Playlist environment


Hazel Johnson with Vice President Al Gore at the White House

The Chicago Woman Who Fought to Clean Up the Southeast Side

Daniel Hautzinger

Hazel Johnson described her Southeast Side community as existing within a "toxic donut," surrounded by landfills, industrial facilities, incinerators, and more. Her activism on behalf of marginalized communities led her to the White House and the title of the "mother of environmental justice."

Pilsen Environmentalists Organize to Protect Neighbors from Lead in Water


In the face of what one activist calls the City of Chicago’s “anemic” effort to protect residents from lead in tap water, Pilsen residents are taking the initiative to inform and equip their neighbors to reduce their risk of exposure.

Maria Chavez

Justin Henderson

Maria Chavez doesn’t enjoy talking about herself, having her picture taken, or taking credit for any of the work she’s done as an outspoken – and highly effective – activist for environmental justice.

Survivors In The Struggle

Justin Henderson

Having breast cancer is hard. It’s even harder when you’re undocumented and uninsured. A grassroots support group in Pilsen, ELLAS (which stands for En La Lucha A Sobrevivir, or, In The Struggle To Survive, in English), is working to provide support.

Carmen Velásquez

Justin Henderson

Carmen Velásquez was indignant about the lack of health care available in her community. So she fought to open a clinic. Today, Alivio Medical Center operates one urgent care center and six community health centers, three of them in local schools.

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