Environmental Justice

According to the EPA, Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. This goal will be achieved when everyone enjoys:

  • the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and

  • equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.


Environmental racism is the inverse of environmental justice. Even controlling for levels of poverty, polluters are more likely to be located in communities with a higher percentage of people of color. 

The Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group has called on local organizations and individuals to publicly acknowledge that racism is a public health crisis and commit to fighting for racial justice. ColorPenfieldGreen has signed on in support of their statement and we encourage readers to consider doing the same. Not only is racism a public health crisis, climate change will only exacerbate the dangers. We will support initiatives at the local, state, and federal level that advance social and economic justice. We commit to advocating for policies that will improve health and climate resiliency in communities of color.

Climate change is an existential threat to everyone on this planet, but the effects will hit, are hitting, and have been hitting indigenous populations and people of color first and hardest.  These populations are more likely to be exposed to the harmful air pollutants that are released when burning hydrocarbons, and therefore have much higher rates of asthma, respiratory diseases, and other chronic illnesses – some of which are the very underlying health issues causing Covid-19 to be so much more deadly to these populations.


NY Renews champions New York State's Climate and Community Investment Act and they have a petition you can sign: Climate Justice Recovery

Signal your support of The Greater Rochester Black Agenda. Sign their petition: Racism is a Public Health Crisis


Unequal Impact: The Deep Links Between Racism and Climate Change by Beth Gardiner, June 9, 2020

Energy Justice and Climate Change: Key Concepts for Public Health by American Public Health Association

Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism by By Somini Sengupta, June 3, 2020

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice by Corinne Shutack, Originally posted August 13, 2017 & is continually updated

I’m a black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet. By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, June 3, 2020

Trump's EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real by Vann R. Newkirk II, February 28, 2018

Connections: How climate change affects the health of at-risk communities By Evan Dawson & Megan Mack, April 16, 2020

A Green New Deal Architect Explains How the Protests and Climate Crisis are Connected by James Temple, June 11, 2020

Green New Deal vs. Carbon Tax: A Clash of 2 Worldviews, Both Seeking Climate Action by Marianne Lavelle, March 4, 2019

A Guerrilla Gardener in South Central LA, Ron Finley, 2013 TED talk



540WMain is an online and community-based hub for accessible education and events that promote justice for all. We aim to create a cultural shift in perspectives and practice by connecting members to lifestyle programming informed by social justice and anti-racism strategies.

Environmental Justice Groups

NY Renews

NY Renews is a statewide coalition of over 200 environmental, justice, faith, labor, and community groups, and the force behind the nation’s most progressive climate law. They fight for good jobs and climate justice.

Reconnect Rochester

Whether by bus, by rail, on bike, or on foot, Reconnect Rochester champions transportation choices that enable a more vibrant and equitable community.

Sustainable Homes Rochester

SHR is a community campaign designed to encourage residents to install clean heating and cooling technologies and improve home energy efficiency.

Social Justice Groups


Metro Justice is a progressive member-driven, grassroots organization dedicated to social, economic, and racial justice in Rochester

Showing Up For Racial Justice

SURJ supports the missions of People of Color-led racial justice groups in the Rochester area in their fight against oppression and inequality. They educate white people about privilege and white supremacy and organize white people to act for racial justice with passion and accountability.

ColorPenfieldGreen is an organization of residents of the Town of Penfield, NY who are concerned about the environment. Our goals are to: 

  • inform fellow residents about all the incredible ways that our community is “Going Green” with a focus on climate

  • educate people as to how they can reduce their carbon footprints - at individual, family, neighborhood, municipal, state, and federal levels

  • organize local volunteers to participate in high impact campaigns, and 

  • support and empower Penfield residents to become community leaders in addressing climate change. 


We are respectful, inclusive, nonpartisan, solutions-focused, collaborative, scientifically-informed, and committed to social, racial, environmental, and intergenerational justice.

Get social with us... 
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  • PenfieldCCA's Facebook page is here now. Check it out!

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   Email: ColorPenfieldGreen@gmail.com