Member Update February 2011

February 25, 2011

Kalila enjoying the Boston winter

Dear Members,

As this exceptionally snowy winter starts to fade out (I hope!), new energy is growing for community self-determination.

Neighbors in Jamaica Plain are building a broad-based coalition to find a suitable replacement for the beloved Hi-Lo grocery store on Centre Street. Workers and residents are mobilizing in response to rumors of Walmart looking to open a store in Roxbury. ACE members are demanding funding for youth jobs and equal treatment from the soon-to-be largest utility company in the Northeast. Immokalee farmworkers and allies are marching to a Boston supermarket chain to show widespread support for fair wages and an end to labor exploitation.

This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of the first National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, a gathering of grassroots organizers across the country who codified environmental equality into our movement's 17 principles. The past two decades have brought increasing challenges as well as tremendous victories. Thanks to the dedication of people like you, this hard work has raised our collective consciousness and lifted the profile of environmental justice so much so that the EPA—an agency that once ignored communities of color—is now championing our cause.

Recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have inspired and reminded me of what's possible when people come together for a common good. What will this year and the next 10 years bring? I can't wait to continue this work with you and find out.

With gratitude,

Kalila and TRU members


Kalila Barnett
Executive Director

In this issue:

Member Profile: Judy Babikian


I’m originally from Lynn, but I’ve lived in Chelsea for a long time. I’ve been in my building for 11 years now. I’m retired, but I go to day programs twice a week to get out of the house. I started coming to some of the ACE events a while back. It was nice to get out of my house and meet some interesting people.

I got involved with TRU five years ago. It all started because of a bus stop. Read more...

Energy efficiency in Roxbury and beyond


Ensuring equal access to energy efficiency programs
As part of the Green Justice Coalition (GJC), we have been working to reduce global warming by weatherizing homes in lower-income communities and communities of color. This reduces our neighborhoods' carbon footprint and helps families save on utility costs. We're also campaigning for the jobs created by these programs to pay good wages and hire locally.

Chelsea TRU organizing for better service

Chelsea TRU members with the GM

Following up on his commitment to the T Riders’ Union in our August member meeting, MBTA General Manager Richard Davey met with the Chelsea TRU chapter at Chelsea City Hall in November. Read more...

Annual Meeting brings members together

The ACE annual meeting was a blast!

On December 16, ACE members and supporters gathered at our Annual Meeting to reflect on a year of success and make plans for an exciting and environmentally just 2011. We shared delicious food and enjoyed performances and presentations from our different programs. Read more...

Join the Jammin' Committee

Members enjoying the silent auction at Jammin' 2010

Get involved in the biggest party of the year: Jammin' for Justice! Read more...

Do you know an EJ hero?

Share your EJ superhero with us!

Do you know a person or organization that has made significant strides in environmental justice over the past year? Nominate them for an Environmental Justice Award to be presented at our upcoming celebration and fundraiser, Jammin’ for Justice. Read more...


ACE builds the power of communities of color and lower-income communities in New England to eradicate environmental racism and classism and achieve environmental justice. We believe that everyone has a right to a healthy environment and to be decision-makers in issues affecting our communities.