Environmental Justice and Climate Justice Program


We are at a turning point in our country, where Blacks/African Americans must participate in shaping the narrative of the future we want to see. One that incorporates us, not as an afterthought, but driven by our thoughts. We represent and work deeply in a community that faces tremendous environmental harms. Those harms include disparate health impacts from poor air quality that results from diesel, woodsmoke and industrial pollution, vulnerability to increases in temperature due to climate change, and reduced access to green spaces. These environmental impacts are exacerbated by racial disparities in wealth, employment, access to healthcare, education, and access to affordable housing.

We organize and activate the Black community on relevant environmental and climate issues, building on the Afro-Ecology Movement Framework currently under development.

We educate the Black community members around environmental and climate justice issues, meaningfully influence policies that directly impact the black community, from diesel air emissions to GHG pricing policies.

We build towards a movement addressing root causes of both environmental degradation and racism.

We hope to sustain the vision of a thriving and connected, resilient black community. (PAALF People’s Plan, Environmental Justice Section, 2017)



The Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) and Africa House are partnering on a joint process to explore and understand the impact of climate change and environmental issues on their respective and collective communities.


This process will result in an environment and climate justice plan that helps to prioritize actions and strategies that will ensure environmental impacts are eliminated and benefits, including economic opportunity and investment, are equitably distributed.

The project is funded by Meyer Memorial Trust, with support from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to partner with PAALF and Africa House on developing this focused strategic planning efforts.