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MISSION AND WORK HIGHLIGHTS

Ecological responsibility in linkage with social justice is what the world needs now. Healthy earth community requires advocacy and action on urgent environmental issues in ways that connect with struggles for social and economic justice. Eco-Justice envisions and values ecology and justice together, since there will be little environmental health without socio-economic justice, and vice-versa. – Dieter T. Hessel


Mission

Eco-Justice Collaborative first raises public awareness of the consequences of our actions on people and our planet, then advocates personal and policy changes that:

  • Seek harmony with planet earth.
  • Respect all life.
  • Value diversity.
  • Support ecological sustainability.
  • Bring about a just distribution of the world’s resources.

Eco-Justice Collaborative (EJC) invites you to work with us to rethink, imagine and then build a future based on sufficiency and a respect and care for all who inhabit this planet.


Work Highlights

Since our founding in 2008, our work has amplified our mission and our focus to help avert climate catastrophe.  We have:

  • Led delegations to West Virginia and central and southern Illinois to expose the impacts of coal mining (including mountaintop removal mining), burning, and disposal of waste. These experiences transform the lives of those who join us, and motivate delegates to support coal-producing communities working to move to an economy based on clean, safe, renewable energy.
  • Co-Founded the Community Futures Initiative, a group of advocates and front-line communities working for a coal severance tax in Illinois. Monies from this fund would go back to communities struggling to diversify their economies and break free from their dependence on coal. We’re working towards 2017 legislation while simultaneously organizing community town halls to explore opportunities for diversification, with an emphasis on clean energy.
  • Joined forces with Prairie Rivers Network, Sierra Club, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center to ensure Illinois adopts strong rules for regulating the disposal of coal ash. Show your support. Add your voice today.
  • Worked to bring an end to the state-subsidized Illinois Coal Education Curriculum. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity stopped distributing its climate-denying curriculum in 2013.
  • Served as lead organizer for Great Lakes Bioneers Chicago in 2012 and 2013, bringing together more than 600 professionals, educators, the faith community, students and the general public around innovative solutions to today’s social, economic and environmental challenges. You can find videos of plenary speakers here and here.
  • Co-founded the Heartland Coalfield Alliance to transition our state and region from coal to safe, clean, renewable energy. EJC and its partners Prairie Rivers Network and the Sierra Club continue to support coal-producing communities with technical expertise and legislative solutions.
  • Continued awareness-raising and education around key issues of eco-justice, including exponential growth and sustainability; food; water; and energy. This includes presentations to and engagement of faith groups, community colleges and universities, and the six-week course “Lifestyles for a Sustainable Future” offered by EJC.

pam-and-lanAbout Pam and Lan

Lan and Pam Richart are co-founders of the non-profit organization called Eco-Justice Collaborative, recently relocated to Champaign, IL from Chicago.  Pam is an environmental land use planner by profession and Lan is an ecologist.

For over 20 years they were principals and owners of a land use and environmental consulting firm located in the western suburbs of Chicago.  During this time they worked on public and private projects throughout the Midwest, providing consulting services in the areas of comprehensive planning; natural resource conservation and management; and the assessment of the environmental and socio-economic impacts from state-and federally-funded public works projects.

In the late 1990’s, a series of trips to economically-disadvantaged regions of Latin America opened their eyes to the social, economic, and environmental effects that the U.S. lifestyle and public policy have on our world.  They subsequently re-arranged their lives to dedicate their energy to the work of their non-profit, created to raise public awareness of the impact of lifestyle choices and public policy on the planet and its people and to encourage changes that will heal and restore the planet, while bringing about a more just and sustainable world.

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