A more just planet and a better future for all—including communities of color, where the health of residents is often disproportionately affected by environmental hazards and climate impacts? Getting there calls for shifts in policies, systems, and practices that will have a lasting impact on climate, air quality, health, and racial equity. 

Live Well Springfield Climate Justice Initiative

Way Finders is part of the Live Well Springfield Coalition. Among its many initiatives, the Coalition has been working since 2019 to identify ideas with the power to address community-defined health and climate priorities—with a focus on combating climate change and equitably reducing health risks in Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.

The Live Well Springfield Climate Justice Initiative set out to learn which climate issues matter most to residents and community partners. Through a series of community engagement efforts (conversations, surveys, workshops), our Coalition has identified two policy solutions that we will collectively push forward:

Policy #1: Community Choice Energy
The City of Springfield could establish a program to switch the source of basic Eversource electricity service from non-renewable sources (oil, natural gas, coal products) to clean sources: solar, wind, hydropower. If the established ways of getting our energy sources are no longer healthy for us or the earth, it’s time for change!

Policy #2: Racial and Health Equity Impact Assessment
Before the City of Springfield begins a new project or procedure, it could be required to consider the racial and health impacts the proposal would have on people of color and other minority groups. Which is to say, the link between the built environment and the disparate rates of health concerns (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma) within communities of color is evident—and needs to be interrupted through conscious, deliberate efforts. 

Get involved

Join community partners and residents of Springfield who are actively working to take on the climate crisis and systemic racism—with the goal of bringing health improvements to the city and its people. To get involved, please fill out this form and we will reach out to you.
 

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