ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ROUNDTABLE
The state of Wisconsin is emerging from a period
during which state’s environmental regulation agencies
were gutted. With the change to a more pro-
environment Wisconsin state government in 2018,
MWC along with other partners began a process of
engaging state officials in discussions around
environmental justice through a series of roundtable
meetings between People of Color, Indigenous folks’,
white allies and the administration.
MWC helped convene a meeting between Gov. Evers, Lt. Gov. Barnes,
and a diverse group of allies from Milwaukee’s Black, Indigenous,
Latino, communities. Over time, we expanded this group to a broad
coalition of partners and decision-makers, including nontraditional
allies outside of the environmental movement who recognize the
intersections between their work and environmental justice. At these
meetings, we discussed what environmental justice means for the state
and for Milwaukee’s communities.
The goals of the EJ Roundtable are to speak boldly into policy and
decision-making, build power among environmental justice leaders
inside and outside the environmental movement, and ultimately dismantle environmental injustice. Through a collective impact model, the EJ Roundtable brings community members and the community organizations they work with – especially those not traditionally aligned with the environmental movement – together around issues and provides the information, understanding and tools they need to create impact. The EJ Roundtable was designed to transform the environmental movement, because the movement will never be sustainable so long as it is built on a foundation of injustice. We see increased opportunities for dismantling injustices in the increasing awareness and actions of environmental organizations to include environmental justice as a component of their work.
Environmental Justice is an important part of the struggle to improve our environment and to mediate past environmental wrongs by developing and implementing response and solutions to improve and clean up our environment.
The Milwaukee Environmental Justice roundtable was created to:
1. Create a space for resource sharing and networking,
2. Critically evaluate who is benefitting from policies and projects. Elevate People of Color, Indigenous, and women environmental leaders.
3. Hold policy makers accountable to diversity and anti-oppression.
4. Establish ways to assist frontline organizations around EJ issues,
5. Receive guidance input and feedback from frontline organizations,
6. Incorporate EJ in state policies and regulations.
7. Flag or call out misguided regulations or policies.
8. Reaffirm the sacredness of unity and interdependence of ecological systems.
9. Ensure climate justice..