Recognition that a disproportionate share of environmental problems such as pollution, nearby industrial facilities, and unclean drinking water have been born by certain groups—racial minorities, women, economically disadvantaged persons, and residents of developing countries—has led to the environmental justice movement.
Environmental justice refers to an equitable distribution of the risks and benefits arising from decisions that affect people's health and the environment. An environmental justice approach includes all affected parties in the decision-making process.
The Environmental Justice Network in Action, or EJNA, is a partnership between the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, community-based organizations, non-profit groups and government agencies. More than fifteen organizations participated as EJNA Partners.
EJNA works to develop reciprocal relationships between community-based organizations, or CBO’s, non-profit groups and government agencies. Specific goals include the following:
EJNA is building capacity in community groups by creating reciprocal relationships between CBOs, non-profit groups and government agencies. EJNA partners contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of all projects.
EJNA is creating community assessments by asking people about the significant environmental health problems in their neighborhoods, about the cultural and family norms related to these, and about the most effective strategies for communicating with them. Community partners receive relevant training and are supported in outreach efforts within their particular communities.
For example, because EJNA has learned that many communities respond best to visual and hands-on activities, presentations are often paired with field trips: a talk about household hazardous waste may be accompanied by a field trip to the household hazardous waste facility, transfer station or landfill. In the same vein, outreach booths at events and festivals incorporate hands-on activities whenever possible.
Planning & Engagement: Tools and resources to help LHWMP staff with program planning, selecting and engaging audiences, and evaluation.
Translation & Interpretation: Information on translation policies, translation services, and tips for working with translators.