Communities have an historic track record of bringing about changes in policy and generating environmental and health justice.

They are the cornerstone to health justice, therefore it is super important that we know our history. 

Protestors led by Reverend Joseph Lowery march against a proposed toxic waste dump in Warren County, North Carolina, in October 1982. © Bettman/Getty Images

The first record of a community coming together for environmental and health justice was in the early 1980’s in Warren Country, North Carolina. They were a small African American community that created an opposition to the hazardous landfill site near their homes. Their lived experience and expertise led them to accurately conclude that their poor health outcomes were related to the toxins being emitted from the site. This community work mobilised an entire cross country movement, leading to structural changes for marginalised communities experiencing environmental injustice. 

There are now countless stories and examples of communities coming together to deliver health justice for their Peoples. However, the effects go way beyond the initial community.

The Standing Rock Water protectors will have saved countless lives through various states, ensuring clean Water to generations. Clean Water is key to good health. 


Community Groups in the UK

AGHAST Brighton

A growing group of concerned residents who live around the Gasworks site in East Brighton who share serious concerns about the imminent planning application by the Berkeley Homes’ St William group for the Brighton Gasworks site at the heart of their community. They are raising money to pay for an independent assessment of potential health impacts on local residents of releasing the toxins on the site into the air, soil remediation advice and planning consultancy.

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Carbon Co-op

Carbon Co-op is an energy services and advocacy co-operative that helps people and communities to make the radical reductions in home carbon emissions necessary to avoid runaway climate change.

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Clean Air Southall & Hayes (CASH)

A community group fighting for our right to breathe clean air in Southall and Hayes.

CASH believe the air in our streets, homes and schools is being poisoned by the redevelopment of the Old Gasworks, where the soil has been found to contain benzene, a carcinogen, and other harmful chemicals. Since the Berkeley Group began work on the site in Southall, local residents had to live with a suffocating petrol-like odour and many people have reported breathing difficulties, chest pains, cancer and other symptoms consistent with chronic exposure to benzene.

CASH wants work on the Southall Waterside development to stop until the site is made safe for residents. CASH are pursuing legal action for enforcement action to end the odour nuisance and calling for an investigation into the impact of this development on the health of the community.

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Civic Square

A vibrant home to collectively owned and built 21st Century civic and social infrastructure. A place to gather, make, create, grow, organise, play and connect. An experimental social lab, focused on exploring, experimenting and testing and building resilient, regenerative neighbourhoods. Rooted locally and connected globally through partners and projects.

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Civic Voice

Civic Voice works to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. They speak up for civic societies and local communities across England and promote civic pride. Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement and have a strong local presence. They want to build stronger, more active, and more engaged communities through our work and aspire to have a nation of active citizens.

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The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) is the national organisation for local economies – developing progressive economics for people, planet and place. They work by thinking and doing, to achieve social justice and effective public services. They are a think and do tank, which means that their creative thinking and strategic policy activity is informed by their practice. They are part of a global network of ‘thinkers and doers’ who are articulating and progressing a new, socially just mainstream in economics and social policy.

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Co-Production Collective

A co-production community where everyone is welcome. Together we learn, connect, and champion co-production for lasting change. They focus on amplifying the voices of those who want to be heard, including those who are often ignored or excluded, helping to ensure that we can be equal partners in the decisions that will affect our lives. They started with a focus on health and wellbeing research and the majority of their activity is still in this area. However, they’re increasingly working across sectors, as well as policy and practice, to encourage everyone to embrace co-production!

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Community Planning Alliance

The Community Planning Alliance brings together grassroots campaigns to do two things: to lobby to improve the planning system and to support each other so that more of us can win campaigns. There are now over 530 campaigns on the grassroots map. The key issues for their members are unsustainable housing, local plans, roads and incinerators. Their three focus areas will be environment & biodiversity; community engagement and evidence-based need/affordability.

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Croxted Cleaner Air too

A community campaign group from Lambeth, south London, passionate about climate change and a clean air community, leaving no one behind in a fight against displaced traffic.

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Decolonising Economics

They believe that in order to build the movement for reparative justice, we need to first understand the depth to which colonialism has influenced our modern economy by extracting power and resources from marginalised communities and concentrating in those communities that hold social power (whiteness, middle-classness and cis-straightness). Their mission is to identify ways in which individuals and institutions can divest from whiteness, and create the infrastructure that organises those with wealth to redistribute towards marginalised communities who are investing in the solidarity economy.

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Design Justice Network

The Design Justice Network is an international community of people and organisations who are committed to rethinking design processes so that they center people who are too often marginalized by design.

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Fix My Block

FixMyBlock aims to cut through the jargon and empower residents. Find out everything your landlords should be doing to keep tower blocks safe — and what to do if they aren’t.

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Gasworks Communities United

An alliance of communities affected by the development of disused gasworks sites in the UK.

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Grffn (Growing Real Food For Nutrition)

Grffn’s vision is for a world where all food is grown for its nutritional qualities using regenerative practices, and made accessible to all, creating an abundance of health and harmony, reconnecting humans with Mother Earth. Grffn’s mission is to deepen citizens’ understanding of how we derive nutrition from natural processes and to realise its impact on human development.

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Land In Our Names

LION is a grassroots Black-led collective committed to reparations in Britain by connecting land and climate justice with racial justice. LION reimagine dynamics of land stewardship and are committed to a deep healing of the colonial-rooted trauma that separates us from the land. LION understand land rights as the basis for revolution and sovereignty in our communities. LION are working to transform the narrative around land in Britain in how it relates to intersections of race, gender and class for systemic change.

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Just Space

Just Space is an informal alliance of around 80 community groups, campaigns and concerned independent organisations which was formed to act as a voice for Londoners at grass-roots level during the formulation of London’s major planning strategy, particularly the London Plan.

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Listen to Locals

London locals demand a seat at the table when the future of their communities is being decided. Listen to Locals was launched in February 2021 as a response to what was happening in Mortlake at the Stag Brewery, and the realisation that they are not alone in the struggle to challenge arcane planning rules and the exclusion of knowledgeable community groups from the planning process.

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MAIA Group

A collaborative Birmingham based organisation exploring how artists engaging in radical imagination, could create infrastructure to bring about transformative societal change.

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Medact’s mission is to support health professionals from all disciplines to work together towards a world in which everyone can truly achieve and exercise their human right to health.

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Nuture Development

Nuture Development's ambition is to support the proliferation of inclusive, bottom up, community driven change. They aim to achieve this by supporting local communities and supportive mediating/civic organisations to create the conditions where any neighbourhood can identify, connect and mobilise its assets to the benefit of the whole community. They are one of eleven strategic partners of the ABCD Institute, and the lead partner in Europe. We have worked as ABCD social explorers, trainers, mentors, facilitators, researchers and consultants with change partners and disruptive innovators around the world.

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One Ealing

Ealing Residents Against LTN Group wanting Safety, Democracy, Consultation & Air Equality.

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POoR Collective

A social enterprise that focuses on the development of communities through the elevation of young people. POoR sees the power of the younger generation and seeks to get young voices heard.

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Race & Health

Race & Health is a collective of academics, artists, activists, policy makers, grassroots organisations and individuals investigating how racism and discrimination affects health and interventions to improve health. They are creating a catalyst to achieve equitable health for all and reduce the adverse effects of discrimination that leads to poor health.

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Shared Assets

Shared Assets believe that land is a common good that should deliver shared benefits for everyone. They provide practical advice, support and training to landowners and communities who want to manage land as a sustainable and productive asset.

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The Front Room

The Front Room is the beginnings of an ambitious, long-term neighbourhood platform in Birmingham to be designed, grown and co-owned by local communities.

Together we want to adapt the significance of the traditional front room beyond our homes and into our neighbourhoods and commons. 

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The Glass House

The Glass-House Community Led Design is a national charity that supports communities, organisations and networks to work collaboratively on the design of buildings, open spaces, homes and neighbourhoods.

We see design not only as a tool for creating great places, but also as a way to connect people and empower them with enhanced confidence, skills and a greater sense of agency.

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