National Institutes of Health Brings Environmental Justice Leaders from Across the US to Visit Worcester and Roxbury

December 10, 2007

Research Area: 

Clark University, Regional Environmental Council, Boys & Girls Club, ACE Among Local Groups to Participate
Environmental justice leaders from around the country brought together by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Environmental Justice Conference will tour several Worcester and Roxbury sites on Monday, December 10. The conference is hosted by Silent Spring Institute, an independent research organization dedicated to studying links between the environment and women’s health. Clark University, Regional Environmental Council, Family Health Center and Worcester Youth Center will be hosting the local events in Worcester at an urban garden run by youth, a private home being tested for indoor pollution, Clark University's green buildings and the new Boys and Girls Club in the Main South neighborhood recently built on an abandoned industrial site. Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) will host the Roxbury tour.

NIEHS is funding a major effort to improve environmental and health conditions in Worcester’s Piedmont and Main South neighborhoods. Low-income populations living in economically depressed areas are disproportionately exposed to a slew of environmental stressors including toxic chemical pollution, a lack of green space, brownfields, and violence. Similar conditions are found in many medium-sized industrial cities.

Media is welcome to attend any of the following events:
Worcester, Mass.
10:15 AM Presentation of revitalization efforts by Jack Foley of Clark University and short walking tour of the Kilby-Gardner neighborhood. Location: Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, 65 Tainter St., Worcester, MA.
11:00 AM Demonstration of household testing of a Worcester home for lead, mold and particulate matter by Clark graduate students. Location: TBD
12:00 PM Tour of Clark University’s Bioscience Building, a gold-certifield LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building. To be led by Paul Bottis. Location: Bioscience Building, Corner of Main and Maywood
12:30 PM Lunch Briefing. The Worcester Lead Action Collaborative will discuss its new $3 million grant to address local lead poisoning among vulnerable groups, and the neighborhood Trash Working Group will discuss progress on cleaning-up the streets. Prof. Laurie Ross will facilitate a discussion among participants about how the built environment impacts health. Location: Faculty Dining Room, Clark University, Maywood Street entrance.

Roxbury, MA
3:00 PM Walking tour of Dudley Square, Roxbury’s commercial center and transportation hub. Visit sites that illustrate a range of environmental justice problems: air pollution, waste facilities, brownfields, violence and displacement/gentrification – and community responses and victories. Screening of a film about ACE’s history. Location: ACE office, 2181 Washington St., Suite 301, Roxbury, MA.