December 2023
CHEJ's "All In" - Spotlight of the Month

This year CHEJ introduced our new monthly newsletter, The Backyard Monthly. This newsletter was designed to provide you with an update on CHEJ’s monthly activities. Our blogs, monthly training calls, Toxic Tuesdays, EJ Minute Podcast and more can now all be accessed and viewed in one, digestible email. We would like to take a short look back on just a few of the many highlights from 2023.

CHEJ’s Science Director and toxicologist, Stephen Lester, has been participating in the community response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment that resulted in spilling five tanker cars of vinyl chloride on the side of the tracks and intentionally burning it in the town of East Palestine, OH. Stephen’s 40 plus years of scientific and environmental justice expertise has been covered by several leading news organizations.

Stephen presented “Truth and Consequences” at the Midwest Environmental Health Summit on June 3, 2023, hosted by Citizens for a Clean Wausau. See the video here:

Our senior organizer and Small-Grants Manager, Teresa Mills, had also been engaging with Ohio-based environmental groups who are working with the East Palestine residents. Stephen and Teresa’s work is a prime example of what CHEJ has been doing for the past 42 years: providing scientific and organizing support to grassroots community-based organizations.

We were thrilled to reflect upon the remarkable success of the 2023 People’s Action Initiative Convention this past June! The purpose of this convention was to start an Organizing Revival to “re-ground the movement for multiracial democracy in the powerful skills and traditions of community organizing.” With a collective commitment to building a more just and sustainable future.

You don’t want to miss out on “Art Works”, by Ken Grossinger! This amazing book released earlier this year provides an inside look at the organizers and artists on the front lines of political mobilization and social change. Learn more and order a copy today!

Have you read “You Are Your Own Best Teacher” yet? In February, we highlighted the latest incredible book by social scientist and activist Claire Nader. Spark curiosity, imagination, and intellect by adding this book to your collection today

Remembering Teresa Mills

The Center for Health, Environment and Justice has recently lost a beloved member of our family, Teresa Mills, our Ohio-based At-Large Community Organizer and Smalls Grants Manager… Read More

CHEJ User Experience: We Would Like to Interview You!

We recently launched a successful User Experience Survey to better serve you, our CHEJ audience and community. Now, we’re shifting to individual Zoom interviews to gather diverse participant experiences. If you are interested in participating in an interview, please complete this short demographic questionnaire for consideration. Selected interviewees will receive a token of appreciation: a choice between a $20 gift card or a book signed by CHEJ Founder Lois Gibbs. Your perspective matters, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Toxic Tuesday

Acrylonitrile is a clear liquid that smells like onions or garlic. It is man-made as it does not naturally occur on Earth. It is used to create other materials, most commonly acrylic fibers in clothing and carpeting. Acrylonitrile can enter… [Read more]

We previously addressed individual variability and how it affects a person’s response to toxic chemicals. Another important factor in toxicology is a person’s individual sensitivity to chemicals. How sensitive a person is to chemical exposure… [Read more]

Training Calls

Gasification and pyrolysis are thermal processes that convert organic substances into fuels. These processes are highly controversial due to their impact upon air quality. They are also a major concern for the communities surrounding the facilities that use them…. [Watch now]

Backyard Talk Blogs

By Leila Waid. As a research project for a university course, I conducted a literature review and systematic analysis of the health effects of PFAS in drinking water. This blog post contains a highlight and broad overview of the health[Read more]

By Gregory Kolen II. Environmental justice is an issue that affects everyone, but those who bear the brunt of it are often the most vulnerable members of society. Disadvantaged communities, specifically, are often the ones living in[Read more]

The EJ Minute Podcast

Excessive rainfall brought flooding to New York City in late September, we investigate the environmental justice hazards posed by flooding[Listen Now]

We explore recent news covering wildfires, EJ areas in Pennsylvania, and Texas voters[Listen Now]

We go over President Biden’s National Climate Assessment, Michigan’s New Clean Energy Bill, Cancer Clusters in Houston Texas[Listen now]

Do you find this information useful? Please consider pitching in and making a contribution to CHEJ. We appreciate your support!

As we look ahead to the end of 2023 and into new year, we come to you with a humble request. Your generous donation can help us continue our work, ensuring that we can continue to fight for those who are most vulnerable to environmental injustices. Your contribution could provide us with the resources needed to advocate for cleaner neighborhoods, safer schools, and healthier lives for all.

In this season of giving, we ask that you consider making an end-of-year donation to CHEJ. Together, we can create a healthier and more just world. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support, and wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.