Meet the SustainPHL Nominees: Environmental Justice 2022
This person or group’s work advocates for equitable and fair involvement of marginalized communities in their environment. This award is new for 2022.
In October, Philadelphia’s SustainPHL Awards will highlight and celebrate these community changemakers. Join us in honoring them and announce the recipient at the SustainPHL Awards on October 20 at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
Eastwick United CDC
The Eastwick United Community Development Corp is composed of Eastwick residents working together on common goals: to improve the quality of life for members of the Eastwick community by economic development, the implementation of health and safety measures, personal and professional development of residents, and unrelenting advocacy for injustice. The organization is focused on data-driven results and seeks to make sustainable changes in the community. Some of the most critical issues the group is addressing include the Amazon Distribution Center development, neighborhood flooding, tourism, the Hilco Refinery cleanup, and the Philadelphia Airport expansion.
Ebony Griffin, J.D., is the Senior Legislative Counsel at Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest law organization dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. Previously, she served as a staff attorney for environmental justice at the Public Interest Law Center. Griffin’s work has focused on projects that support low-income, historically disinvested communities and communities of color in advocating effectively for sustainable and equitable neighborhoods. This includes the Eastwick Advocacy and Community Development project and the preservation of the La Finquita Community Farm. She was also the Director of the Garden Justice Legal Initiative, a project providing pro bono legal support, policy research and advocacy, and community education and organizing to community gardeners and market farmers in the Philadelphia region.
Jerome Shabazz, Overbrook Environmental Center
Jerome Shabazz is the founder and Executive Director of JASTECH Development Services, Inc., a non-profit organization developed in 1997 to promote environmental justice, encourage sustainable community development, and promote public health in urban communities. In 2002, JASTECH established the Overbrook Environmental Education Center (OEEC), a community-based center dedicated to preserving the built and natural environments of Philadelphia.
The OEEC collected 4.85 tons of trash off of Commercial corridors in West Philadelphia, (between January and June of 2022); hosted the Philly Green Ambassador program, which provided both environmental justice and green workforce development training for 54 incumbent and returning citizens; assessed, demolished and removed a blighted vacant building of 52 tons of trash, 280 tons concrete/brick and 1400 tons steel, situated next to residential homes; organized summer youth community-scientist team to sample soil quality on vacant lots; and cleaned 96,000 sq ft. of vacant lot parcels in West Philly. The OEEC maintains a bio-retention center that collects up to 30,000 gals of the first 1-1/2′ of rainfall. This work contributes to reduced combined sewer overflow occurrences. Mr. Shabazz and his team have trained and educated 45,0000, including 1,200 interns.