Programs and Initiatives: Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice

Our Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program (CSSJ) partners with community-based organizations and coalitions to build community power to create and sustain healthy and thriving neighborhood environments. Since 1995 this program has worked to overcome the common root causes to economic, environmental, and community health challenges in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color through action research that advances innovative, cross-cutting solutions developed by impacted residents.

Our work has strengthened community capacity to address issues ranging from air quality, local tax revenue, and access to open space, to safe drinking water, employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated residents, and sustainable redevelopment. The Community Strategies Program has completed five major and many smaller research projects that have supported significant community environmental health and justice victories, including the closure of one of the Bay Area’s top air polluters (Red Star Yeast), the re-routing of diesel trucks out of residential neighborhoods in West Oakland, and the passage of a local measure to increase the share of revenues for public benefit that are collected from businesses in Richmond, including the Chevron refinery.

CSSJ has developed a wide range of action research, community education, policy advocacy, and movement-building tools, and brings extensive experience in collaborating with organizations to build a broader movement for environmental health and justice.  The program provides high-quality and scientifically rigorous research support and technical assistance designed to fit the capacity and strategies of community-based organizations and coalitions. Our work falls into three areas that are often integrated: Trainings and Popular Education, Technical Assistance, and Community-Based Research.

Current Projects


Past Projects

Program Director