Environmental Justice

A Letter from Maya K. van Rossum: Racial Justice Demands Constitutional “Green Amendments”

National organization Green Amendments For the Generations, led by Founder Maya van Rossum, has been working since its inception to transform our legal paradigm to one that ends and prevents environmental racism by equally protecting the rights of all people to clean water and air, a stable climate and healthy environments in our state constitutions. Prompted by recent conversations and powerful activism nationwide, van Rossum penned an open letter calling for environmental and racial justice, and offering a tangible pathway to change. 24 diverse leaders and activists joined van Rossum in delivering the letter in a moving video, titled Racial Justice Requires Constitutional “Green Amendments”. The video debut of van Rossum’s powerful message includes civil rights activist Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, White House Champion of Change recipient who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and protested alongside the late Congressman John Lewis; and New Mexico state Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez.

Watch the video to learn more about the intersection of environmental rights and environmental racism, and how passing a constitutional environmental rights amendment (a Green Amendment) in every state across the nation can serve as an invaluable tool for communities facing disproportionate environmental burdens.

Speakers in order of appearance: Dr. Liz Holifield, Adam Washington, Anthony Stevenson, Donna Fann Boyle, Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, Katelin Dao, Rev. Dr. Manuel A. Howard, Nina Coffey, Kim Gaddy, Mariana Camejo, Tykee James, Terry Sloan, Jacque Howard, Maya K. van Rossum, Darien Guy, Elijah Freeman, Tarsha Scovens, Anneke van Rossum, Wim van Rossum, Nara Norgil, Gokhan Seeker, Barry E. Hill, Raja Schaar, Dean Shirley Jefferson and Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez.

View the full letter:  A Letter from Maya K. van Rossum: Racial Justice Demands Constitutional “Green Amendments"

Short version here )


A panel discussion moderated by Mike Harrington, Assistant Director, Tishman Environment and Design Center. Panelists Include:

  • Maya K. van Rossum, Founder, Green Amendments for the Generations
  • Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Kate Kurera, Deputy Director, Environmental Advocates NY
  • Christine Appah, Senior Staff Attorney, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest Environmental Justice Program