2018 Environmental Justice Small Grants Project Summaries

Asian Health Services, Bay Area and Los Angeles ($50,000)
AHS will train 150 nail salon workers and 200 nail salon clients, at 300 nail salons in the cities of in San Francisco and San Jose, and in the San Gabriel Valley (Los Angeles County). The trainings will include instruction on chemical exposure reduction strategies, hazardous waste prevention, and healthy nail salon workplace practices. Through these trainings, AHS will work directly with 30-40 community members, who will be trained to become Environmental Justice Ambassadors and community leaders. AHS will also research and assess the feasibility of a micro-loan program in Southern California, so as to provide capital for nail salons to implement new practices for healthier, environmentally safer, and economically secure salons. AHS will hold a first-ever statewide convening of nail salon community members to develop a joint action plan to strengthen environmental justice protections for the nail salon industry. AHS also plans to utilize existing magazine and other media outlets to develop a series of articles and other resources designed to disseminate information about chemical reduction strategies and Healthy Nail Salon concepts, and to promote the training workshops. In conducting these trainings, AHS will work in partnership with several organizations: Immigrant Resettlement and Cultural Center (IRCC); Southeast Asian Community Center (SEACC); Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (AAAJ-LA); the University of California, Los Angeles’ Labor Occupational Safety and Health Center (LOSH); the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF); and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9.

Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residential Association, Central Valley ($50,000)
APSARA will conduct public outreach to inform Southeast Asians on the risks of lead and mercury poisoning, and how to identify personal products and types of fish in order to avoid/lower lead and mercury exposures. Their outreach will focus primarily Cambodian, Filipino, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese residents living in Stockton. Specifically, APSARA will develop and utilize culturally and linguistically appropriate public education materials to share toxic reduction exposure information at community events and at interactive education workshops. They will also engage residents in a consumer product test survey assessment at cultural community events held at the Cambodian temples in Stockton and Lodi, the Lao Family Community Empowerment Inc. and the Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation, Inc.

Big Pine Paiute Tribe of Owens Valley, High Sierra & Desert ($10,285)
The Tribe is located adjacent to the town of Big Pine, in Inyo County, will develop a tribal consultation policy to support the Tribe’s engagement in meaningful government-to-government consultation with state and local agencies. The Big Pine Paiute Tribe plans to develop a written policy that combines the mechanics of the consultation process with a comprehensive statement describing tribal perspectives on environmental and cultural resources throughout the Owens Valley. The Tribe’s consultation document will serve as a manual to help guide effective consultation, and to establish a foundation for understanding tribal views on resource management

Black Women for Wellness, Los Angeles ($50,000)
BWW will train 200 hair stylists and 500 consumers in south Los Angeles and Inglewood in toxic chemical exposure reduction methods for beauty salon hair treatments. Over the course of their grant term, BWW will conduct two training classes and, three educational workshops. They will also and will develop a set of outreach materials specifically designed to share culturally appropriate information about how to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, and ways to explore developing healthier beauty industry practices. Led by a core group of 10 community health residents, BWW will also conduct a community health survey to inform their project approach.

California Environmental Justice Alliance (Sponsor: Environmental Health Coalition), Statewide ($50,000)
CEJA will host a series of four “Green Zone” healthy and equitable land use community trainings in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in Ventura, Kern, and Los Angeles counties. Green Zones are neighborhoods burdened by the cumulative impacts of toxins and socioeconomic stressors, where low­ income residents and residents of color seek to reduce pollution and improve local land-use planning, health, the economy, and the environment. CEJA will train residents and community leaders on the technical and procedural aspects of establishing and advancing green zones, while promoting skill-building and utilization of environmental justice resources to support their vision for a healthy community. CEJA will offer one statewide training in Sacramento for at least 200 residents across California. The CEJA trainings will cover issues such as land use, air quality, and urban greening. The trainings and materials will be provided in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Laotian, Mien and Vietnamese. The green zone trainings will provide updated outreach materials such as CEJA’s 157-page toolkit to help local residents implement “The Planning for Healthy Communities Act of 2016.” When enacted, it was the first-ever statewide law mandating inclusion of environmental justice goals and policies in the general plans of local jurisdictions to improve land-use planning in Green Zone communities.

California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., Central Valley ($35,000)
CRLA will collaborate with community-based and government organizations to increase community engagement in environmental decisions among Fresno County residents who are living in rural, unincorporated, agricultural, areas and are low-income with limited English, most of whom are Latino. Fresno County is home to 12 of the top 25 most pollution-burdened communities in the state, as identified by CalEnviroScreen environmental health screening tool. Through community training and leadership development, CRLA will work to enhance Fresno County residents’ understanding and participation in government decision-making processes to address polluted water, failing septic tanks, and the lack of active transportation in the area.

Californians for Pesticide Reform (Fiscal Sponsor: Pesticide Action Network North America), Los Angeles ($20,000)
CPR will conduct outreach in English and Spanish to at least 250 parents, students, teachers, and farmworkers in Oxnard (Ventura County) and the city of Guadalupe (Santa Barbara County) about the health risks of pesticide exposure. CPR will also build their capacity to participate in decision-making processes. CPR will provide residents with information on ways to reduce community health risks posed by agricultural pesticide exposure by holding monthly community meetings, one community forum, three presentations to school groups, and a training for community leaders.

Central California Environmental Justice Network (Sponsor: Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs), Central Valley ($40,000)
CCEJN will strengthen the reporting networks in Fresno and Kern counties, in their use of IVAN or Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods. The IVAN reporting network is a community-monitoring and community-led participatory environmental pollution online reporting system that promotes collaboration with grassroots groups, regulatory agencies, and academia to address community neighborhood issues. CCEJN will also initiate a Tulare County IVAN by conducting a bus tour of sites identified by residents as areas of environmental concern and will hold monthly meetings in Tulare County.  

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Central Valley ($30,000)
CHIRLA will organize a 21-member Pesticide Protection Leadership Committee (PPLC) in Tulare County to teach over 1,000 community members about how to prevent exposure to pesticides, how to recognize symptoms of pesticide exposure, how to access local health resources and how to participate in their community’s environmental decision-making processes. CHIRLA will also provide three, day-long training sessions in leadership skills, which will include instruction on how to conduct outreach activities, how to organize effective presentations, and how to engage other community members. CHIRLA will participate also participate in Immigrant Day of Action in Sacramento in April 2019.

Comite Civico Del Valle, Inc, San Diego/Imperial ($40,000)
CCV will develop a community intervention and educational campaign with the goal of minimizing exposure to contaminants in untreated canal water that serve rural households in Imperial County. The CCV educational campaign will ensure residents who rely on canal water are appropriately informed of the potential hazards associated with using canal water, through developing materials that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. The CCV will further its ongoing work with CalEPA, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the University of Washington to collect and assess water quality data, and quantify contaminants in canals serving households as part of the ongoing work to improve data for the California-Mexico border region.

Del Amo Action Committee, Los Angeles ($35,000)
DAAC will hold 12 monthly environmental justice network meetings to facilitate community collaboration  with federal, state, and local government agencies in Los Angeles County. DAAC will address community concerns about contamination air, soil, stormwater runoff, and groundwater contamination associated with two superfund sites in the county: the Del Amo Superfund site and the Montrose Superfund site. DAAC will review three remedial plan documents for the sites and facilitate two stakeholder engagement meetings to present the information to the community in plain language. DAAC will also conduct two door-to-door outreach efforts to 450 community homes, recruit eight community leaders to engage in land use decision-making meetings, prepare and translate outreach materials and produce bi-annual newsletters. DAAC will also present updates on the projects’ progress at two community venues.

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice ($50,000)
EYCEJ will engage community residents in Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Cudahy, east Los Angeles, Long Beach, Lynwood, and South Gate in Los Angeles County through the Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative (MPSJRC). EYCEJ will conduct an intensive eight-week summer research program that will include projects focused on environmental justice. EYCEJ will recruit six researchers and four research assistants from the EYCEJ membership. EYCEJ researchers will share their project findings with EYCEJ members, partners, public agency officials, academic leaders, and the general public in a symposium. Using this research, EYCEJ will improve its Fighting For Life Academy curriculum that encourages a strong community role in developing solutions in EYCEJ focused communities. EYCEJ will also develop a manual on how to implement community based research in environmental justice communities that can be shared with other communities in California.

Fresno Metro Black Chamber Foundation, Central Valley ($50,000)
FMBCF will implement the Green Team Youth Ambassadors project to address climate change and air pollution impacts that disproportionately impact disadvantaged communities of color in southwest Fresno. The FMBCF will engage 15 southwest Fresno youth and community leaders to identify locally led solutions while gaining education on public health benefits of an equitable, electrified, clean, and shared multimodal system. The FMBCF will hire and train the 15 full-time and part-time youth to become electric vehicle ambassadors, and mentor these youth in hopes that they will pursue careers related to sustainability, the electric vehicle supply chain, and other clean technologies.

Green Technical Education and Employment, Sacramento ($30,000)
Green Tech will teach urban farming and home weatherization to 10 students in the Oak Park neighborhood of South Sacramento. Green Tech will expand its food production by adding 10 additional organic garden beds whose produce will be given to the local food bank, Green Tech students and their families. Green Tech will also train students on how to provide residential weatherization services. After the training, the students will provide free weatherization services to four homes in Oak Park. Green Tech will host an open house to share the project’s results and host another community event to communicate the health benefits to eating organic produce and the cost savings of home weatherization.

Healthy Hearts Institute, Bay Area ($30,000)
HHI will plant 10 raised garden beds in its existing garden, and will build compost worm bins at the El Pueblo Community Garden in Pittsburg. The HHI Project will increase the El Pueblo community’s access to healthy, organic produce while building community resiliency in the face of climate change. HHI will hire an environmental sustainably coordinator to help teach El Pueblo residents how to grow healthy organic nutritional foods, provide residents with education on solar power energy systems, and rainwater capture resources.

Insight Garden Program, Sacramento and Bay Area ($30,000)
IGP will launch the Green Prisons & Community Environmental Justice Initiative to engage people incarcerated at California State Prison-Solano (CSP-SOL) in creating solutions to environmental justice and climate change impacts. The Green Team will assess and address the CSP-SOL’s environmental impacts. This initiative will also strengthen and expand connections between IGP participants, CSP-SOL, and local green sector leaders and employers through regularly scheduled prison visits and reentry connections, especially in Solano and Sacramento counties.

Madera Coalition for Community Justice, Central Valley ($12,913)
Madera Coalition for Community Justice will recruit and train 10 high school students from various high schools within in the city of Madera on air quality and pesticide poisoning to student peers, parents and community members. The project activities will be designed, planned, and implemented by youth, with the support and guidance from the Central California Environmental Justice Network, the American Lung Association, the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition, and the local asthma coalition. The workshops will be presented to a minimum of three schools, five parent groups and two community groups with a target of reaching approximately 200 people.

National Indian Justice Center (Project 1), Bay Area and Northern California ($50,000) 
NIJC will serve 21 federally-recognized California Tribes in Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino Counties by developing an online educational course. NIJC will conduct, three one-day workshops in each County using the new curriculum and make the new course available online for use or adaptation by other California Tribes. This course will include three tabletop exercises that provide the aforementioned Tribes with strategies to respond to wildfire pollution hazards, and engage in multi-jurisdictional wildfire disaster response and recovery scenarios. In 2015 and 2017, the Valley Fire and North Bay Fires in these counties produced unprecedented air pollution, water pollution and other environmental hazards. NIJC will also assist Tribes in effectively working with multi-jurisdictional agencies involved in the mitigation and clean-up of these fires. Tribes have significant environmental interests in the wildfire mitigation and clean-up activities but lack jurisdiction to regulate environmental quality on private, local and state government lands.

National Indian Justice Center (Project 2), Statewide ($50,000)
NIJC will work with multiple state and federal government agencies to facilitate support and travel resources for up to 50 tribal government staff who are Native American monitors from both federally recognized and non-federally recognized California Tribes to participate in one of five 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certification or 8-hour refresher HAZWOPER training sessions that will be held throughout the state.  NIJC will work with US EPA, CalEPA, the California Department of Public Health, and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to implement this coordinated project. Monitors are typically in regions where Tribes are in need of hazardous waste field safety training to be able to participate in protecting and preserving their cultural resources during state-led cleanup projects in California. These potentially sensitive ancestral cultural resource geographical regions have been impacted by hazardous waste from historic mining, lumber, agricultural, petroleum, aerospace, and other manufacturing industries.

Pacoima Beautiful, Los Angeles ($50,000)
Pacoima Beautiful will increase the capacity of Pacoima residents to participate in environmental decisions by offering them a 10-month Community Inspectors Program. The program will teach them skills in public participation and environmental awareness, including how to identify and report regulatory environmental violations. Pacoima Beautiful will also provide 10 education workshops, five community tours, and 15 presentations and meetings with a goal of reaching 300 Pacoima residents. The workshops will address toxic pollution issues in the community and provide information on health risks and ways to reduce those risks.

Regeneracion Pajaro Valley Climate Action (Fiscal Sponsor: Social Good Fund), Central Coast ($49,639)
Regeneracion will develop culturally appropriate educational materials in Spanish, purchase branded outreach event equipment, recruit 45 new volunteers, host two neighborhood festivals, and conduct 12 meetings with community members and policy makers to address environmental justice issues in Watsonville and the predominantly agricultural communities in the Pajaro Valley, located in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Regeneracion will engage over 1,300 additional community members in climate resiliency issues.

Rising Sun Energy Center, Bay Area and Central Valley ($49,996)
Rising Sun will provide Green House Call services to 1,100 homes in the cities of Antioch, Bay Point, Pittsburg, and the greater Stockton region to address climate change impacts through a community-led solution. Rising Sun will train and employ 36 youth to conduct a no-cost Green House Call – the youth will perform an energy and water assessment, install water and energy saving devices such as LED light bulbs and shower heads, and provide tips on how residents can further save energy and water in the home.

Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, Bay Area ($40,000)
The Rose Foundation will train 16 Oakland high school students to become the next generation of community environmental justice leaders through a six-week, 150-hour intensive summer leadership training program focused on climate justice, clean energy and jobs, resilience and adaptation, food justice, land use and transportation, urban greening, and green infrastructure. The Rose Foundation’s curriculum is designed to teach students the knowledge and skills they need to participate in decision-making, promote community capacity on key environmental issues, encourage collaboration between different stakeholders, and engage community members in environmental decision making. Rose Foundation students will also learn issue analysis, community mapping, problem solving, argument development, community outreach, and public speaking, while engaging in hands-on work to improve community resilience in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges. The Rose Foundation will conduct a fellowship program that will allow three to five of the top summer training students to further their leadership skills during the following school year by participating in community outreach projects. The Rose Foundation will also conduct a community workshop to teach Oakland residents and solicit input on possible strategies for reducing exposure to toxins and/or enhancing climate resilience.

Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Northern California, Bay Area, Inland Empire, and San Diego ($50,000)
RCAC will install 10 water filling stations, distribute reusable water bottles, and promote water conservation and safe drinking water access to five Native American Tribes in California: the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, the Wiyot Tribe, the San Pasqual Tribe of Diegueno Mission Indians, and the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians.

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, Los Angeles ($20,220)
SAJE will teach 1,400 low-income, predominantly monolingual-Spanish speaking tenants (about 400 households) in south Los Angeles about the dangers of using pesticides and toxic chemicals inside the home, ways to reduce pesticide and toxic cleaning products exposure through the use of integrated pest management, and how to make and use environmentally friendly cleaning products. SAJE will accomplish this project through 40 weekly tenant meetings and four off-site workshops.

Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment, Central Valley ($20,000)
The Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (Tri-Valley CAREs) will conduct extensive outreach and four workshops in Tracy (San Joaquin County) on the Lawrence Livermore Lab Site 300 Superfund cleanup process. The organization will develop bilingual factsheets and flyers that inform and encourage participation by Spanish speaking Tracy residents in the decision-making process of the cleanup at the site. Tri-Valley CAREs will arrange and host a special community tour of the site with Spanish translation. Tri-Valley CAREs will also facilitate meetings with Tracy residents and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board who share groundwater and surface water cleanup authority under Superfund with  U.S. EPA at Site 300.

United Voices of Pomona for Environmental Justice (Fiscal Sponsor: CCAEJ) Los Angeles, ($50,000)
UVP will teach the community of south Pomona about innovative ecologically-based resource management practices, and the creation of safe, clean, green community-gathering spaces. UVP will conduct door-to-door outreach to 150 homes to raise awareness about environmental justice and the importance of seeking organic food to reduce exposure to pesticides. UVP will host monthly community meetings and conduct weekly workshops to teach the community about composting, mulching for soil health, water retention, soil building, bed construction, irrigation installation, and design with a water conservation goal. UVP will involve south Pomona residents in the construction of an organic waste diversion management project and will conduct at least eight bilingual weekly weekend workshops on organic garden bed construction.

The Watershed Project, Bay Area ($49,670)
The Watershed Project will train and employ north Richmond and El Sobrante residents to be citizen scientists in the collection of standardized water quality data in Contra Costa County’s San Pablo and Wildcat Creeks. The Watershed Project will monitor key water quality indicators at 13 locations along the two creeks. The project data will be shared to help inform decision makers throughout Contra Costa County on the health of the creeks. By participating in this project, county residents will receive hands-on career development opportunities as water quality monitors. The Watershed Project will also address environmental justice challenges facing north Richmond and El Sobrante communities, including the lack of water quality data of local creeks, lack of paid entry level employment opportunities for young people in the environmental field, and lack of open source data on local creeks.

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