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After 39 Years, Founder of Inland Valley’s Environmental Justice Movement Announces Retirement

  • Penny Newman announces departure from the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice
  • Renowned activist to continue advocating for Inland Valley as Riverside County Board of Supervisors candidate

Jurupa Valley, August 11, 2017 – Today, Penny Newman, the founder and executive director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), announces her retirement from the organization after nearly 40 years. Building on her legacy of effective advocacy on behalf of Inland Valley residents, she has chosen to run for a seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors this year.

“From her 28-year battle to stop pollution from the Stringfellow Acid Pits to her mentorship of young community leaders in our region, Penny’s journey has already left a mark that will not fade,” said Jean Kayano, Associate Director of CCAEJ. “Thanks to Penny, our team at CCAEJ has a strong foundation to continue building a safe and healthy Inland Valley.”

The announcement of Newman’s departure from the organization she founded comes on the heels of her decision to run for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. According to Newman, her candidacy is an opportunity to demand meaningful changes from a new vantage point.

Since 1978, CCAEJ’s primary focus has been to change the political and social landscape of the Inland Valleys of Riverside and San Bernardino counties to prevent environmental hazards. With Newman at the helm of the organization, CCAEJ has achieved monumental victories that include:

“Democracy only works when people are involved,” says Newman. “I started this movement as a mother worried about my kids’ health. Since then, it has been an honor to work with others who share my passion for speaking up about issues that make or break our future,” added Newman. “As I move into this new phase of my life, I look forward to watching CCAEJ continue to take a fearless stand on behalf of our Inland Valley neighbors.”

CCAEJ is currently searching for its next executive director. To arrange media interviews with Penny Newman or her team at the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), please contact


The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) is one of the oldest and most accomplished environmental health and justice organizations in the nation, with a mission to bring people together to improve our social and natural environment. We do this by empowering diverse communities to create safer, healthier, toxic-free places to live, work, learn and play. Learn more at


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