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Water Action Wednesday: Black History Month

Environmental Justice is Racial Justice - and to learn where we need to go, we have to learn where we’ve been. Take #WaterActionWednesday time today to learn more about the history of the Environmental Justice movement and the systematic discrimination we need to continue to fight.
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Episode 26: Black Leaders in the Clean Water Movement. Clean water is a human right - not a privilege. We are excited to feature Black leaders in the Clean Water movement in honor of Black History Month! Hear from two incredible environmental leaders: Kjia Rivers, Policy Advocate at Community Water Center and Ngodoo Atume, Water Policy Analyst at Clean Water Action. Both are doing innovative and impactful work in the field of groundwater and nitrate management, while ensuring Environmental Justice communities most impacted have a voice and seat at the decision-making table. 


Episode 20: Black History Month - The Environmental Justice Movement with Vernice Miller Travis - February 21, 2022

In recognition of Black History Month, we are featuring the stories of Black leaders in the environmental movement. Today, we chat with Vernice Miller Travis, the Executive Vice President for Environmental and Social Justice at Metropolitan Group and Vice Chair of Clean Water Action’s Board. Vernice is the co-founder of WeACT for Environmental Justice, and a national environmental justice champion who lifts the voices of those most impacted by environmental harm. 


Black History Month Champion: Erga Pierrette

“During the day, I am a school adjustment counselor working in a public middle school in Revere and during the evening I am a community organizer. As a result of my passions, I wear many hats and am connected with numerous committees and community groups! As a community organizer dedicated to disrupting racism and bringing people together, I am grateful for connecting with Clean Water Action which helped my city secure funds to remove lead pipes in our EJ communities. I believe that “it takes one person to make a difference and a group of people to bring forth change!”

Black History Month Champion: Lord Takim Allah

“I believe that people are the stewards of the planet. Doing this work right here allows me to be helpful in a more grand way. I know that my work is helpful and impactful – many people have told me that they have changed and are influenced to do things differently because they see my work at Clean Water Action. I don't do it for them but it's good that it spreads. We here at Clean Water Action are sharing some great information with folks and giving a whole lot of people opportunity to do good things and create change. Also, I love hearing about the victories, and getting to share them with other people. And to know that before this work was being done lakes and rivers were on fire, literally, makes it even more worthwhile."

Black History Month Champion: Sasha Lewis-Norelle

"This work is important to me because I want to create a future that is just, equitable, and healthy for everyone. We deserve a society that takes care of everyone and a planet that we all take care of. We need to create serious change to address the issues we are facing, and we need people from all backgrounds at the table to bring about those changes."

Black History Month Champion: Ashley Richardson

"I am a strong advocate for people, whether through the Human Resources lens or through the JEDI lens, having an ability to foster an educational and safe environment for all is what motivates me. I can create impact and form it; I am so grateful. Utilizing my expertise and skills, I bring structure and systems to even further highlight the great work that we do as an organization. My biggest accomplishment is creating and structuring anti-racism training for the organization and provide development opportunities to staff!"

Black History Month Champion: Brenda Lee Richardson

"Being at Clean Water for almost a year has been one of the best working experiences I have ever had in my career. Bob Wendelgass, Clean Water’s President and CEO and Michael Bochynski, DC's State Director, have inspired me and supported me in ways I could have never imagined. I love my work as an eco-feminist in Washington, DC and it has been very rewarding as I work on climate change issues in disfavored communities for the Anacostia Parks and Community Collaborative.”