Free Training Call Recordings

Below you can access audio or video recordings of our free training calls. Join our e-list by entering your e-mail at the bottom of this page to receive notices of upcoming training calls. Click “download mp3” to listen, or right click and select “save link as” to download the audio.

October 25, 2021: Health Studies

This training focuses on dispelling the “smoking gun” perception of health studies, and will expand on the various types of studies available while noting their limitations. Health studies are often seen as the end goal by communities that want to know what or who is causing the health problems they are experiencing. More often than not, however, they are unable to find clear connections between disease and whatever environmental or chemical factors may be causing them. This inability to answer the questions usually asked by affected communities means that undertaking such studies should be carefully considered. A community’s overall goals need to be considered first. Only then should a health study be evaluated in terms of its appropriateness to help achieve the community’s goals.

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September 20, 2021: Framing Your Message

This training call helps you craft message and influence the people you need to help you win! Is your cup half empty of half full? Is the facility a sanitary landfill or a nasty dump? Does the facility produce energy or pollute with toxics? The first group to frame an issue is the first group to control the debate. This training call will focus on strategies to help you both craft your message and to make sure this message reaches your target audience.

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August 17, 2021: Make Polluters Pay

We have been fighting to #MakePollutersPay for over 25 years since the original Superfund tax expired in 1995. Now, with negotiations for the infrastructure bill, we have an opportunity to demand legislation that would help bring justice to contaminated communities across the U.S. Some aspects of the Polluters Pay tax have been included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but they are not enough. We need to demand the FULL #MakePollutersPay tax to make sure we are supporting the communities who need it most.

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July 20, 2021: Getting Your Message Out

Attracting media attention to a local campaign can be challenging for grassroots organizations. In this training call, CHEJ’s Gustavo Andrade will discuss how local groups can get their message out by attracting media attention, building relationships with reporters, and earning free media coverage. Using these tactics, grassroots groups can expand their movement and reach a broader audience. This training call will help you learn to use the media to your advantage in your campaign, and turn the media into one of your most powerful organizing tools.

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June 15, 2021: Fracking and Fracking Waste

In this training call, we will be joined by John Stolz, a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Director for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University. We will hear from Dr. Stolz about negative effects fracking and fracking waste have on our environment, the climate, and our health.

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June 4, 2021: Small Grants Program

CHEJ’s Small Grants Program helps groups move toward their goals by building leadership and increasing capacity. The program supports grassroots communities of color, low wealth, rural and urban groups. Join us on Friday, June 4 at 12pm ET for a free training call where we will assist with the application process and answer any questions you may have about the program.

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May 18, 2021: Individual Donors

Raising funds from individual donors can be helpful for grassroots organizing for many reasons: it can establish a stable and consistent base of funds, expand your volunteer base and spread the word about your cause, help push policy and change that you are striving for, and more. Join us for a conversation to learn more strategies for unlocking the power and stability that having individual donors unlocks for grassroots organizers.

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April 20, 2021: No Safe Levels

A series of studies on some toxic chemicals have found that the risk of death and disease is proportionately greater at lower exposures. These results conflict with the way agencies regulate chemicals and indicate that we have underestimated toxic chemical’s impact on death and disease. Join us to learn more about the science that shows there are no safe levels of toxic chemical exposure.

Guest Speaker: Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH of Little Things Matter and the International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment

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March 16, 2021: Media and Pitching Stories

Getting press coverage for your campaign can be a daunting task especially during a pandemic. Join us for a short dynamic media workshop, and learn from media professionals and successful grassroots leaders about how to call attention to your issue and get the press to spread the word for you.

Guest Speakers: Tim Wilkins and Joie Kichton

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February 16, 2021: Campaign Strategy and Power Analysis

It can be challenging to design a winning campaign, especially when you are up against powerful interests with lots of money. This training call will help you understand the power dynamics and craft a successful campaign.

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January 29, 2021: Small Grants Program

Does your grassroots group have a goal or project that needs to be implemented to help in your fight for environmental health and justice? Is this project being halted financially? We’re here to help!

CHEJ’S Small Grants Program helps groups move toward their goals by building leadership, increasing capacity and providing training and education. The program supports grassroots communities of color, low wealth, rural and urban groups.

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January 26, 2021: Organizing from Home

Sometimes it can feel like staying at home has diminished your organizing power. We are here to tell you that it is still possible to build power in your community and strengthen your campaign, from home! This training explored how to build your campaign using SMS as a tactic that is part of a broader strategy, as you would knocking on doors, and not let distancing hold you back!

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November 17, 2020: Messaging and Media

Messaging has always been important. But today, with texting campaigns, social media, and virtual organizing we need to think smarter than ever about our messages. The Messaging and Media training helped participants build skills to create messages that make a difference – messages that inspire, galvanize, give voice, and gather power. To win, messages need to resonate with the people that need to be influenced. This can be done by exploring successful ways to craft messages for a campaign.

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October 20, 2020: Organizing from a Distance

Are you having trouble building power in your community during the pandemic? Do you feel like distancing is holding back your campaign? CHEJ is here to help!

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September 22, 2020: Strategic Planning with Lois Marie Gibbs

Strategic Planning is critical to winning your fight. Lois has over 40 years of experience in building, strengthening and winning campaigns at all levels.

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Guest Speaker: Lois Gibbs, CHEJ Leadership Training Academy

Fundraising for Grassroots Groups 

Tailor your fundraising strategy to your organization’s message!

Individual Donor Strategy

Foundation Fundraising 

Guest Speaker: Lois Gibbs, CHEJ Leadership Training Academy

Media Messaging and Relations

Learn how to sharpen your skills in communicating with the media and the public. This training will help you to build your skills to move messages that make a difference, inspire, galvanize and give voice.

Guest Speaker: Kathy Mulady, People’s Action Institute

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How to Raise Money For your Group Through Individuals

If your group is always strapped for funds then you should attend this training. Learn how to build a donor campaign that will support your groups important work year after year. Through donations and bequests, individual donors typically account for more than three-quarters of charitable giving each year. It is a good idea to focus on the potential of individuals that are closest to your organization and its mission.

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Training Resources

Dealing with Trouble

This session looks at trouble shooting, problem solving, and sharing common problems with others. Our speaker for the call is David Beckwith, one of the founding members of CHEJ, who has worked as a community organizer, training, and consultant to community groups since 1971.

Download mp3 | CHEJ’s Dealing with Trouble Guidebook

Running for Office

Getting involved in community affairs has never been more important and some of you may be thinking about taking a major step and running for office. Deciding to become a candidate for local office can be an incredibly exciting moment in your life but the first steps and trying to figure out where to start can be daunting. This session will help you think through these first steps and help you identify what you need to get started. Questions that will be addressed include why run, what to consider before making a decision, and how do you get started.

Guest Speakers: Laurel Wales, Deputy Director of Movement Politics with People’s Action; Roxanne Groff, co-founder of  Save Our Rural Environment

Download mp3 | Attachments (1) (2) (3) (4) | CHEJ’s Running for Office Guidebook

National Lessons from Maryland’s Fracking Ban

On March 27th, with game-changing support from Republican Governor Larry Hogan, the Maryland General Assembly gave final approval to a bill to ban fracking in Maryland forever. The move culminates years of protests against fracking from landowners, health leaders, and environmentalists. It also sets a significant national precedent, as other states grapple with the dangerous gas-drilling method. But how did it happen? What were the keys to success in Maryland? Why did Republicans support the ban? What are the implications for other fracking and pipeline fights across the country?

Guest Speaker: Teresa Mills, CHEJ Ohio Organizer; Brooke Harper, Maryland Field Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network

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Beyond Flint: Why Your Drinking Water May Be Worse

Learn about drinking water testing, particularly for lead, and why you may not be safe even if your water company meets federal guidelines and standards. Learn what you need to know about testing, what to look for including emerging contaminants, the limits of the testing and how testing should be done. We’ll also discuss the EPA’s revised procedures for sampling lead in drinking water and how these procedures influence the results.

Guest Speakers: Stephen Lester, CHEJ Science Director; Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Science and Technology in Society at Virginia Tech, and the founder of Parents for Nontoxic Alternatives

Download mp3 | Download PDF (1) | PDF (2)

Media: Effective Framing, Targeting and Messaging

Learn how to sharpen your skills in communicating with the media and the public. Build your skills to move messages that make a difference, inspire, galvanize, and give voice and power.

Guest Speaker: Lois Gibbs

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Strategic Planning

Is your organization ready for this new year? Do you have a plan? Join Lois Gibbs to sharpen your skills on developing a plan to stay focused, be proactive and to allow you to figure out when you need to say “No” to others asking for support. Too often leaders are pulled in many different directions and as a result are not as effective as they could be. This training will help you to put together the framework to work proactively and stay focused.

Guest Speaker: Lois Gibbs

Download mp3 | Download PDF

Social Media

Discussed were the benefits of social media platforms: FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also described were suggestions on how to use each platform effectively for community outreach.

Guest Speakers: Lizzy Duncan, Britta Husen, Abigail Esplana, CHEJ Interns

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Can Health Studies Help You?

Health studies are a complex subject, particularly when trying to relate them to your cause. This training call addresses the strengths and weaknesses of health studies in the context of what you can learn about the health problems in your community. It discusses the benefits and pitfalls of different types of studies, limitations of health study design, the difficulty in interpreting results and the importance of matching the study design to your community’s concerns.

Guest Speaker: Stephen Lester, CHEJ Science Director

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Money, Money, Money!

There are two parts to gaining political power and winning the battles you are fighting on environmental justice. The first is people power – you can’t fight city hall on your own, you need people around who will raise their voice for justice with you! The second part of power is more difficult for most people: asking for the money you need to fund your work.

Guest Speakers: Laura Barrett, Marjorie Fine, Gordon Mayer, Jessica Wernli.

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School Your Community on the ABCs of Shale Gas Risks

Protect Our Children, a Philadelphia-based coalition of local and regional organizations dedicated to protecting school children from the health risks of shale gas drilling and infrastructure, has a few back-to-school tips for us on how to organize and raise awareness about the potential harm to our kids of fracking.

Guest Speakers: Prarthana Gurung, Gillian Graber, Laura BarrettJordan Hoover, Lisa Graves-Marcucci.

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Make Candidates Answer Your Questions

Join us for a training call that will show you how to get your issue to the top of a candidate’s agenda, whether they are running for local, regional or state office. If you are on your own, part of a volunteer group or even if you have a 501c3 or 501c4 organization, this call will help you create a civic engagement strategy that will work for you. We will also talk about what environmental justice groups like CHEJ are thinking about doing during the first 100 days of a new EPA administrator to get the focus shifted off corporate polluters and onto the grassroots people.

Guest Speaker: Drew Astolfi, Center for Community Change

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Children’s Vulnerabilities to Toxic Chemicals

Why are children more vulnerable to chemical exposure than adults? Children are not little adults. Children are more susceptible to adverse health impacts from exposure because:

  • Children’s uniqueness is in part due to the way they behave and their mannerisms;  they behave like children, for example, and are more likely to place dirt in their mouths.
  • Children also take in more food, drink and air per pound of body weight than adults.

The session will also discuss the link between chemical exposure and adverse health effects on children and talk about steps you can take to protect your children.

Guest Speaker: Stephen Lester, CHEJ Science Director

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What You Need To Know About Contaminated Drinking Water: A Focus on Lead

Learn about water testing, particularly for lead, including what people need to know about testing, what to look for, who should do the testing, and how testing should be done. We will also discuss the EPA’s new procedures for sampling lead in drinking water and how these procedures (old and new) influence the results.

Guest Speaker Marc Edwards, engineering professor at Virginia Tech University and nationally renowned expert on water quality known for his recent work in Flint, MI.

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