Mission: To build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.
About the Organization: Founded in 1988 as West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc., WE ACT for Environmental Justice envisions a community of informed and engaged residents who participate fully in decision-making with respect to key issues that impact their health and the health of their community. In 1991, at the First People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in Washington D.C., WE ACT helped create the Principles of Environmental Justice and today serves as the lead organizer of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change.
Current Programs: WE ACT works to mobilize low-income communities of color through advocacy, planning, and research in the areas of climate justice, clean air, healthy homes, good jobs, and sustainable and equitable land use. The organization's advocacy efforts include coalition building aimed at engaging low-income residents and communities of color in shaping public policy and ensuring that local, state, and federal laws are administered fairly; evaluating how new policies support environmental justice; and taking legal action against environmental injustice. WE ACT also works to ensure the meaningful engagement and participation of low-income residents and communities of color in the urban planning process, promote policies that maximize community preferences with respect to land use, and support community-based participatory research.
In addition, the organization offers free environmental health and justice leadership training designed to prepare more leaders from northern Manhattan for advocacy work, as well as worker training and job readiness programs.
Website: Visitors to the WE ACT website can browse reports and resources in the area of environmental justice, stay abreast of recent developments through the organization's blog, or learn about upcoming events and training opportunities. Visitors to the site also can choose to become a member and/or make a donation.
Funding: WE ACT is funded by foundations and individuals.