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Environmental Justice Forum

A series of forums hosted by Rep Becky Evans, New Life Community Alliance, and Science for Georgia.

The main goal of this series of forums is to work toward an agenda where the community is taking action and working together to get funding for needed infrastructure to improve their environment and health.

April 27: Community Day of Action

Community Clean-Up in Ormewood Forest

Date: Apr 27th

Time: 9-12

Location: 770 Shadowridge Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

Ormewood Forest is a brand-new park space. Help is needed to clear out the invasive species and trash. The day will start with a brief talk from Alex Levy, a Certified Arborist, explaining the history of the park and what the invasive species are. 

Please come in long sleeves and pants. Please bring sunscreen and insect repellant. 

Tools will be provided. 

Organized by EACA Parks and Greenspace Committee, Science for GeorgiaRep Becky Evans, and New Life Community Alliance.

Find more information here.

Jan 27: Setting an Agenda

On Saturday, January 27, 2024, South Dekalb community members, leaders, and researchers gathered for an Environmental Justice Forum. This was the second of a series of forums hosted by Rep Becky Evans, New Life Community Alliance, and Science for Georgia. The goal is to develop an agenda where the community is taking action and working together to get funding for needed infrastructure to improve their environment and health. 

At the event, Andrea Jones of GA WAND eloquently defined environmental justice as the intersectional, cumulative disparity in climate change, energy, health, housing, pollution, transportation, water, wastewater, workforce, and race. Taken together, these add up in ways that disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities. Such environmental injustice issues are pervasive in South DeKalb. This forum was an opportunity to engage with these issues through sharing data and outlining action.

FREE TREEs – Trees Atlanta and Unincorporated DeKalb are working together to provide free trees. Fill out the form to request your tree.

Sign up for Engage DeKalb to stay up to date on services and programs.

Energy Burden Assistance

GA Power’s Energy Burden Portal

Discounted solar leasing via Georgia Bright Program. A potential way to lower your energy bill.

Explore And Address Water and Air Quality

Explore Air Quality Health in Your City​.

Learn all about Radon.

Learn more about South River Watershed Alliance’s Water Quality Monitoring program.

Science for Georgia’s EJ Map.

Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) from the US Government.

EPA information on Indoor Air Quality.

The Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Your Lungs from the American Lung Association.

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Program from the Georgia State Government.

Download and use the Smell My City App to help us crowdsource issues in your area! 

Learn more about Environmental Justice Bills.

Participate in an Environmental Justice Day at the Capitol. Feb 16.

Sci4Ga’s Advocacy Guide

Learn tips and ticks to advocate for yourself and your community.

AGENDA:

TimeSpeaker
10:00 – 10:10Welcome: Rep. Becky Evans
10:10 – 10:25Working Together to Collect Robust Datasets: Dr. Sarah Holderness Ledford, GSU and Dr. Jacqueline Echols, South River Watershed Alliance
10:25 – 10:40DeKalb Sustainability Efforts, Mr. Brian Brewer, Sr Planner, Long Range Planning Division, and Ms. Kathy Reed, Sustainability Coordinator, DeKalb County Planning & Sustainability Dept
10:40 – 11:00DeKalb Watershed Updates, Ms. Maria Houser, Director of Consent Decree and Environmental Compliance, DeKalb County Planning & Sustainability Dept
11:00 – 11:15Statewide EJ Efforts and Legislation: Ms. Andrea Jones, GA WAND
11:15 – 11:30Moving Forward and Taking Action, Dr. Amy Sharma, Science for Georgia
11:30 – NoonFeedback Session

In the feedback session after the forum, participants expressed enthusiasm for collaborative community monitoring and management of the environment that enables insight into the ecosystem and its needs. The systems that created environmental injustices are complex, so it will take an empowered coalition to make the changes for the good of the people and the environment. 

Oct 28: EJ Take Action Forum and Listening Session

On Saturday, October 28, 2023, South Dekalb residents and community leaders joined Representative Becky Evans, Science for Georgia, and New Life Community Alliance for an open discussion on environmental issues facing South Dekalb.

South DeKalb has long felt the effects of environmental racism, and a combination of opportunities and access are aligning which could fund the remediation and future protection of these neighborhoods. Input from the community is needed to guide these efforts to be productive and address the community needs. 

Attendees heard from local organizations listed below about important topics including energy affordability, air quality monitoring, radon testing, and environmental advocacy.

  • Pastor Marlin Harris, New Life Community Alliance
  • Representative Becky Evans, District 89
  • DeAnna Oser, Georgia EPD
  • Georgia Conservation Voters (GCV)
  • Georgia Power
  • Chris Wood, Snapping Shoals
  • Dr. Dajun Dai, Georgia State University
  • Clarence Williams, Chapel Hill Organization
  • Renee Cail, Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment
  • Julia Singer, on behalf of, South River Watershed Alliance
  • Dr. Michael Czajkowski, Science for Georgia

Breakout sessions were conducted to identify the top five critical issues facing South Dekalb along with solutions on how to mitigate them. At the end of the session, everyone voted on their top two issues, and the top five concerns identified were:

  1. Greater testing for pollutants and contaminants
  2. Concerns about predatory marketing
  3. Increased education on environmental health issues
  4. Impact on the environment from natural and stormwater sources
  5. Greater need for county-led workshops on Federal and State grants

A follow up session will be held on Jan 27th. In the meantime, the partners will work to understand a plan of action to address issues 1 and 3. These plans will presented at the Jan 27th meeting and participants will be able to get involved. Follow the sign-up link below for information on how to get involved!

Summary of Town Hall #1

Video about Justice 40

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Partners

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