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People for Community Recovery

Environmental Justice Organization Fights For Opportunity and Improved Health Outcomes



Energy Near-Term Outcome #3:

The U.S. legislative and regulatory environment encourages the production, delivery, and consumption of clean energy — including prioritizing equitable access and ownership opportunities.

Primary SDGs:

2. Zero Hunger
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action

Type of Financing:

Builders Initiative

The Problem

The communities most impacted by pollution and climate change are frequently left out of the critical conversations that seek to define solutions and opportunities related to the clean energy transition. These communities have faced decades of industrial pollution and disinvestment that have led to poor health, economic, and environmental outcomes.

The Approach

People for Community Recovery (PCR) helped to ignite the environmental justice movement over 40 years ago. Through decades of organizing and advocating for the rights of Chicago communities most impacted by industrial pollution, PCR has brought attention to the negative health, environmental, and economic consequences of heavy industry. Organizations like PCR are key voices in ensuring these communities are not cut out of the resources and opportunities that come with the transition to clean energy sources. They advocate, educate, and organize around community-identified priorities, including environmental and climate justice, safe and affordable housing, economic equity, and community health.

The Impact

In 2022, PCR received a federal grant to support their climate justice work from the White House Justice 40 initiative that ensures 40% of federal spending on climate goes to historically impacted communities. PCR and its coalition partners secured support and resources for residents of the communities they represent through legal and legislative victories. Recently, PCR played a leading role in a significant Title VI civil rights act settlement with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that will result in sweeping policy changes across the City of Chicago’s municipal agencies and help pave the way for future wins in cities across the country. Specifically, the agreement requires that the City submit an environmental justice action plan, reform its city zoning and land use policies, and overhaul the designation of industrial corridors through a public health lens, all of which have the potential to improve air pollution in the region.