismantling of bias and systemic racism embedded in programs; and 
  • the use of federal investment to reduce pollution in environmental justice communities.

Together with our partner organizations WE ACT for Environmental Justice and The Bullard Center for Environmental Justice at Texas Southern University, we welcomed over 100 participants from 21 states, throughout the U.S., representing over 30 community-based organizations and supporting organizations.




⇒ April 2022

Justice40 Implementation Announcement and Eighth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference



Contact Us:

If you have additonal questions, please contact us at justice40 at dscej dot org.


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