Thanks to CBE, I'm aware.
This website states CBE as being for the environment (which don't get me wrong, it is) but the reason we fight so hard for changes is because our families' lives are at stake! Being low-income communities of color does not mean that we do not deserve to drink clean water, breathe clean air, and/or live on clean soil. Why is it that this has become a luxury? That only those who have money, a white race, and a degree live up to these standards? I can't be that our community stays quiet or isn't aware because that it is not. The simple answer is that those at the top of the social pyramid don't care for us or know what is happening to us while they keep getting paid to make decisions for us. Nope. They don't even know about us. It's racism. It's sick. Folks are dying of cancer, lung problems, blood problems, babies aren't even having the chance to be born. We're fighting for our environment, yes. But we're fighting for our lives, too.
First time I was told to be at Communities for a Better environment from School-to-Career I didn't know what to expect at all. I was a summer youth intern from Oakland High School Environmental Science Academy, so my background knowledge of the environment helped me there. Together with Youth Uprising Youths we helped CBE build the foundation of evidence to show the Environmental Protection Agency that they are not doing their job in East Oakland. My opportunity there was awesome, staffs and volunteer were all nice and helpful. CBE's office is very laid-back and chill but when they need to get down to business they get serious. So my experience with CBE has been a very rewarding one because I've learned so many things that I could have not learned in school and probably anywhere else.
CBE is truly a grass-roots organization. AND, their work on environmental justice issues in California is truly unique. We all have a place and role in this great green movement, but CBE's role is particularly noteworthy. CBE is leading the way in protecting communities of color in the front line of disproportionately impacted industrial communities. Their staff are friendly, and good looking too. The work they do is pertinent, authentic, and totally community-based.