New York, NY – October 24, 2023
In a heartfelt ceremony held on October 17, the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) celebrated the remarkable achievements of the Environmental Leaders of Color, a Mt. Vernon-based non-profit organization dedicated to empowering marginalized communities in the battle against climate change. The NYLCV recognized the Environmental Leaders of Color as their Non-Profit Honoree, lauding their unwavering commitment to education and advocacy for underserved communities facing the adverse impacts of climate change.
Environmental Leaders of Color (ELC) is an organization driven by a profound mission to prepare disadvantaged communities for the challenges of climate change. Their initiatives include summer sessions to educate children about climate change and opportunities for young people to pursue careers in general science, social service, medicine, engineering, law, clean energy, and social justice. One of their core advocacy goals is integrating climate change and its consequences into educational curricula from kindergarten to professional schools.
Founded by Dr. Diana Williams and Marvin Church, ELC is resolute in its pursuit of ensuring equitable access to resources, education, and opportunities for all residents, regardless of race, gender, physical ability, country of origin, mental ability, sexual orientation, culture, age, sexual preference, religion, social status, or income. Their vision is to unite communities in the fight against the devastating impacts of climate change.
The NYLCV, as the only statewide environmental organization in New York, champions various environmental causes, including clean water, clean air, renewable energy, and open space preservation, through political action. Their non-partisan, pragmatic, and practical approach aligns with ELC’s dedication to climate justice.
In addition to recognizing the outstanding work of the Environmental Leaders of Color, NYLCV’s Westchester Chapter outlined its priorities to combat climate change:
- Sustainable Development: Municipalities can be crucial in addressing climate change by fostering sustainable communities. The NYLCV will collaborate to modernize zoning regulations to encourage mixed land use, compact development, downtown revitalization, open space protection, historic preservation, and energy-efficient building codes.
- Renewable Energy: Transitioning to renewable energy sources is vital for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. NYLCV will work to address challenges related to the siting of large-scale renewable energy installations and small-scale renewable technology installations. This initiative is particularly critical following the shutdown of Indian Point in 2021 to prevent replacing its power with fossil fuels.
- Clean Air: NYLCV is committed to expediting conversions and retrofits to cleaner, more efficient heating systems, following the recent legislation to phase out No. 4 and No. 6 home heating oil. Furthermore, they will continue their efforts to reduce emissions from power plants and automobiles, focusing on protecting environmental justice communities through targeted interventions.
- Electric Vehicles: In their ongoing advocacy, NYLCV will work towards increasing the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in municipal fleets, transit systems, and school bus fleets. They will expand the EV charging station network throughout Westchester and ensure that environmental justice communities have equitable access to and benefit from EV technology.
The collaboration between NYLCV and the Environmental Leaders of Color underscores the collective effort required to address the challenges of climate change and promotes a future where environmental justice is accessible to all.