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Mar 23, 2021

HBCU-CBO Gulf Coast Equity Consortium Partner, Bridgette Murray, Recognized for Environmental Racism Advocacy in Texas Communities

The Pleasantville neighborhood on Houston’s east side provided Black servicemen an opportunity to own their own homes—something that was hard for them to come by in 1948 due to pervasive housing discrimination. What was designated as a residential area attracted numerous Black families—but it wasn’t long before the neighborhood of opportunity became home to several chemical and manufacturing plants, metal recyclers, and salvage yards, with freight trains and a steady stream of trucks trekking in and out of the residential area, polluting the air and compromising the health of its residents.  Yes, things were bad—but just how bad remained a mystery. Until Bridgette Murray was introduced to the concepts of citizen science and community-university partnerships.  Believing that more data was needed to empower and protect her community, the retired nurse and resident of Pleasantville founded Achieving Community Tasks Successfully (ACTS) in 2012. The Houston-based nonprofit is a grantee of the Women’s Environmental Leadership Fund, (WE LEAD), a Tides Foundation funding initiative that launched in 2020 with an explicit focus on addressing historic inequities by directing resources to Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color (BIWOC) leaders and BIWOC-led climate justice organizations.   Since its creation, ACTS has been focused on three core areas: community-led air monitoring, food insecurity, and emergency response.   Read more ...

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Mar 17, 2021

Calls for Audit of Entergy by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and advocacy organizations agreed to by City Council President Helena Moreno

After a cascade of Entergy failures that have harmed New Orleans residents, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) and advocacy groups urge the City Council to require a management audit of the company. At the Council’s Utility Committee meeting, Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno agreed to move forward with an audit of Entergy’s management based on the groups’ recommendations. In a letter to the City Council, DSCEJ and advocacy groups recommend areas of focus for the Entergy audit that include: a.     Leadership and staffing roles, responsibilities, and requirements b.     Organizational structure, decision-making processes, internal controls, and external relations of all kinds c.      Billing operations and verification method d.     Emergency planning and response e.     Salary and compensation levels f.       Corporate culture and capacity to address the critical issues of climate change, a transition to a renewable energy system, advanced energy efficiency, and ensuring energy justice DSCEJ is a member of Energy Future New Orleans, a coalition of advocacy groups and individuals working for energy solutions that are renewable, equitable, efficient, affordable, and livable. Letter to the City Council - Click Here NOLA.com news report - Click Here Video of City Council Utility Committee Meeting, 3/16/2021 - View Here     ...

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Mar 8, 2021

Disaster Preparedness and Response Training Event

6:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST / 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. CST Event Trainers: Deep South Center for Environmental Justice Dr. Beverly Wright, Executive Director Ms. Kim Dunn, Technical Training Director Mr. Bruce McClue, Technical Training Manager Target Audience: Community members, grassroots organizations, local and state governments, and volunteers The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) will host a virtual disaster response training as part of the Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice (EJ) EJ and Natural Disasters Subcommittee. Training Registration: https://nih.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIsfuGsrDIoEui_vFwzanLHtFMwQO6K5As   The training will be conducted by WTP grantees and aims to provide a general awareness about how to safely respond to disasters. Participants will learn more about preparedness, mental health resilience, and response as it relates to hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters or public health emergencies.   Space is limited for this event and is on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a free event; however, registration will close when capacity is reached. The Zoom link will be sent to you once we receive your registration, assuming space is available.   This event will be primarily in English; however, simultaneous interpretation will be available during the general session. Capacitación de preparación y respuesta ante desastres Lunes, 8 de marzo de 2021 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST / 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. CST Audiencia: Miembros de la comunidad, organizaciones de base, gobiernos locales y estatales y voluntaries   The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) será el patrocinador de una capacitación de respuesta ante desastres como parte las asambleas del grupo Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice (EJ) EJ and Natural Disasters Subcommittee. (Sitio web para la asamblea)   La capacitación será impartida por beneficiarios del WTP y tiene como objetivo sensibilizar a la gente en general respecto a cómo responder en casos de desastre, pero sin exponerse. Los participantes pueden aprender más sobre cómo prepararse, cómo tener resiliencia mental y cómo responder en relación a huracanes, inundaciones y otros desastres naturales o emergencias de salud pública.   Los cupos para este evento son limitados y se concederán por orden de llegada. Este es un evento gratuito que se cerrará una vez que se agote la capacidad. Una vez que recibamos su inscripción, siempre y cuando haya cupo disponible, se le enviará un vínculo a Zoom.   El evento tendrá lugar en inglés, pero habrá interpretación simultánea durante la sesión general.   +++++++   Sự kiện huấn luyện về ứng phó và chuẩn bị cho thảm họa Thứ Hai ngày 8 tháng 3 năm 2021 6:00 – 9:00 tối EST (Múi giờ miền Đông) / 5:00 – 8:00 tối CST (Múi giờ miền Trung) Đối tượng phục vụ: Các thành viên cộng đồng, các tổ chức cơ sở, chính quyền địa phương và tiểu bang cùng các tình nguyện viên   Chương trình Đào tạo Nhân viên (WTP) của Viện Khoa học Sức khỏe Môi trường (NIEHS) sẽ tổ chức khóa tập huấn ảo về ứng phó thảm họa như một phần của Nhóm Phối hợp Hoạt động giữa các Tổ chức (IWG) về Công lý Môi trường (EJ) EJ và Các cuộc họp trong khán phòng của Tiểu ban Thảm họa Thiên nhiên. (Trang web Cuộc họp Tòa thị chính)   Khóa tập huấn sẽ do những nhà tài trợ WTP tiến hành nhằm mục đích xây dựng nhận thức chung về cách ứng phó an toàn với thảm họa. Những người tham gia sẽ tìm hiểu thêm về khả năng sẵn sàng, khả năng phục hồi sức khỏe tinh thần và ứng phó vì nó liên quan đến bão lũ và các thảm họa thiên nhiên khác hoặc các tình trạng khẩn cấp về y tế công cộng.   Sự kiện này có không gian giới hạn và trên cơ sở ai đến trước được phục vụ trước. Đây là sự kiện miễn phí; tuy nhiên, chúng tôi sẽ khép lại việc đăng ký khi đạt đến giới hạn số lượng. Chúng tôi sẽ gửi liên kết Zoom đến cho bạn sau khi nhận được hồ sơ đăng ký nếu còn chỗ.   Sự kiện này sẽ chủ yếu diễn ra bằng tiếng Anh; tuy nhiên, chúng tôi sẽ có bố trí phiên dịch đồng thời trong phiên họp chung.   For up-to-date information about Environmental Justice funding opportunities, events, and webinars, subscribe to EPA's Environmental Justice listserv by sending a blank email to: join-epa-ej@lists.epa.gov.   ...

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Mar 3, 2021

What Biden could learn from Bill Clinton's unfinished work on environmental justice

  Environmental justice isn’t just a buzzword or hashtag for Dr. Beverly Wright — it’s what helps her get out of bed every morning. For the last 35 years, fighting for her Louisiana community’s access to a healthy and safe environment has been her mission, and it’s put her in rooms with the last three Democratic presidents. Wright’s federal advocacy began in the early 1990s, when she worked on the country’s first executive order focused on environmental justice, which then-President Bill Clinton signed in 1994. Executive Order 12898, or EO 12898, instructed federal agencies to pursue environmental justice policies that would limit the “disproportionately high and adverse” effects of environmental harms on low-income communities and people of color, who are more likely to be burdened by issues like high pollution rates and contaminated water sources. The order also empowered the federal Environmental Justice Advisory Council, which was two years old at the time, to influence the priorities of the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.           Read more ...

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Feb 24, 2021

Environmental Justice and Natural Disasters/COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meeting: Gulf Coast Region

  Wednesday, February 24, 2021 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. EST / 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. CST Virtual Event Versión en Español de esta página Phiên bản Tiếng Việt của trang này The Federal Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Environmental Justice (EJ) EJ and Natural Disaster Subcommittee is hosting three virtual Regional Town Hall Meetings in early 2021. The second two-hour virtual Town Hall Meeting will focus on the Gulf Coast Region on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A three-hour disaster response training will also be offered to community members, volunteers, and other stakeholders who are interested at a later date.      Read more ...

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Feb 22, 2021

DSCEJ Celebrates Black History Month

Celebrating Black Communities and Their Fight for Environmental Justice The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice celebrates Black History Month in recognition of the struggles, sacrifices, and achievements that have brought us to this moment in time when racial equity is a goal shared by people of different races and backgrounds, from grassroots community organizations to the President of the United States. We pay special tribute to the following historic Black communities in the Gulf Coast Region whose vision for future generations drives their fight for environmental justice and equitable climate solutions: Africatown – Mobile, AL Handsboro/Mississippi City, Magnolia Grove, North Gulfport, The Quarters and Soria City – Gulfport, MS Lower Ninth Ward – New Orleans, LA Pleasantville – Houston, TX Wedgwood, Rolling Hills, Olive Heights – Pensacola, FL Read more...

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Feb 11, 2021

Dr John Warford

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice Welcomes John Warford, Ph.D. as Program Manager for our Environmental Career Worker Training Program We are pleased to announce the addition of Dr. John Warford to the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice family. Dr. Warford will serve as the Assistant Director of Operations & Training. He has over 20 years of professional experience as an education leader. A viable thought partner, program developer, workshop creator, and teacher, John is driven to devise, enhance, and maintain projects and initiatives grounded in his focus on producing problem-solvers, and community-based solutions. This commitment is demonstrated in his past and present roles of university professor, student affairs administrator, community builder, writer, and public speaker. One of Dr. Warford’s most important duties includes serving as Program Manager for the Environmental Career Worker Training Program funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Science. He will manage the administrative functions of the program ensuring its excellent function and success. This encompasses the collaboration with training staff, site managers, and consultants to develop, track and document performance goals. In order to keep training staff, site managers and consultants at top effectiveness; Dr. Warford has been charged with seeking out professional development opportunities for each. An essential ingredient in the recipe for the program’s success is tracking the performance of program activities and budgetary requirements set out by the NIEHS in awarding the grant. Dr. Warford will produce budgetary reports and records of activities, ensuring adherence to federal, state, and NIEHS regulations, policies, and procedures. He will develop and maintain productive relationships with all ECWTP training sites as well as NIEHS representatives for programmatic and financial functions. Dr. Warford will coordinate with the DSCEJ’s headquartered training staff to establish a schedule of training sessions and courses; stay current on industry job market gaps and trends; and promote participation in the training program by employing a strategy to reach and recruit prospective trainees in underserved communities that results in application for enrollment. Dr. Warford will play a major role in nurturing the program’s success by supporting trainees while encouraging their full engagement in skills trainings and the necessity of taking advantage of internal and external services provided. He will develop new opportunities to enhance the types of training services offered. In tandem with program enhancement, Dr. Warford will also maintain and endeavor to increase the program’s job placement rate through coordination with placement consultants to achieve optimal hiring results for program graduates. Join us in welcoming Dr. Warford as he fully transitions into his roles here at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice....

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Feb 10, 2021

Houston Endowment awarded $1.25 million to support Robert D. Bullard Environmental and Climate Justice Center

Houston Endowment awarded $1.25 million to support establishment of the Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice (CECJ) at Texas Southern University. The center, named for Dr. Robert Bullard, TSU’s distinguished professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, will assist and support underrepresented and marginalized populations to build healthy, sustainable and resilient communities in the era of climate change. Faith-based, social justice and other related institutions will receive guidance through CECJ’s equity and racial justice mission to drive environmental and climate-related education, research, policy and civic engagement.  “We are really excited about the Houston Endowment grant and the creation of a new center to expand our work that intersects environmental, climate, economic, health and racial justice – work that began in Houston more than four decades ago,” said Dr. Bullard, known by many as the “father of environmental justice. Read more      ...

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Feb 8, 2021

North Port Project Community Action Alert

  On February 9, 2021 at 9:00 am, a hearing will be held on a case brought by EEECHO and North Gulfport Community Land Trust. This case involves a permit issued by the MS Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to the MS Port Authority for the proposed North Port Project site. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice is assisting EEECHO in this case with expert witnesses who conducted an environmental assessment of the North Port Project site in January 2020. Dr. Earthea Nance and Dr. David Padgett have filed testimony which detail the following environmental hazards on the site that are risks for nearby communities. See details to attend this hearing in person or online. (Read more) ...

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Feb 3, 2021

President Biden's climate action plan that advances racial equity and green jobs

Biden to place environmental justice at center of sweeping climate plan President Biden made tackling America’s persistent racial and economic disparities a central part of his plan to combat climate change Wednesday, prioritizing environmental justice for the first time in a generation. As part of an unprecedented push to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and create new jobs as the United States shifts toward cleaner energy, Biden directed agencies across the federal government to invest in low-income and minority communities that have traditionally borne the brunt of pollution. “Lifting up these communities makes us all stronger as a nation and increases the health of everybody,” Biden said. (Read more) ...

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