The mission of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice is to bring people together to improve our social and natural environment. We do this by developing indigenous leadership, community organizing through strategic campaigns and building a base of community power.
The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) is a progressive, base-building, non-profit organization whose focus is to bring communities of people together to find opportunities for cooperation, agreement and problem solving in improving their social and natural environment. Using the lens of environmental health to achieve social change, we work within communities to develop and sustain democratically based, participatory decision-making that promotes involvement of a diverse segment of the community in ways that empower the community. We accomplish this by facilitating and providing assistance in the following areas:
- Skills training and leadership development that enhances each individual’s talents and expertise to its fullest potential in order to expand the voice and influence of community-based groups.
- Research, information and public education on issues impacting local communities.
- Community organizing and strategic planning to address these issues.
- Advocacy for changes in public policy that are community-driven, protective, and enhance local resources.
CCAEJ’s work is grounded in “place”. We recognize that communities are not simply groupings of buildings filled with consumers, customers, or clients whose behavior is studied, managed and manipulated by powerful outside forces. Communities are families, neighbors, and individuals, who recognize the necessity of sharing power and sharing responsibility. Their voice brings perspective to the public debate of those most directly affected in ways that can refocus attention to the most urgent needs of our families, neighbors and fellow residents and can breathe new compassion, creativity, and responsibility into the public debate and decision.
The goal of CCAEJ is to build a strong movement for change that acknowledges the connections and is committed to challenging
- exploitation of workers as well as the environment;
- oppression of people on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation and class;
- concentrated power in the hands of scientists, engineers and the commercial and military interests that support them; and
- We incorporate the recognition of the interconnections among them in the primary activities of our work.
We accomplish this goal by actively seeking broad inclusiveness and collaboration with all whose lives are touched and who choose to apply their skills and interest to the issues at hand. We convene open dialogues as opportunities to bring together groups of people working on a variety of social, economic and environmental justice issues to listen, learn and share
leadership. We believe that by exploring the interconnections among issues and seeking common ground for cooperative actions, we enhance the ability to create fundamental change. We honor and help to develop the leadership and expertise of each individual, especially those who have traditionally been marginalized because of race, income or age.
CCAEJ recognizes that in addition to our work locally, we must also work on a global level. Not only do we live in a global natural environment, but also a global economy, culture and social system. The corporations polluting in our communities also pollute and oppress throughout the world. Our work seeks to link struggles for justice in the United States with struggles for justice around the world.