2017 marks the 21st anniversary of the creation of the New England Grassroots Environment Fund. To celebrate the founding vision of the organization we have chosen April to be the organization's Environmental Justice Month. During this month, we will highlight how our neighbors connect, share and act together to build the environmental justice movement.
Why Environmental Justice Month?
I was struck recently by a colleague’s all-too-accurate challenge, “Would environmental degradation exist without oppression and exploitation of people and places?”. Unless we approach programs and solutions with a holistic, co-creation mindset, that value all lives and the natural systems and resources that give us life – we call this the ‘whole communities approach’ - we will continue to feed a system that over-consumes, exploits and oppresses. We are seeing communities responding to societal challenges and opportunities and hungering for deeper connections - deeper connections across race, class, income and backgrounds that ultimately build stronger, more resilient communities with the input of diverse voices and lived experiences. With elevated levels of understanding of systemic oppressions, climate change impacts and various movements now overlapping and seeking to collaborate, the opportunity is here to support marginalized voices, innovative local leaders who are at an ideal scale to be able to experiment and pivot quickly as they implement projects. The undeniable ability of grassroots efforts to act, learn and adjust – a strong benefit with a more loosely structured group – makes them excellent allies to take on large issues, pilot solutions and then work with a coalition of partners to replicate. During Environmental Justice Month, the Grassroots Fund will highlight efforts that align with these stated themes.
What to Look Forward to During Environtmental Justice Month
Please see below for a host of opportunities to engage, learn, teach and share environmental justice solutions!
- On April 1st we launched the CSA2 – Community Supported Actions, an online platform that invites members of the grassroots community to come together by Contributing, Sharing and Acting. Join the CSA2 and help us amplify EJ action through greater grant dollars, greater connections and sharing of stories, greater collective actions. By all pitching in what we can, we will have huge impact TOGETHER!
- April 1st – RootSkills Training: Newport, RI – Over 120 people joined us from across New England to learn, share and plan for local environmental and social justice action.
- April 6th – Building Resilient Communities Networking Night for grassroots organizers in Boston, MA, organized by The Mel King Institute, Tufts University Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning and the Grassroots Fund
- April 10th – Join us in Portsmouth, NH for a CSA2 friendraiser, to build our community of supporters, allies and innovators.
- April 29th – RootSkills Training: Portland, ME - Join communtiy organizers and nonprofits working to address social justice challenges and improve community health, community resilience, and the environment in New England. Now more than ever, it is critical that organizers work together to build a shared vision for a just and sustainable region!
Feel free to share your opportunities to our calendar of events!