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Environmental Justice
& Civic Engagement

Intro

Working at the intersection of social inequity and the ecological crisis.

Low-income communities and communities of color are not only the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, they are also more likely to live near toxic sites that release pollution into local air, water and soil that harm human and environmental health. CEE helps to connect our civic discourse to frontline communities and ensure that they lead the way in raising public consciousness and creating change.

Meet the team

 

People

Meet Catherine Flowers

Catherine is CEE’s Environmental Justice & Civic Engagement Fellow and founder of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation (ACRE).
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From the blog

The Stench of American Neglect

by Caroline Fraser for The New York Review In her new book, the activist Catherine Coleman Flowers chronicles her efforts to expose criminally deficient sanitation in her home county of Lowndes, Alabama and around the US. February 25, 2021 issue In 1941 Walker Evans, a photographer, and James Agee, a… Read more

Bridging the rural divide

OPINION | ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT – THE HILL Catherine Coleman Flowers   The deep divide between rural and urban communities is a polarization that has been exemplified by coronavirus, climate change and economic despair. It is estimated that approximately 60 million people live in rural America. Most of the landmass of the… Read more

How to Fix the Climate

Catherine Coleman Flowers offers a response to the Boston Review Forum on ‘How to Fix the Climate’. “The people least responsible for climate change are the most impacted. We must prioritize exposed, fence-line, frontline, and vulnerable communities.” Living in Alabama, a state bordered by the Gulf Coast, it is hard… Read more

Battling America’s ‘dirty secret’

Climate change raises the risk from failing sewage systems. So Catherine Coleman Flowers is working for a new way to deal with waste. Originally published DECEMBER 17, 2020 by Sarah Kaplan for the Washington Post – Climate Solutions. LOWNDES COUNTY, Ala. — To Catherine Coleman Flowers, this is “holy ground”: the… Read more

NY Times Book Review of ‘Waste’

Excerpt from The New York Times online. Originally published Nov 17, 2020. Read the complete review here. ———————————— Flowers brings an invigorating sense of purpose to the page. “Waste” is written with warmth, grace and clarity. Its straightforward faith in the possibility of building a better world, from the ground… Read more

Catherine Coleman Flowers, NY Times Opinion

Mold, Possums and Pools of Sewage: No One Should Have to Live Like This Before she died of Covid-19, Pamela Rush opened her home to show the world what poverty looks like. Originally Published Nov. 14, 2020 Ms. Flowers is the author of the forthcoming “Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against… Read more

Sewage is still ‘America’s dirty secret’ – Catherine Flowers is fighting to change that -The Verge

By Justine [email protected]  Nov 13, 2020, 4:26pm EST The Verge Doctors couldn’t diagnose the rash spreading across Catherine Flowers’ legs and body. But the activist thought it had to do with the day she wore a dress during a visit to a family whose yard featured “a hole in the ground… Read more

Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret out November 17th

November 17, 2020 – Official Release Date Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret by Catherine Coleman Flowers With a foreword by Bryan Stevenson Where to Purchase About The MacArthur grant–winning “Erin Brockovich of Sewage” tells the riveting story of the environmental justice movement that is firing up rural America,… Read more

MacArthur ‘Genius’ Brings National Attention To Local Fight Against Sewage Failures

As heard on Morning Edition and originally published by NPR October 21, 2020 Heard on Morning Edition EMMA BOWMAN If Catherine Flowers ever received a calling to take on a career in environmental activism, it likely came in the form of mosquito bites. In 2009, Flowers was doing economic development work… Read more

Catherine Flowers among those participating in “Your Vote, Your World” on October 24th

  What’s at stake in the 2020 election? EVERYTHING.   With just 10 days to go before the most important election in generations, Your Vote, Your World brings together activists, artists, musicians, and cultural icons for a LIVE digital rally to explore what’s at stake and how we will make our voices… Read more