Linking Environmental Quality and Social Justice
Climate disruption is not an equal opportunity threat. People of color, indigenous communities, and low-income families bear disproportionate health burdens like asthma, certain types of cancer, cardiac problems, and heat-related deaths. It’s not right.
Over the past decade, through carefully nurtured relationships, the Sierra Club’s Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships program, with support from The Sierra Club Foundation, has been bringing the environmental health issues of our most vulnerable communities into the national spotlight.
The Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships program is a core part of the Sierra Club’s work to build partnerships to move the nation beyond coal and oil, and to create a just, healthy, and prosperous society.
Safe Drinking Water
Residents in a low-income African American neighborhood in rural Barnwell County, South Carolina, suspected their backyard water wells were being polluted by a nearby industrial facility. When they looked for a way to fight back, their intervention, supported by The Sierra Club Foundation, prompted the EPA to test the wells, which revealed contamination from mercury and other harmful toxins. From this action, the residents were granted safe drinking water through access to city water lines.
Protecting Blair Mountain
To save Appalachia’s historic Blair Mountain from mountaintop removal mining, The Sierra Club Foundation supported partners from Appalachia Rising to organize 800 marchers to trek to the crest of the mountain from Marmet, West Virginia, which earned national and local media attention. In addition to its pending legal actions to protect the mountain, the Sierra Club’s action alert led to its supporters sending more than 24,000 messages in 48 hours to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
To learn more about the Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships Campaign on the Sierra Club's website, click here!