Who We Are
The NJEJA (the Alliance) was founded in 2001 by a broad-based group of community, (traditional) environmental, faith, labor, academic, and civil rights organizations and individuals concerned about the increasing siting of toxic and hazardous facilities in communities of color and low-income communities. Many of these communities (also called “EJ communities”) were already burdened with large concentrations of pollution and the adverse health, economic, educational, and overall quality of life impacts associated with pollution.
The New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance(NJEJA) is a statewide alliance of organizations and individuals focused on environmental justice issues. In addition to addressing statewide issues, the organization also works on local concerns in north, central and south Jersey.
The NJEJA is not only geographically diverse but is also the only statewide environmental organization in New Jersey that has a significant number of people of color in its membership and leadership. This diversity is one of the NJEJA’s most important assets and allows it to bring unique perspective to issues that is otherwise often absent in mainstream environmental policy dicussions within New Jersey.
Over the years, the Alliance has been involved in efforts to prevent and reduce pollution, especially in EJ communities. The Alliance has provided technical and organizing assistance to many communities around the state, at their request, when they have engaged in battles to stop pollution. The organization has created public policy initiatives; supported beneficial legislation on the state and federal levels; provided testimony at state and national public hearings on environmental proposals; provided educational awareness about environmental justice through articles, essays, studies, and presentations; and has helped raise public awareness and involvement about the issue.
Three major campaigns currently sponsored by the Alliance include the campaign with the Coalition for Healthy Ports, for “Good Jobs, Healthy Neighborhoods, & a Clean Environment,” lobbying for passage of an environment and health ordinance to address cumulative impacts in the City of Newark, and hosting regional Climate Justice Roundtables throughout the state.
Largely thanks to the efforts of the Alliance and its organizational partners, there is now a New Jersey Environmental Justice Movement that continues to take action to ensure that all New Jersey residents, regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, religion, or economic status, are able to live, work, play, worship, and attend school in clean, safe, healthy, sustainable environments.
For more information on our work, please see our 2018 annual report here: NJEJA 2018 Annual Report