October 2022 Newsletter

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SWEA News & Updates

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Our Founder & Executive Director

Welcome to October South Ward Family!

Greetings South Ward Family

As we welcome the month of October, it is important to recognize the many causes like Mental Illness, (Oct.2-8th) fire prevention, (Oct. 9-15th) food banks Oct. 16-22nd and the entire month is dedicated to breast cancer, Down syndrome and depression education.

We have to be our best advocates and educational awareness is key to our best health and wealth.

A healthy environment improves our mental and overall health. Participate in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks or other activities and use this month to promote and advocate for different causes.

We hope you will stop by and learn how we are advocating for changes in the South Ward to improve our health on Saturday, October 15th, 208 Lyons Avenue, 11am-2p.m. Come meet your friendly neighborhood Environmental Justice Advocates and learn how you can join our Environmental Initiatives to ensure Healthy Homes, Healthy Schools and Healthy Neighborhoods for our South Ward families.

We are the Mighty South Ward, United for Environmental Justice!

In the Struggle,

Kim Gaddy, Executive Director

Upcoming Events

  • SWEA Fall Open House
  • Join us THIS Saturday, October 15, 2022
  • NAACP EJ Committee Meeting
  • Calling all Environmental Justice Advocates! Please join the Newark NAACP Environmental Justice Committee Meeting on November 14th at 7pm via Zoom.
  • Click here to join! 

The South Ward Environmental Alliance

Senior Citizen Advisory Board

The South Ward Environmental Alliance is proud to announce the establishment of their new Senior Advisory Board. Seven senior residents from the South Ward, representing the Weequahic, Clinton Hill and Dayton St. section have been selected to be part of this advisory team. Recognizing that seniors and youth are greatly impacted by the environmental issues of our community, affecting not only their physical health, but mental stability as well, propels us to bring these two diverse groups together to collaborate on environmental issues that plagued them.

The SWEA Senior Advisory Board will be instrumental in being an advocate and assist in educating the senior community on the environmental issues that affect their quality of life. This senior body having the life experience in living, working, and raising their families in Newark is invaluable in sharing its history and the importance of the legacy that it represents. The SWEA Advisory board members are Ms. Mary Darden(Weequahic Section); Ms. Bettye Dickerson (Weequahic Section); Ms. Marva Hopps(Dayton St. Section); Ms. Minnie Greene(Dayton St. Section); Ms. Linda Washington(Dayton St. Section); Ms. Bernice Johnson(Dayton St. Townhouse Section); and Ms. Rosalyn Johnson(Clinton Hill Section).

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center's Annual Community Meeting

On September 20th SWEA's executive director, Kim Gaddy and staff member, Asada Rashidi attended Newark Beth Israel Medical Center's Annual Community Meeting. The president of the hospital, Donald Terry, gave community organizations several updates about Newark Beth Israel and how they plan to continue to partner with local organizations for community events. Asada was able to express the gratitude SWEA has for allowing the organization to be housed in the Reverend Ronald Christian Center and allowing SWEA to table and give information out at the annual Alma Beatty Health Fair as well as the Asthma Awareness event. We hope our partnership with NBI continues to grow and flourish.

Alma Beatty Health and Wellness Fair

On September 24th, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center held their annual Alma Beatty Health and Wellness Fair at the Marquis “Bo” Porter Sports Complex. SWEA staff members Asada Rashidi and James Young hosted a table at the fair and were able to speak to residents about what South Ward Environmental Alliance has to offer. The afternoon was filled with entertainment and fun, while community members were also able to receive information on how to live healthier lives and what other local organizations have to offer. Thanks, Newark Beth, for the partnership and SWEA looks forward to participating in next year's annual health fair!

SWEA awarded Make The Road New Jersey People's Power Award

Congratulations to the Good Jobs Clean Air Coalition on the Make the Road New Jersey, 2022 People’s Power Awards. SWEA and the Coalition was recognized for their year of building and lifting community voices to fight to keep our communities safe from environmental destruction by kicking out Amazon from the Newark Airport. Jim Young, Community Organizer accepted the award on behalf of the South Ward Environmental Alliance.

Power to the People - No Side Deals

South Ward Environmental Alliance, Ironbound Community Corporation and Clean Water Action scored a victory with the delivery of the Statement from leaders of the 111 group New Jersey coalition against the Manchin/Schumer dirty side deal to Senator Booker's office in Newark.

Trenton, NJ and across the USA -- Environmental justice advocates and their allies scored a huge victory late this afternoon when Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin announced they withdrew the dirty pipeline deal from the must pass budget bill to fund the federal government this week. This is testament to the organizing and lobbying by frontline communities and hundreds of groups, representing millions of members and supporters across New Jersey and the nation. 

“When we rally together and apply local pressure - we win. We are proud of NJ officials who chose to stand on the side of the community. Local love to our elected officials wins the day!“ said Maria Lopez-Nuñez Deputy Director, Organizing and Advocacy at Ironbound Community Corp.

In New Jersey alone, over 111 groups (see attached) weighed in with our Congressional Delegation against this dirty deal as it would be a direct attack on environmental justice communities and perpetuate the climate crisis that threatens all of us. Senator Booker as well as US Reps. Pallone, Watson-Coleman, and Payne were among over 88 members of Congress that joined us for the right reasons and played a critical role in defeating it today.

However, this victory will only last as long as we ensure it does. The Majority Leader in announcing the withdrawals said they "will continue to have conversations about the best way to ensure responsible permitting reform is passed before the end of the year".

NJ/NY BayKeeper Fall Gala

2022 Legislative and Conservation Leadership Award Ceremony held at the Liberty house restaurant in Jersey City NJ. The evening was blessed with positivity and the scenery was spectacular, cocktail hour was around 6pm - 7pm. Dinner was served on the main floor as well as the speeches from awardees of the hour. The host Greg Remaud set the tone of the evening by acknowledging his staff and the great work of NY/NJ Baykeeper. The Awardees for the legislative group consisted of Senator Brain Stack and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji of District 33. The awardees in the field of conservation, included our very own founder Kim Gaddy. Followed by Dr. Chris Obropta, the extension specialist in water resources with Rutgers cooperative extension and to end the night we closed out with Nicole Miller of Newark DIG co-Chair and principal of MNM consulting. We thank NY/NJ Baykeeper for the award and congratulate all the awardees on a great night of networking with former Governor James McGreevey, Wendy Neu and environmental supporters.

Images taken by Frankie Walls

Asada Rashidi receives Rising Star Award

Congratulations Asada Rashidi on her Rising Star Award from Clean Water Action as an emerging leader in the Environmental Justice movement and deeply rooted dedication to the South Ward Environmental Alliance and community.

After witnessing a variety of injustices and racial disparities that her fellow South Ward residents endured including lack of food security, affordable housing, and access to clean air and water, Asada felt compelled to seek out local organizations such as Commercial District Services, South Ward Special Improvement District, and Student Conservation Association.

Her work at Newark City Hall, Department of Sustainability, solidified her desire to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at Spelman College (2021) in just 3 years. Her completion of Rutgers University Green Infrastructure Champion Training and subsequent selection for the Newark Future Policymakers Program further equip her to take on her current role as the Environmental Justice Organizer, South Ward Environmental Alliance and Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the Newark NAACP.

On behalf of Clean Water Action, we applaud your dedication, determination and success. And recognize you as Rising Star in the Environmental Justice movement. We thank you for coming back to Newark to help future generations have a seat at the table, their voices heard, clean air to breathe, as well as health and quality of life improvements.

Images taken by Frankie Walls


Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Send us a message regarding environmental concerns impacting your quality of life that you may be experiencing in the South Ward.

Email Asada Rashidi asada@southwardea.com.

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