Our communities are exposed to pollution and toxins on the job, in our homes, at schools and in our homes. Often the first and worst hit by the effects of climate change, it’s no surprise that Latinos are also some of the strongest advocates for climate action, strongly advocating for and supporting government action to protect la Madre Tierra.
Not only are Latinos effected, but they care greatly about the issues plaguing their communities and others from dirty air to pesticide and toxic oil wastewater exposures to the need for clean energy resources, healthy communities to live and play in, and sustainable resources. The Chispa approach is one of Latinos putting solutions on the table and the community’s political power seen, heard and felt by decision makers across the nation and in the six states – Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, New Mexico, Nevada, and Maryland – where Chispa programs have been underway.
As the Latino population continues to grow, and becomes majority-minority in many locations, it is more important than ever to ensure that Latino families have a strong voice in the decisions and policies that impact their communities and the environment that we all depend on. Moreover, it is imperative that the environmental movement better represents the diversity of our nation and reflects the solutions necessary to confront the legacy of environmental injustices that disproportionately impact communities of color.
Little by little, it is becoming more widely known that Latino communities are not only disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change, but are also among our nation’s strongest supporters for healthy communities, clean water and air, and a safe climate for future generations.
Poll after poll, spanning decades, have shown that Latinos top the charts when it comes to supporting action to curb climate change and transition to clean energy.
In the environmental community, Chispa is unique. We are one of the only environmental programs truly engaged in traditional community organizing that builds the capacity of Latino families to influence policy makers and pressure polluters to protect communities’ rights to clean air and water, healthy neighborhoods and a safe climate for generations to come. In the long term, we’re committed to building powerful Latino communities whose environmental voice cannot be ignored.