CRPE is unique in how we carry out our mission of achieving environmental justice and healthy sustainable communities because of our model to develop of community leaders and grassroots organizations along at a local level, along with building power at the state and national level. Locally, we our programs build the individual capacity of community residents, foster community power vis-à-vis decision-makers and address the environmental issues facing the community. We combine community education, community organizing, legal representation and policy advocacy to assist communities facing environmental harms such as climate change, oil extraction, industrialized agriculture, air quality issues and toxic waste siting. Much of our advocacy is focused in California’s San Joaquin Valley where the poorest residents—primarily Latino farmworkers and recent immigrants—are most at risk. Our work is rooted in the San Joaquin Valley because it is one of the poorest and most environmentally unhealthy regions of the country, and also because what happens here affects the nation.
Environmental justice advocacy is traditionally undertaken on a local scale with advocates working alongside residents to defeat an environmental threat, while not directly addressing the systemic causes of environmental injustices. CRPE is flipping this model to scale-up grassroots organizing and advocacy to challenge the power systems that lead to inequalities in the first place.
We currently work closely with and support several community groups in the San Joaquin Valley including:
- Committee for a Better Arvin
- Committee for a Better Shafter
- Delano Guardians
- Greenfield Walking Group
- Comite Progreso de Lamont
Along with building grassroots leadership, we also partner with groups at the state and national levels and participate in several coalitions including the California Environmental Justice Alliance, Californians Against Fracking and the Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative.