September 2022 Newsletter

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SWEA News & Updates

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Message from

Our Founder & Executive Director

Welcome to September South Ward Family!

As we start off this month, it is the perfect time to allow the winds of change to show us how beautiful the South Ward can be. The summer was filled with many activities, vacations and community gatherings. As we enter the school year, SWEA is looking forward to a safe and healthy school environment for our youth, clean neighborhoods for our seniors and new partnerships with our South Ward business community.

We can't change the mistakes of the past but we can be a part of a successful and healthy future free of polluting facilities, unwanted development and environmental impacts causing premature deaths of our residents.

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

If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me!

Join Us in this fight for a Healthy, Vibrant and Thriving community.

Kim Gaddy, Executive Director 

Upcoming Events


  • Alma Beatty Health and Wellness Fair
  • Sept 24th, @ 12pm-4pm in Bo Porter Park
  • Registration Link
  • NY/NJ Baykeeper Fall Gala 2022
  • Sept 29th @ 6pm at Liberty House
  • Baykeeper Gala 2022
  • Clean Water Action 50th Aniversary
  • Oct 1st @1pm-4pm Weequahic Park
  • Join us in celebrating Clean Water Action's 50th!
  • Newark NAACP Environmental Justice Committee Meeting
  • Every second Monday of the month at 7pm
  • Next Meeting: Oct 10th @7pm via zoom
  •  SWEA Open House
  • Oct 15th @ 11am-2pm SWEA office (208 Lyons ave)

MFN S³ Committee Convening in New Mexico

During the week of August 15th, South Ward Environmental Alliance’s Executive Director, Kim Gaddy and Environmental Justice Organizer, Asada Rashidi traveled to New Mexico for the five-day convening of the Solidarity, Support, and Solutions (S³) Committee, a subcommittee of the Moving Forward Network. The intent of the subgroup is to hold space and better understand collectively how to proceed with the Moving Forward Network work in frontline communities. The oppression communities are experiencing comes in many forms--the environmental justice and climate justice work is connected to the systemic racism that allows for police to brutalize communities of color and deny communities adequate services and protections against COVID-19. This specific moment in time calls for more thoughtful action as we all work to protect our communities. As we continue to face these ongoing challenges we do not seek to move back to the “normal" mode of operation. To this end, we believe that it is time to direct more intentional support for Black communities in the ways that they request. During this trip Kim Gaddy and Asada Rashidi were able to meet organizers from other frontline community organizations and learn about their primary work as well as present the work that SWEA has been doing. The organizations present were Harambee House, Tallahassee Food Network, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Service, Clean Air Now, ReThink Energy Florida, Coalition for a Safe Environment, Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition, Groundworks Northeast Revitalization Group, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, Low Country Alliance for Model Communities, and West Long Beach Neighborhood Association. This convening also provided SWEA as well as the other organizations an opportunity to have a roundtable dialogue and speak directly with some of the funders to discuss how they can be more helpful. The overall experience was very positive and powerful. SWEA looks forward to the continued Support, Solidarity, and Solutions from the committee. In the words of Dr. Mildred McClain “Equity is a stop on our journey to liberation”.

August 2022 Truck Count + Air Monitoring

Truck Count Held on: August 24 - 25, 2022

On August 24th and 25th, the South Ward Environmental Alliance hosted part two of their 2022 Truck Count and Air Monitoring project in the South Ward of Newark. The goal was to highlight the extensive amount of truck traffic and diesel pollution that comes through the South Ward each day.

During the truck count days, participants counted 6,857 medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks traveling through five intersections of the South Ward from three designated time periods of one hour.


Why is air quality monitoring essential?

Monitoring helps in assessing the level of pollution in relation to the ambient air quality standards. These standards are a regulatory measure used to set the target for pollution reduction and achieving clean air.


South Ward Truck Hotspots Monitored:

Lyons Ave + Fabyan Place

Elizabeth Ave + Meeker Ave

Frelinghuysen Ave + Meeker Ave

Frelinghuysen Ave + Empire St

Frelinghuysen Ave + Evergreen Ave


SWEA stands with our residents to fight towards a healthy Port of Newark, one that minimizes air pollution and maximizes community benefits and local jobs. Together, this initiative will engage a base of Newark residents ready to fight for a clean and healthy Port of Newark.

Images taken by Frankie Walls

Kim Gaddy Speaks to TCNJ Youth

Images taken by Frankie Walls

Newark native Faith Christian, a summer intern with the TCNJ Bonner Institute—a group of students dedicated to service and social change in and around the Trenton area invited Kim Gaddy, New Jersey Environmental Director, Clean Water Action to be a speaker at the TCNJ students of the Environmental Sustainability Council and caretakers of the TCNJ Campus Garden orientation meeting.. You can learn more on the website: https://climate.tcnj.edu/ and https://climate.tcnj.edu/climate-initatives/tcnj-campus-garden/ .

This year’s theme for the Bonner Institute was “Woven.” Celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of our program, as well as acknowledging the interconnectedness of social issues and identities. Ms. Gaddy was the perfect speaker to inspire, educate and engage the next generation of Environmental advocates for New Jersey. She shared why the environmental justice work must be prioritized in Urban cities to address the health injustices BIPOC communities are impacted by on a daily basis. In addition, she discussed the urgent need to engage, train and prepare youth for the emerging green jobs economy. Lastly, she stressed the importance of cultivating future environmental champions to seek public office at the local, state and national level.

Sonny William Gaddy, Jr. College Basket Recipient:

Amaya Arrington is our most recent recipient

"Hello, my name is Amaya Arrington. I am 18 years old. I’ll be attending Kean University located in Union, to pursue my career of being a Federal Prosecutor and then a Supreme Court Judge later down in my life. My favorite thing to do is watch crime shows and research unsolved mysteries. 


A quote that I live my daily life by is:

 'My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.' - Maya Angelou"

Let's Celebrate the Class of 2022!


Congratulations to graduates of the class of 2022! Starting college is a big step, show us how you and your family are preparing! Email your photos to Asada Rashidi asada@southwardea.com with the subject Back to School for a chance to be featured in our next newsletter!

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