CEED is committed to the principle that all families and communities have the right to participate in critical questions impacting their communities around the energy system, environmental health, and climate change planning. Our popular education materials are designed to initiate conversation, acknowledge community knowledge, and develop collective community action.
A number of hands on, interactive workshops and educational materials have been developed with community partners over the years. Many of the materials can be downloaded and used by educators independently, or if requested, with CEED staff facilitating. CEED works in many issue areas as relevant to your community, such as:
- Pollution in your neighborhood
- Energy systems and home energy justice
- Community resiliency
Find specific tools or workshop information below. If you are an environmental justice community, network or alliance wanting more information about CEED’s popular education materials or to schedule a workshop, please contact Say Yang, CEED’s Program Coordinator.
CEED is committed to building leadership among our young people through our Youth in Environmental Learning and Leadership (YELL!) program and ongoing Popular Education work.
YELL! is a program for young people who are interested in social justice and protecting the environment. It is a program to engage, educate and empower youth of color (ages 18-25) to make a difference in their community through learning and hands on community projects.
CEED’s YELL Fellows participate in workshops led by local and national leaders in environmental justice and social activism. They learn about the history of how communities of color have been affected by pollution and toxics, and the many ways that you can work toward a healthy environment and for justice. They hear about exciting work happening all around the country (and the world) from environmental justice leaders in Indigenous communities, and communities of color. Issues the program engages include Indigenous environmental rights, food justice, energy justice, climate justice, and healthy neighborhoods. Fellows get support to work on a local community project of their choosing, and skill development around personal and community leadership, arts activism, and policy-making.
YELL! is a 9 month program based in Minneapolis, with applications opening in the summer of 2016 for the Fall 2016 Fellows program.
Rising energy costs are a greater burden in EJ communities for a variety of reasons. Income, age and type of housing, homeownership, fuel type, energy intensity, energy program access and many other factors can affect the energy costs that households face as well as their ability to pay.
CEED is building a model that assesses community-level energy vulnerability that is based on a variety of factors. The intent is that it becomes an invaluable tool for research, legislative analysis, program-planning and advocacy in prioritizing neighborhood and community investments for the most vulnerable areas.
Even with the best science, precise predictions about how and to what extent climate change will affect different communities are extremely difficult. We do know that environmental changes are occurring and that their impacts on people and communities do not occur in isolation; they are also determined to a great extent by existing social, political, economic and environmental conditions and inequalities.
A crucial component of climate resiliency planning must include recognition of these existing unequal environmental conditions and capacities. This means that climate planning should be address this reality so that EJ communities will not be additionally over-burdened by climate change-related impacts .
CEED recommends that climate resiliency must:
- Address the root causes of vulnerability, such as income disparities, racial discrimination, ineffective and unresponsive governance and planning
- Include meaningful and effective participation of community members in the development and implementation of climate resiliency planning.
The environmental justice movement is a vibrant and longstanding movement which arose to overcome the racial inequalities that have been a part of U.S. environmentalism. The unequal siting of polluting industries and the marginalization of communities of color in the national environmental agenda gave rise to the EJ movement’s demand for justice. Today, the EJ movement is comprised of activists, community organizers, researchers, and policy advocates who continue to strive to have the U.S. achieve its ideals of justice and democracy.
The foundation of the EJ movement continues to be Indigenous, communities of color and low-income communities — the frontline communities – that are much too often the first to experience environmental harm and the last to experience environmental benefits.
The Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the first major regulation on greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The EPA issued the final CPP rule on August 5, 2015, which includes a phased “glide path” toward full compliance in 2030. As one of the most significant environmental rules in history, the CPP will be an instrumental factor in the transition of the electricity system in the coming decades. But, as with most federal policy on climate change, a critical challenge of the CPP is how it addresses equity and justice in its implementation and enforcement.
Most environmentalists have applauded the CPP as a climate game changer. The electricity sector accounts for 31 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and according to the EPA, the CPP will result in a 32% reduction in these emissions, from 2005 levels, by 2030. However, in the initial proposed rule, which EPA released for public comment in June 2014, equity or environmental justice were largely absent. In response, Environmental Justice advocates expressed their objections about the Administration’s lack of attention and concern for our most over-burdened communities.. In response, in the final rule the EPA included that:
- States are encouraged to conduct equity analyses
- States must include how they have conducted community engagement
- A voluntary Clean Energy Incentive program that provides EPA matches for efficiency in low-income communities.
While these insertions are improvements, they fall far short of what is truly required for equity and justice to have a meaningful and effective place in national climate and environmental policy.