Little Village Environmental Justice Organization Mission and Brief Description: The mission of LVEJO is to organize with our community to accomplish environmental justice in Little Village and achieve the self-determination of immigrant, low-income, and working-class families. LVEJO has been committed to working with the community to address issues of environmental injustice and environmental racism for 25 years. Most notably, LVEJO was a key leader in the shutdown of the two former coal fired power plants in Chicago, Crawford and Fisk, and the largest conversion of a superfund site in the U.S. into what is now La Villita Park.
Climate Justice Alliance (CJA): CJA mission is to forge a socially and economically just transition away from an extractive economy and towards healthy, resilient local communities, to address the root causes of climate change. CJA seeks to catalyze a broad-based, scalable campaign for transitioning away from industries that undermine the well-being of human communities and environmental systems – like dirty energy , industrial-scale manufacturing and agribusiness – and transform local economies into models of sustainability, equity, and resilience.
Responsibilities supporting LVEJO [.75 FTE] The LVEJO Communications Fellow will support Just Transition Campaign in helping LVEJO change the narrative of the intense truck centric development plans and support the LVEJO campaign of holistic sustainability for the former Crawford coal plant in LIttle Village. The Fellow will also support four other program campaigns in Little Village including 1) Food Justice; 2) Climate Justice Policy; 3) Youth Community Science & Environmental Justice; and 4) Youth & Restorative Justice. ? Help change the current narrative to a holistic and sustainable with more input from community and residents ? Work with residents and LVEJO youth and community leaders in lifting community voices through social media and public relations ? Connect LVEJO environmental justice struggles into other similar community struggles locally and nationally ? Create media stories campaigns to frame the Just Transition Campaign and other campaigns in a timely manner ? Coordinate resistance campaigns and use the power of social media to proactively change the narrative of LVEJO environmental justice campaigns ? Coordinate and lead LVEJO neighborhood toxic tours for community residents & youth, universities, and the public at large ? Help manage and coordinate toxic tour participants into further LVEJO volunteer engagement ? Assist in expanding the current list of toxic tour participants into potential base of donors through follow- up and additional relationship building ? Utilize the LVEJO DonorPerfect database for relationship building and volunteer management
Responsibilities supporting Climate Justice Alliance [.25 FTE] The Change the Story Fellowships were created for those interested in both media and environmental justice. They provide a unique opportunity for students, young people, and professionals with at least two years relevant experience and 2-4 years professional experience to impact the local and national debate around the climate crisis while contributing to building up frontline organizations’ communications capacity and impact. ? Assess current digital organizing strategy around Just Transition and provide recommendations on ways to improve impact and reach to achieve strategic organizing goals. ? Strengthen capacity and know how around digital communications within the frontline organization you will be working with. ? Implement digital media plan and coordinate with local and potentially national partners to increase impact. ? Support and plan with key campaign members. ? If needed, conduct video interviews to be used online and to support local GND/Just Transition campaigns. ? Participate in skill shares with other communications fellows and staff from CJA’s 67 member organizations, key campaign stakeholders, and members, as directed by Senior Communications Advisor. ? Coordinate weekly with CJA communications staff as needed. Reports to Senior Communications Advisor.
1-2 years professional or equivalent experience in communications and public relations.
Experience working in a small team, in coalitions and with national organizations.
Persuasive writing and speaking skills.
Experience conducting interviews for video and online amplification.
Strong research and analytical skills.
Strong organizational skills, proven high attention to detail, ability to effectively prioritize tasks with little supervision and work independently to accomplish assignments and projects.
Familiarity with social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
Ability to develop action plans and implement them within strict timelines.
Ability to do multiple tasks and assignments at the same time.
Capacity to maintain confidentiality with high level internal documents.
Agreement with and commitment to LVEJO and CJA mission and values.
1-2 years previous communications experience.
Familiarity with media and social media best practices.
Experience in storytelling over digital media platforms.
Knowledge of the Just Transition, and Regenerative economy concepts.
Experience working with frontline communities.
Paid by LVEJO to be a fellow, ¾ time on their campaign and ¼ time working with CJA on this campaign.
Two in person communications trainings with other Fellows and CJA staff.
Learn about Just Transitions first hand from frontline organizations and grassroots leaders on the ground.
Training and support from CJA and a local environmental justice organization on their current campaigns and organizing tactics, especially as it relates to communications and digital organizing.
Learn LVEJO organizing principles and background around the EJ/CJ movement and how they utilize them today such as Jemez Principles, etc.
Learn from, contribute to and support frontline leadership from almost 70 member organizations around the country who are working on Just Transition in their local communities.
Build relationships with other communications staff and digital organizers working on environmental and climate justice.
Be a part of a team strengthening the voice of the frontlines in the national debate around climate change and transition to a Just to a regenerative economy that leaves no one behind.
Additional Salary Information: Benefits package includes: generous vacation and days off; flexible working hours; and casual, environmental justice principled working environment.
About Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
LVEJO was founded in 1994 by public school parents who learned about the potential exposure of their children to dangerous particles during school renovations at Joseph E. Gary Elementary. After forcing the school administration to change their plans, these parents turned their attention to other issues of environmental justice in Little Village.
Under the leadership of the organization’s first Executive Director, Victor Ceballos, LVEJO worked with neighborhood youth on local campaigns against polluting factories. LVEJO soon developed a campaign to remediate the Celotex superfund site and developed a strong youth leadership development program. With an organized youth base LVEJO conducted important surveys and maps of the neighborhood to understand the environmental problems that the community needed to address. Through this grassroots process, LVEJO identified the Crawford Coal Power Plant, Celotex, and the 31st CTA bus line as important environmental justice struggles.
In 2005 LVEJO’s community organizer Kim Wasserman-Nieto became the Executive Director, a position she would hold for eight years. Working alongside courageous community leaders, Wasserman and LVEJO’s organize...rs waged tireless grassroots campaigns to close down the Crawford and Fisk coal power plants, to remediate and convert the Celotex site into a new public park, and to permanently re-establish the 31st bus route in the neighborhood. LVEJO also formed strong alliances with other environmental and social justice organizations through the Clean Power Coalition.
Led by LVEJO and PERRO, another environmental justice group in Pilsen, the Clean Power Coalition was successful in retiring the Crawford and Fisk plants in 2012. This tremendous community victory represented a resounding example of community power and the necessity of community organizing. For her exemplary leadership and commitment Kim Wasserman-Nieto was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in April of 2013.
In 2013, LVEJO also won the Celotex superfund campaign and worked with the Chicago Park District to design the first public park to be built in Little Village in 75 years. To be opened in December of 2014, the new park will be named La Villita Park and will address the great need for open space in the community. In October of 2013 LVEJO’s long-standing campaign to re-establish the 31st bus route was also completed, ensuring that the neighborhood has adequate transit access for the first time in years.
After twenty years working for environmental justice in Little Village, LVEJO continues to organize for a healthier community in Little Village and beyond. Building upon the successful clean power, public transit, and open space campaigns LVEJO remains committed to organizing with those most impacted by industrialization and climate change.