Kresge Foundation awards $600,000 grant to the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts to combat climate change, improve health equity
Thank you to everyone who has participated in our climate justice project so far and we have great news on moving forward on our policy priorities!
The Kresge Foundation has awarded the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts a $600,000 grant for the Live Well Springfield Coalition to advance policy solutions aimed at combating climate change and equitably reducing health risks in low-income communities. Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts (PHIWM) is one of 14 community-based nonprofits nationwide receiving grant funding as part of The Kresge Foundation’s Climate Change, Health and Equity initiative.
With this funding, PHIWM will work with Live Well Springfield coalition members including the Resident Advisory Board, Arise for Social Justice, Way Finders, Neighbor to Neighbor,Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the City of Springfield and partners from other sectors to develop multi-year work plans that address community-defined health and climate priorities.
The Live Well Springfield Climate Justice Initiative will address climate change and health equity policy issues in Springfield with funding from the Kresge Foundation over the next three years. The Coalition is excited to continue the climate justice work started by grassroots advocacy groups and community residents around the creation of the Strong, Healthy, and Just: Climate Action Resilience Plan (CARP).
In 2019 the Coalition was awarded a planning grant by Kresge to identify one to two policy ideas that could significantly impact greenhouse gas emissions, health, equity, and racism. The coalition partners- Live Well Springfield, Arise for Social Justice, Way Finders, Neighbor to Neighbor, Public Health Institute of Western Mass, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission– worked closely with stakeholders, Resident Advocates, and residents to narrow down to two policies out 156 in the CARP. The partners created a variety of community engagement projects like community conversation, surveys, and workshops to gain community input and feedback.
The Coalition is excited for this next chapter to address the systemic issues of climate change. To show appreciation for the community engagement, they created a thank you video to Springfield residents and climate justice allies who helped the Coalition narrow down to two policies. Going forward, they will be advocating for community choice energy and a race and health equity impact assessment requirement.
Climate Change and Racial Justice Virtual Community Workshop
The Live Well Springfield Climate Justice Initiative invites you to a community workshop about the connections between racism and climate change. Learn how systematic racism and oppression of black and brown communities continue to impact low-income communities’ advocating for environmental justice.
January 27, 2021, 5:30-7:30 pm (English)
CANCELLED. March 10, 2021, 5:30-7:30 pm (Spanish)
What do you think would have the biggest impact on climate change, racism, air quality and health for your family?
We need your voice to decide on the best policy ideas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, improve health, and address racism for Springfield.
We invite you to take this 10-15 minute survey on climate change, health, and equity.
From the survey, you will learn more about the four policies listed below. You will watch policy pitch videos from resident advocates passionate about climate change. We hope to get a broad range of community input for this Springfield. Please share this survey with your networks!
Below are the links to the survey and the pitch videos for each policy.
- Encuesta en español https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCHEespanol2
- English survey- https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CCHEenglish2
Community Choice Energy
- A program the city of Springfield could set up to switch everyone in the city on basic Eversource electricity service over to clean energy like solar, wind, and hydropower.
Free and Safe Buses
- All PVTA bus rides in the city will be free and safe for everyone.
Racial and Health Equity Impact Assessment
- Require consideration of the racial and health impacts on people of color and other minority groups when the city begins a new project or procedure.
Complete Streets Prioritization in Previously Redlined Neighborhoods
- Invest more in sidewalks, bikeways, and transit in the neighborhoods in the city that historically have been under-invested in.
For more information, contact Samantha Hamilton at Shamilton@publichealthwm.org.
The LWS Climate Change and Health Equity Committee has been meeting since January to narrow down the key policy priorities to focus on with our advocacy efforts.
Through the Springfield Climate Justice Initiative, the coalition will engage key stakeholders and residents to be a part of a Climate Justice and Health Equity Committee (CCHE). The CCHE committee will work to narrow down the policy priorities building on Springfield’s Strong, Healthy Just: Climate Action & Resilience Plan. We believe that change cannot happen without the people most impacted by the issues at the table. Through a 1 to 1 key stakeholder to the resident ratio, we hope to balance and uplift the voices of the community.
- The CCHE Committee will meets monthly by Zoom. For more information about the CCHE committee, please contact Samantha Hamilton at Shamilton@publichealthwm.org.