Public Health & Environmental Justice

What we do

Environmental justice is rooted in the belief that all people, regardless of income, race, national origin, or gender, deserve the dignity of living in a healthy and safe environment.  This objective is advanced by providing communities equitable and meaningful voices in ensuring the development of sustainable and healthy places to live, work, and play.

Our work exists at the intersection of economics, public health, environmental and food justice, and community development, taking a law and organizing approach to ensuring communities an equitable and meaningful voice in the health, sustainability, and future of their neighborhoods. Here is what we are currently working on:

Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI)

Community gardening has substantial and immediate benefits for Philadelphia, where a quarter of all people live in poverty, more than 40,000 plots of land lie vacant, and over 900,000 people face hunger and malnutrition. READ MORE

Grounded in Philly

Grounded in Philly – – is a web mapping and organizing tool that provides access to data on vacant land throughout Philadelphia and offers resources to individuals interested in starting or preserving community-based vacant land projects. READ MORE

Soil Generation

Soil Generation is a coalition of Philadelphia organizations and individuals who support equity and social justice for community-managed green space, gardens, and farms through advocacy, grassroots organizing, and community education. READ MORE

Philadelphia Land Bank Bill

In early 2013 Councilwoman María Quiñones Sánchez and Councilman Bill Green reintroduced the Philadelphia Land Bank Bill to the Philadelphia City Council. Since then, the Law Center has been involved in commenting and testifying on this bill as a member of the Philadelphia Land Bank Alliance, the Soil Generation coalition and the Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land. READ MORE

Eastwick Advocacy and Community Development

We are supporting the Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition (EFNC), a group of Eastwick residents and Friends of the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, to ensure they have a voice in the future of their neighborhood. READ MORE

Hunting Park, Philadelphia

The Law Center first partnered with Hunting Park residents in 1986 when a company planned to open a facility to treat toxic wastes in the middle of the neighborhood. We provided legal and technical assistance, and we helped the community secure additional safeguards and citizen oversight of the facility’s emissions. READ MORE

Recent News