Long Island Community Foundation Awards $25,000 to Sustainable Long Island
Sustainable Long Island has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation in support of the organization’s environmental justice efforts – seeking to raise awareness of environmental burdens and benefits within Long Island communities. From the $25,000 award, $10,000 will be passed through directly to two of Sustainable Long Island partners ($5,000 each): Choice for All (Roosevelt, NY) and the Long Beach Latino Civic Association.
“Currently, there is limited knowledge about what environmental justice is and who it directly and indirectly affects,” said Amy Engel, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island. “With the Long Island Community Foundation’s funding, Sustainable Long Island will continue its environmental justice efforts; seeking to address this problem not only through heightened awareness campaigns, but also by supporting local leaders who can advocate for change in their own communities.”
Over the past year, Sustainable Long Island has established a regional Environmental Justice Advisory Council, developed Environmental Community Profiles, and created an Environmental Literacy Toolkit that can be used as resources for local communities who are mobilizing to address environmental justice issues through proactive strategies. Sustainable Long Island will use these tools to engage our community partners in Roosevelt and Long Beach through educational forums that review prevalent environmental justice issues, discuss local priorities for advocacy, and set an action plan for addressing these challenges.
Choice For All – an emerging non-profit dedicated to serve as a center of support for youth, family and community development in Roosevelt and the Long Beach Latino Civic Association – a non-profit empowering the Latino/a residents of Long Beach to become integral members of the city’s mainstream institutional life, will:
- Be empowered and organized to make change on environmental justice issues affecting their respective communities.
- Develop the organizational structure and capacity to support environmental justice advocacy moving forward, specifically by convening a core group of motivated and enthusiastic volunteers from their community who are committed to making change.
- Identify short-and-long-term goals as related to local environmental justice priorities and determine a strategy for how to achieve these goals.
- Know whom to contact in local, County, City, State, and Federal government, and which issues to address with each level, i.e. local zoning changes should be brought to City of Long Beach City Council, but health-related issues and programs should be brought to the attention of New York State Assembly and Senate or NYS Department of Health.
- Use the Environmental Community Profile as a tool for advocacy – understanding how to update the data from publicly available sources and when it can support letters or meetings with community or governmental leaders.
With the development of the aforementioned tools, Sustainable Long Island is sufficiently armed to reach out to low-to-moderate income communities – where we have long-standing relationships – to create an awareness of the issues they face. Once informed, the development of campaigns and practical projects to improve the issues and challenges facing the communities, with both short and long term goals, can begin.