From hazardous waste placement to air pollution exposure to institutional policies and practices, environmental injustices happen every day across the United States and disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income communities. Environmental practices, policies and decisions can result in poor health, poor quality housing, lack of access to affordable and nutritious food, health care and employment. Environmental justice is an important focus for communities working to achieve health equity.

Join the Environmental Justice Now! Engaging Communities session scheduled for Monday, Nov. 12, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at the APHA Annual Meeting and Expo to learn how environmental justice advocates are working with communities to fight for justice and health equity. Moderated by environmental justice leader Charles Lee, three panelists will share their perspectives in working toward environmental justice and health equity.

Flint, Michigan activist and community resident, Yaquelin Vargas will share her story of how her family was impacted by lead poisoning and how the system failed in protecting those most at risk. Vargas will also discuss what steps we can take to ensuring healthy living for low-income communities.

Peggy Shepard, Executive Director of We ACT for Environmental Justice, will demonstrate the value of collaboration with academia and community residents to bring about change. Specifically, Shepard will highlight research conducted in partnership with academic institution in NYC’s West Harlem community and how the results have driven policy change.

Mustafa Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus, has worked toward environmental justice on both a federal and national level. Ali will share how to engage new audiences through the use of culture in the fight for a clean sustainable environment.

Together, panelists will provide a wide array of perspectives on the struggle for environmental justice and health equity.

Register now for APHA’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Expo. APHA's Annual Meeting is the largest annual gathering of public health professionals. Thousands of people attend, and thousands of new scientific papers are presented each year on every public health topic. APHA 2018’s theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now” puts health equity at the center of our field’s attention. Learn more and register to attend.