November 2022 Newsletter

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SWEA News & Updates

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Message from

Our Founder & Executive Director

Welcome to November!

November is the month that we travel and enjoy the many celebrations and festivals throughout the world and our community. Diwali, is a festival of lights that marks the start of the Hindu New Year. For five days, the triumph of good over evil is celebrated. 

As we see the environmental degradation in our community let's lift up and hold on to the good things happening in the South Ward. The South Ward Environmental Alliance is working everyday to build collaborations, lift the voices of the voiceless, mitigate and reduce air pollution and empower our community with information and tools to improve our daily quality of life.

SWEA acknowledges and gives gratitude to the organizations, stakeholders and individuals doing the work to address the social, economic and environmental injustices in the mighty South Ward.

We deserve to spend quality time with our family, friends and community as we prepare for the Thanksgiving celebrations.

In Solidarity,

Kim Gaddy, Executive Director

SWEA Open House Event 🏠

The South Ward Environmental Alliance Open House was a huge success for our community. The mighty South Ward elected officials, community partners and residents were in attendance to hear program updates and next steps by Kim Gaddy, Executive Director and staff members. In addition, South Ward Councilman Patrick Council and Councilman-at-large Larry Crump gave remarks on the importance of our environment and pledged their continued support of SWEA's  Environmental Justice priorities to ensure clean air, safe drinking water and engagement of our youth in the emerging green jobs economy. Special thanks to our community partners, Clinton Hill Community Action, Newark Beth and New Jersey FamilyCare.

The first highlight of the day was the refreshments served by Hajjah Dena Corbin, SWEA volunteer and CEO of Natural Ground 1, which included  herbal teas and hot cider enjoyed by all participants. Also, the performance of the Essex & Union County Marching Cougars and introducing them as the South Ward Environmental Alliance Social and Environmental Justice Band under the leadership of Darryl Taylor and Jamal Littles was the final highlight of the day. The South Ward Youth are ready to learn, participate and become the next generation of environmental advocates for Environmental, Social and Economic Justice.

Images Taken by Frankie Walls

Upcoming Events:

Webinars on the Environmental Justice Index: National Tool to Measure the Cumulative Impacts of Environmental Burden on Health

The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is pleased to announce a new webinar that will teach attendees how to use the new Environmental Justice Index (EJI). The EJI is the first national, place-based tool designed to measure the cumulative impacts of environmental burden through the lens of human health and health equity.


  • Sharunda Buchanan, MS, PhD | Interim Director, Office of Environmental Justice (HHS)
  • Benjamin McKenzie, MS | Geospatial Epidemiologist; Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Index, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR)

Please register here in advance of the webinar. 

The Athena Fall Meeting

James Young, SWEA's Senior Citizen Organizer, attended the Fall Athena Meeting held virtually on Thursday, October 27, 2022. There, experiences of our recent New Jersey victory with the Amazon project were reviewed and shared. There were environmental justice leaders at this meeting from all across the United States and abroad discussing future plans for Black Friday demonstration against Amazon.

It was reported that Congresswoman Cori Bush had introduced two bills to protect workers from climate and environmental hazards. The Worker Safety in ClimateDisaster Act would prevent workers from being fired for seeking shelter during disasters and offer paid time off for workers affected by those disasters. The Wind Safety Standard Act would require the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to create a Wind Safety Standard modeled after the Heat Safety Standard to protect workers put in danger in the workplace by high wind conditions.

Momentum Fund Fall Gathering

On November 1st, South Ward Environmental Alliance Executive Director, Kim Gaddy and Environmental Justice Organizer, Asada Rashidi attended the in person Fall Gathering hosted by Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Momentum Fund at the Launch Pad located Downtown Newark, NJ. The Momentum Fund engages with organizations that are working in service to under-invested communities in New Jersey that are most directly impacted by structural barriers to equity—namely communities of color. The organizations under the Momentum Fund are South Ward Environmental Alliance, CATA – The Farm Workers Support Committee, The H.U.B.B. Arts & Trauma Center, IDEA Center for the Arts, New Labor, Newark Community Street Team, New Jersey Resource Project, Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc., Palestinian American Community Center, and VietLead. The purpose of the Fall Gathering was to build and deepen the relationships among Momentum Fund cohort members as well as between cohort members and the Dodge team, work in solidarity to conceptualize and design the remainder of the Momentum Fund Cohort journey giving careful attention to building capacity in year two and building power in year three, and capture reflections on the impact of participation in the Momentum Fund in building community in year one. The gathering was an amazing opportunity to feed off the leadership from everyone in the room and develop solutions for our organizations that are most impacted by racial injustice and inequity. There was amazing synergy at this gathering and SWEA is looking forward to the continued partnership with the Momentum Fund and the other organizations to strengthen capacities, reimagine systems, and build dynamic networks.

2nd Annual Pumpkin Patch (CHCA) 🎃

October 29th from 10am-3pm, bright and early Saturday morning to start the weekend off right. Clinton Hill Community Action (CHCA) hosted their second annual fall pumpkin patch.  The activities consisted of Pumpkin painting, Cider making, cooking demonstrations, Glass blowing, Lantern making, Costume contest, petting zoo, Farm stand, Hayrides, and music with a live Band. The energy, the engagement and the positivity in the atmosphere from all participants was revealed by the smiles on their faces. Well done team!

South Ward Promise Neighborhood Host an  All Partner Meeting Soiree

Wednesday, October 27, 2022 the South Ward Promise Neighborhood hosted their “All Partner Meeting Soiree” to celebrate their past five years, spotlighting the collaborative work they have done since the inception of their organization. The evening began with a cocktail reception for their guest and organizational partners to be followed by a program to include a panel discussion about the history of the South Ward: Past, Present and Future. The moderator for this discussion was Tahina Perez, Executive Director for Teach for America. The panelists included, Hon. Patrick Council, South Ward Councilman, Kim Gaddy, Founder & Executive Director of the South Ward Environmental Alliance and Altarik White, Founder & Executive Director of Leaders for Life.

The evening was concluded by a very elegant dinner buffet, dancing and an opportunity to network with fellow partners.

National News

FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Leadership to Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad Galvanizes Unprecedented Momentum at Start of U.N. Climate Conference (COP27) | The White House

FACT SHEET: Progress on Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure | The White House

October Environmental Justice Tours

This past month, South Ward Environmental Alliance co-hosted two Environmental Justice bus tours with Ironbound Community Corporation. The EJ tours traveled through the Port of Newark, the Dayton Street Neighborhood of the South Ward and Ironbound section of East Ward. The first tour was for our truck count participants and the second tour was for the Robert Wood Johnson Fund. The purpose of the tours were to educate and inform residents, partner organizations, and funders about the hefty amount of industrial facilities and trucks that contribute significantly to the decline in the quality of life in Newark. The community members that live in the South and East ward, experience a disproportionate amount of pollution on a daily basis. The polluters are literally in their backyards. These conditions would not be acceptable in more affluent neighborhoods yet populations with people of color and lower incomes are subjected to these circumstances. The EJ Tours serve as motivation to uplift these environmental injustices and strengthen the fight to cultivate healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.

Images taken by Frankie Walls

Special Announcement:

Bon Voyage Kim Gaddy ✈️

Executive Director Kim Gaddy is traveling to Egypt for the UN Climate Conference (COP27). She will be in Sharm El-Sheikh with world leaders and partners to enhance global ambition to accelerate growth in clean energy, avert the most catastrophic impacts of change, and help lower and middle income countries build resilience to climate impacts.

The SWEA Monthly meetings will reconvene in the new year with a new day and new time! We will now meet every 4th Wednesday of the month, 6:00 - 7:00 PM.

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