Organizing Across Race and Class Case Study and Workshop with Clean Air
Date: May 31, 2022
Time: 1-2:30pm ET/ 11am- 1:30pm MT/ 10-11:30am PT
Contact: Sheila Keller • email@example.com
Join Emily Terrana from Clean Air Coalition of Western New York for a conversation about the ways in which our movements for environmental and climate justice are centering anti-racism and poor and working-class communities. Emily will share how Clean Air has successfully, and unsuccessfully, organized with BIPOC communities and poor and working-class white communities to run and win environmental justice and public health campaigns in Buffalo, NY. Please come with your questions, curiosities and radical hope!
In 2020, Clean Air members organized for two Community Advisory Groups at hazardous waste sites in our community. One at the former Tonawanda Coke site in the predominately white, working class suburb of Tonawanda, NY and the other at the former American Axle site in Buffalo’s Delavan-Grider community, a predominately and historically Black community. Both teams united to fight a common target, yet only the white Tonawanda Coke site was granted a CAG. After years of deep relationship building, community organizing and political education, both teams banded together to call out the racism of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation and proclaimed that “an injustice done to one of us is an injustice done to all of us”. After another year of intentional and powerful organizing across race and class lines, the NYSDEC created a second Community Advisory Group at the American Axle plant. Through this cross-race and class organizing, both teams have built more power to run and win powerful environmental and climate justice campaigns throughout Western New York.
Bio of the Presenter, Emily Terrana:
Before joining the staff of Clean Air in 2020, Emily worked for local and state-wide organizations working towards housing, climate, racial and reproductive justice. She believes deeply in a rigorous, disciplined, and care-centered organizing practice that builds our communities’ power to live in a just, dignified and joyful world we all deserve. Emily should have been a teacher and brings her passion and skills of popular and political education to her work at Clean Air. She lives in Buffalo with her three children, Yael, Oliver and Muna, partner Jason, their three cats, Mortimer, Chunky Boy and Polystyrene and pups, Loganberry and Pierogi. Emily holds a degree in Women and Gender Studies from Buffalo State College and has been published in Selves, Symbols, and Sexualities: An Interactionist Anthology.