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t.e.j.a.s. "Communities in action" - houston, tx


In May 2014, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.) teamed up with Statistics for Action to learn new ways of communicating and understanding scientific data through the power of popular education techniques and activities designed by environmental justice communities and researchers.

This collaboration resulted in a series of workshops in the Manchester and Furr High School communities in the Houston area.Together, organizers, students, and community members looked at real-time pollution data -- fine particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) -- that had been gathered from around the Houston Ship Channel by t.e.j.a.s. organizers.  Organizers collected the data to better understand the potential health risks associated with diesel particulate matter.

Fine particulate matter  are very small particles that, because of their size, can be absorbed into the bloodstream when inhaled, and contribute to respiratory ailments and premature death from heart and lung disease.   VOCs are highly reactive chemicals that form smog, and long-term exposure to some compounds (benzene and hexane) may cause cancer or contribute to other serious illness.

Other Recent Accomplishments

  • Supported and participated in the Summit on Chemical Safety in West Virginia in Januarary 2015.
  • Sent delegation of grassroots leaders from the affiliate organizations to attend the Pre-Conference Of Parties gathering on Margarita Island, Venezuela to participate in process to inform United Nations Climate Change policy.
  • Supported three "Four Directions Intergenerational Youth Exchange" trainings in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
  • Supported local organizing and campaigns in many states, including Alaska, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, New Mexico, California, and Delaware. After more than a decade of struggle, Mossville, Louisiana residents won a commitment for relocation from the toxic fenceline of Sasol.
  • Released a national opinion poll documenting strong majority support for requirements to use safer chemicals and processes.
  • Presented to the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council; Good Jobs, Green Jobs; the National Black Farmers Association; the NAACP; at churches, universities, retreats, and other venues.
  • Organized fenceline and environmental justice community group engagement in the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families “Stroller Brigade” in Washington, DC.
  • Sponsored “Healing the Homelands,” an event to bring community people from across the country into a shared space with White House staff, Agency staff, philanthropists, and mainstream and environmental justice groups in Washington, DC.
  • Hosted a national EJ Encuentro (meeting) to build collaboration and plan strategy, tactics, and communications.
  • Won a groundbreaking Presidential Executive Order on chemical plant disaster prevention with our partners in the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters.
  • United EJ and community groups on flame retardant, cosmetics, and other product exposure campaigns.
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