EHC K-12 Programs

Social Justice and Sustainability Series

Social and environmental issues are deeply intertwined. Many of the biggest impacts of climate change, pollution, resource scarcity, and food insecurity are felt by those that are most marginalized. Meanwhile, many environmental movements and organizations continue to be led by those who hold the most resources, wealth and opportunity in society.

Join us for a year of deeper learning.

Please note: every event will not focus on both the social and the environmental issue for the month. We hope this series helps make new connections between social and environmental issues in ways you (or event speakers) may not have thought about before.

January: Energy and Class Justice

January is Poverty Awareness Month. It's also National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, including National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th. Don't forget to celebrate MLK Day on January 18th and National Religious Freedom Day on January 16th.

Series Events:

Intergenerational Panel on Energy and Class Justice
Thursday, January 21, 2021, 7-8pm ET

Featuring Western Pennsylvania Regional Speakers:

Ashley Funk
Executive Director, Mountain Watershed Association

Michael Badges Canning
Organizer with Marcellus Outreach Butler, Better Path Coalition
(co-founder), Beyond Extreme Energy and PA Poor People's Campaign, also on Cherry Valley Borough Council

Henry McKay
PA Program Director, Solar United Neighbors

Lois Bower-Bjornson
Frackland Tours and SW PA field organizer with Clean Air Council

Kylan Bjornson
11th grader, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School

Odessa Bjornson
9th grader, Cannon McMillion High School

Gunnar Bjornson
6th grader, Cannon McMillion High School

Inspire Speaker Series Presents: Energy and Oppression*
Wednesday, January 27th, 1:30-3:00pm ET
*Please note that this is a partner event hosted by the Green Building Alliance with a $5-10 fee

Featuring National Speakers:

Dr. Diana Hernandez
Columbia University (keynote)

Huda Alkaff
Wisconsin Green Muslims

Gabriela Sandoval
The Utility Reform Network

Discussion Group: Energy and Class Justice
Thursday, February 4, 2021, 7-8pm ET
During the month of January, learn more about energy and social justice. You choose what you read or watch. Then, join a discussion group to share what you learned and how you are taking action.


Go Solar Program Fellow - Remote Paid Work Opportunity with Solar United Neighbors

Suggested Resources and Readings:

January Co-Hosts:

November/December: Pollution, Gender and Sexuality Justice

November is Trans Awareness Month, including the Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th and Trans Awareness Week the 16th through 20th. November is also Native American Heritage Month. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is November 25.

Series Events:

Intergenerational Panel on Pollution, Gender and Sexuality Justice
Thursday, December 10, 2020, 6-7pm ET
Panelists TBA


Lily Jarosz (moderator)
Norwin High School 12th grader
Environmental Committee, GirlGov, Women and Girls Foundation
Alliance for Climate Education
Intern, Protect PT

Leandra Mira
Climate Organizer

Zinna Scott
Community Activist, Organizer for Operation Better Block's Cluster 8 & 9 Group, Spearheaded Rosedale-Hill Rain Garden project

Joy Cannon
Director of Programming, Center for Life

State Rep. Summer Lee

Matt Dean
Environmental Justice Exchange Coordinator, New Voices for Reproductive Justice

Youth Panel on Pollution, Gender and Sexuality Justice
Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 6-7pm ET
Panelists TBA


Natalie Leslie
Blackhawk High School
12th grade

Layla O'Neil
Oil City Middle School Online
8th grade

Maya Beckley
Woodland Hills High School
12th grade

Elise Silvestri
Obama Academy
11th grade

Dylan Lu
Cranberry Area High School
12th grade

Ilyas Khan
Winchester Thurston
11th grade

Nick Anglin
CEO of Black, Young & Educated
Temple University

Discussion Group: Pollution, Gender and Sexuality Justice
Friday, December 18, 2020, 11am-12pm ET
During the months of November and December, learn more about pollution and social justice. You choose what you read or watch. Then, join a discussion group to share what you learned and how you are taking action.

Co-Host Events:

Waging Change - Just Films
Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 11:30am - 12:30pm ET
This documentary weaves together the female driven movements that reveal an American workers' struggle hidden in plain sight - the effort to end the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13 for restaurant servers and bartenders and the #MeToo movement's efforts to end sexual harassment. Brought to you by the Chatham University's Women's Institute, the Women and Girls Foundation, the Women's Law Project and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh.

Create Change: Featuring Speaker Robert Bilott
Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 7:00 - 8:00pm ET
Join Women for a Healthy Environment's 10 year anniversary celebration and fundraiser featuring distinguished environmental attorney, Robert Bilott! Bilott shares the unsettling story of his epic legal battle against DuPont and how he exposed corporate coverup and massive chemical contamination of unprecedented scale and scope, now impacting virtually every living thing on this planet. $25 registration fee.

Healthy Schools Summit
December 3, 2020, 9:00am - 3:30pm ET
How are school stakeholders coming together to realize our shared goal for green, safe and healthy schools for students and staff to return to? How are school leaders translating public health research into action to prevent the spread of COVID-19? What resources are available for our educators, nurses, parents, and students to respond to existing and emerging school health needs? Join Women for a Healthy Environment as they tackle these issues head-on with national, state, and local experts in a virtual conference format. $10-$50 sliding scale fee.

Community Health Worker Summit
December 9, 2020

Radical Healing and Self Care Through Pandemics and Protests
Thursday, December 17th, 2020, 6:00 - 7:30pm
More information coming soon for this panel event brought to you by the Women and Girls Foundation and Sistah Speaks.


Amplify Project - GASP
Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) wants to hear about how air pollution affects you, what changes you'd like to see on the local, state, and federal levels. They want to know about your hopes and your fears. GASP formally invites you to be their guest: they want to help amplify your voice, whether it be through a blog, a video, a photo essay, poem, or song. GASP would love to feature - and help amplify - the voices of our high school and college students and those who live closest to and are most impacted by local air pollution sources such as U.S. Steel's Mon Valley Works. Email GASP's communications manager Amanda Gillooly at to get started.

Paid Youth Speaking Opportunity Deadline to apply November 15, 2020
We are looking for youth speakers age, 8-18, interested in participating in a panel to help close out the month on Tuesday, December 15th, 6-7pm. This panel will be uplifting and talking about actions the panelists are taking to increase environmental/health justice and gender/sexuality justice in our region. Artists, spoken word, videographers, etc. encouraged to submit to participate. Please note, you must be available both December 1st and December 15th from 6-7pm for this opportunity. December 1st will be a planning meeting so all panelists selected can meet each other.



October: Food Systems and Racial Justice

October is National Farm to School Month
September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month


National Farm to School Network Virtual Movement Meeting
The National Farm to School Network hosted a virtual Movement Meeting featuring Karen Washington, food justice activist, for deep conversation and action oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm-to-school movement and wider food system.
This event is in the past. View event recording.

YW Wednesday Community Action Conversations: Breast Cancer and Racial Disparities
Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 12-1 ET
Join the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. Center for Race and Gender Equity for an interactive conversation with audience Q&A. Panelists: Yolanda Murphy, Breast Cancer Survivor; LaJuana Fuller, Director of Women's Imaging, UPMC Magee Women's Hospital; Steven Evans, MD, Breast Surgical Oncology, UPMC.

Adult Panel on Food and Racial Justice
This event is in the past. View event recording


Youth Panel on Food and Racial Justice
This event is in the past. View event recording


  • Azriah Crawley, Poet Activist Pittsburgh CAPA, 12th grade
  • Peyton Thomas Owner, Peytie Cake Bakery Student Leader, Black Girl Affinity Group Winchester Thurston, 11th grade
  • Nisire Wilkerson, Activist Featured on "See Us" Podcast about police violence, Westinghouse High School, 8th grade

  • Jazmine Thomas, Participant in School and City Activism, City Charter High School, 11th grade

  • Shria Shyam, Sustainable Food Advocate and Environmental Activist, Team Leader, Bye Bye Plastic Bags Pennsylvania, North Allegheny Senior High School, 12th grade

Virtual Discussion Group: Food and Racial Justice
November 6, 2020
During the month of October, learn more about food systems and social justice. You choose what you read or watch. Then, join a virtual discussion group to share what you learned and how you are taking action.

Food in Uncertain Times
November 5th and 6th, 2020
This 2-day, virtual event will focus on the present day challenges within our food system, including racial inequity, the colonization of food, and lack of representation and access, and will highlight many efforts of resilience throughout a global pandemic.



Other Month's Themes:

We aim to draw connections between the monthly themes through intersectionality and systems thinking!
Stay tuned for future programming!

  • November/December: Pollution and Gender/Sexuality
  • January: Energy and Class
  • February: Community Development, Ability and Age
  • March: Ecology and Religion
  • April: Climate Change and Nationality/Citizenship