Table of Contents:
National Institute for Healthy Human Spaces (NIHHS), a Racial & Economic Justice Fund grantee based in Camden, N.J., is a watchdog and advocate for a wide range of environmental justice issues. Just as Flint residents aimed a spotlight on their lead-poisoned water supply, NIHHS worked in the early 2000s to document and publicize the lead levels in Camden’s public schools. The school district refused to turn over documentation about lead levels, and NIHHS had to obtain a federal court order. When they finally received the data, they discovered that “the lead levels were astronomical,” NIHHS executive director Roy Jones said.
Feldstein and Mattingly are planning the Change Ride, which will take place Sept. 17, to be a “cycling adventure” through Philadelphia. The goals are to raise funds for Bread & Roses and to increase the visibility of social justice organizing. Riders will visit locations throughout the city that have significance to Bread & Roses’ grantees and their movements for change. Organizers and activists from each grantee group will be on site to share the history of that place throughout the morning. Mattingly, an artist, is creating a map that will link the stories into a larger picture of how organizing and resistance have shaped the city.
PCAC, formerly the Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land, is a coalition of community organizations that share this vision of accessible, affordable housing and green space in the Philadelphia region. In 2014 the Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land, with support from Bread & Roses, achieved its goal of establishing a land bank. PCAC is now organizing to make sure the land bank and the Housing Trust Fund have enough resources to meet the city’s growing need for affordable housing.
On February 25, 170 community members gathered at the Friends Center for Roots Town Hall: Challenging Displacement and Environmental Devastation. Bread & Roses partnered with Food & Water Watch and a committee of grassroots groups to plan the town hall. The meeting explored how profit-driven development practices are rooted in our nation’s history of land grabbing from indigenous peoples and displacement of poor and working-class communities.