Environmental Justice

News Clips
Communities of color hit hardest by heat waves

Like COVID-19, severe heat waves are not an “equal opportunity” health threat. The most disinvested neighborhoods — those dominated by buildings, pavement, and parking lots — are hit the hardest. The built environment of these places absorbs and traps heat, creating a “heat island effect” that makes them dangerously hotter than other neighborhoods while worsening their air quality.

Press Releases
Community-Based, Environmental and Civil Rights Activists Across Country Issue Statement and Unified Demands

Amy Laura Cahn, Senior Attorney, Interim Director – Healthy Communities & Environmental Justice, Conservation Law Foundation, said, ““The data is clear: COVID-19 is attacking Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities at astronomical rates. For generations, our legal system has withheld resources and legal protections from these communities while shielding whiter, wealthier areas from environmental harm. Now is the time to create new systems that prioritize the rights, health, and self-determination of those who have been denied these freedoms since before this country’s inception.”

Blog
What Do Environmental Justice Protections Mean for Our Communities?
by Amy Laura Cahn

Decades of environmental injustices won’t be addressed without strong legislation to drive change. Local organizations are working to reduce burdens on environmental justice communities, but it’s up to the Massachusetts legislature to redress decades of wrongs and put our state on a path to a more equitable future.

Blog
Why COVID-19 Is Hitting Some Communities Harder
by Reann Gibson

COVID-19’s unequal impact on our communities has laid bare stark realities about health, wealth, and housing. As our Healthy Neighborhoods Study has shown – and as the map of COVID-19 infections bears out ­– low-income and people of color face community-level stressors resulting from public health inequities and environmental injustices. These stressors result directly from decades of discriminatory housing policy.  

Blog
Black Lives Matter
by Bradley Campbell

All of us at CLF are reeling from and sharing in the national outrage over the murders and persecution of black people perpetrated and condoned by the police and other state actors. Racial justice is at the heart of climate justice, and we fight for both.

Press Releases
State Denies Equal Access to Public Hearings

“Preventing residents from commenting on a project that will have enormous impacts on their community is not only shameful but a form of discrimination,” said Amy Laura Cahn, Director of CLF’s Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice program. “East Boston and Chelsea already experience some of the worst air quality and pollution in the state and adding yet another industrial facility will only compound these injustices. State leaders need to be held accountable for silencing community concerns to push this project through.”

Blog
Building Stronger Communities and a Healthier Climate in the Wake of COVID-19
by Bradley Campbell

Even as we mourn the lives lost to COVID-19 and absorb the heavy toll it has taken on our economy, we must recognize that the old “normal” left too many communities unhealthy and especially vulnerable to the pandemic. Replicating that old “normal” will squander an opportunity to reduce climate danger while building healthier and more just communities for all.