Community Capacity-Building & Environmental JusticeJ. KYLE BRYANT, , U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY-REGION 4
Before people "care what you know", they must first "know that you care"! This phrase rings so true for the countless EJ Communities I have engaged in the Southeastern U.S. As a Community Activist/ Organizer, Technical Advisor to Grassroots EJ Organizations, African-American, Environmental Scientist, and Federal Community Involvement Coordinator, my perspectives on EJ issues are quite broad. My understanding of the disproportionate impact of environmental risks on poor, politically-underserved communities, and children stems from a lack of capacity. EJ Communities generally suffer from several "quality of life" issues that complicate the ability to effectively conduct outreach and education. As a result, my approach has been to integrate basic community-level, teachings in capacity-building, power dynamics, leadership and participation, and the fundamentals of grantsmanship into my EJ community engagement efforts.