Community Partners

Organizing People, Activating Leaders (OPAL) OPAL is a nonprofit organization formed in 2005 to engage individuals around issues of public health, including Brownfields and land-use/zoning practices, political organizing, and civic participation in the low-income communities of the Portland Metro area. OPAL encourages proactive community involvement and is a people of color led organization, concerned with promotion of atypical populations (minorities, low-income, women, etc.) in the social change arena.

OPAL received an Environmental Justice Small Grant through an EPA program aimed to assist low-income and minority communities in developing locally-based solutions to their disproportionate share of environmental and public health issues. OPAL is developing a program aimed at (1) reducing asthma attacks; (2) reducing exposure to air toxics; and (3) revitalizing contaminated sites.

Environmental Justice Action Group (EJAG) *** The Environmental Justice Action Group (EJAG) is a grassroots, membership-driven, nonprofit organization formed in September, 1996, by a group of Northeast Portland residents. EJAG is dedicated to developing and utilizing community-based leadership in people of color and low-income communities to address the issues of health, safety and environmental justice.

***As of 2008, EJAG formally joined forces with OPAL and formed one OPAL governing board. OPAL co-founders got their start with EJAG and so the strong EJAG legacy continues.

Community Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ) *** CCEJ, the first environmental justice group in the Seattle area, was formed in 1993 by a coalition of concerned citizens, organizations, and residents impacted by economic and environmental justice. CCEJ’s mission is to achieve environmental and economic justice in low income communities and communities of color by emphasizing the need to leverage community power, not just achieve environmental or social justice victories.

The Coalition Against Environmental Racism (CAER)
CAER is a University of Oregon student-based group dedicated to providing a forum for education and organization to promote environmental justice. CAER brings together the community and students from the Survival Center, Multicultural Center, ethnic student unions, and the Law School - organizations that have not all traditionally worked together for an annual conference.

Cascade Resources Advocacy Group (CRAG)
*** CRAG is a public interest, nonprofit law center that defends and protects Pacific Northwest coasts, forests, rivers, wildlands, wildlife, and communities through education, organizing and strategic litigation. CRAG is committed to helping community-based groups and has recently focused on a number of environmental justice cases.

The Rosemere Neighborhood Association (RNA) and CRAG are working together on a lawsuit claiming that the City of Vancouver, WA, has been discriminating against poor communities by failing to provide adequate municipal services such as basic sewer service and storm water management. Further, CRAG hopes to hold the EPA accountable for ignoring civil rights claims by disadvantaged communities.

The Northslope Borough (AK) and CRAG are working to protect the Inupiat whaling traditions and their community, which are now threatened by the Beaufort Sea Outer Continental Shelf Lease Exploration plan set to take place 2007-2009.

Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF) CLF is a network of 60 community-based organizations working together to create a more equitable and sustainable Portland metropolitan region. Through research, policy advocacy, and public education, CLF works to create and preserve affordable housing; ensure clean water; protect open space, wildlife habitat and farmland; create living wage jobs; provide real transportation choices; and end hunger in our community.

Center for Social and Environmental Justice The Center fulfills Washington State University's land grant mission by engaging community to address poverty, inequality, discrimination, and unequally borne environmental dangers. The Center supports interdisciplinary approaches to positive cultural, political, social, economic and environmental change.