Webinar #9: Partnership in Progress: Community-Based Collaborations for Environmental Justice in Portland, Oregon
Registration and more information: Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice
Environmental and public health impacts affect people most significantly where they live - at the community level. One of the themes of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014-2018 is to make a visible difference in communities across the country. These efforts are focused on providing better support to communities, especially economically distressed areas where the needs are greatest.
In 2015, the EPA established a community-based collaboration to identify opportunities, barriers, and resources, as well as implementable projects, to serve local communities in Portland, Oregon, who have traditionally not received attention in the past. This webinar will focus on the work and partnerships formed through this collaboration. Mary Lou Soscia, EPA lead on this work, will provide an overview of the development and facilitation of this group, and we'll hear from community partners about the work they've done to leverage resources in the following four focus areas:
Equitable development in East Multnomah County, Oregon - Mary Lou Soscia (EPA)
Increasing green infrastructure in Portland - Bobby Cochran (Willamette Partnership)
Capacity-building for environmental justice focused on reducing diesel fuel exhaust – Mary Peveto (Neighbors for Clean Air)
Development of a Portland Green Academy for youth training and employment opportunities in environmental career tracks - Derron Coles, PhD (The Blueprint Foundation, DRC Learning Solutions)
In addition, we will learn about how the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is becoming more actively involved in the area of environmental justice. DOI's Regional Environmental Officer for the Pacific Northwest, Allison O'Brien, will discuss the Department's efforts, as well as the expertise DOI bureaus have to offer. EPA’s College/Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP) Manager, Michael Burns, who is currently detailed to DOI, will join the presentation to talk about the work he is doing to develop partnerships among agencies, schools, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and underserved communities.
Established by Executive Order 12898, the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) comprises 17 federal agencies and White House Offices that work together to guide, support and enhance environmental justice and community-based activities. Check out the EJ IWG Webpage for more information.
The EJ IWG is hosting the Access & Awareness Webinar Series, a monthly event, to provide public access to the working group and to increase community awareness of federal agency environmental justice strategies and holistic community-based solutions to address environmental justice issues. This series will help the public gain a deeper understanding of how federal agencies are collaborating and what resources are available to anyone interested in improving the health, quality-of-life, and economic opportunities in overburdened communities.