Summit II - 2002
From October 23-26, 2002, over 1,300 environmental justice activists and advocates converged in Washington, D.C. for the Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. Eleven years after the first landmark Summit was held, Summit II provided the space to celebrate and analyze our progress as an environmental justice movement over the last decade, and allowed the movement to set its directions for the next 10 years.
APEN helped mobilize more than 70 API delegates to Summit II, including our grassroots leaders from the Laotian Organizing Project and Asian Youth Advocates, to present workshops, to help develop movement strategies and to connect with many other communities who are engaging in challenging struggles for environmental justice.
At the conclusion of Summit II it was very clear that the EJ movement is very diverse! Youth, non-English speakers, urban residents, tribal representatives, students- sectors that were less present ten years ago – made their presence known.
The Summit opened up many of our eyes to what it really takes to build a multiracial, multicultural and multitribal movement based on principles and integrity.
Summit I - 1991
The Environmental Justice Movement has grown tremendously throughout the U.S. as a multi-issue and multiracial effort. The first National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991 marked the start of the national and international environmental justice movement. At the heart of Summit I were discussions about the ways in which communities of color throughout the nation are disproportionately impacted and bear the brunt of harmful environmental atrocities. There was also the agreement that federal agencies charged with enforcing civil rights laws failed to consider these forms of discrimination.
Participants recognized the need to create a grassroots movement that would address the implications of environmental racism. The platform on which the environmental justice movement was built emerged from the conference. The Principles of Environmental Justice were established and now guide environmental justice values and policy.