A Personal Invitation to Help Build the Environmental Health and Justice Majority

October 9, 2018

The 2018 HEFN Annual Meeting is set for Nov. 28-30 this year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I’m looking forward to catching up with long-time collaborators and to welcoming new faces. Ever since I attended my first Annual Meeting in 2011, I have found that it is the best place to learn, strategize, network and (most importantly!) to be inspired by our collective work.

As a member of HEFN’s Steering Committee, I’m particularly looking forward to this year’s event because we are launching the Field Partner program, where HEFN members are invited to bring a grantee to the event as their guest to share their experience and insight. I witnessed this policy in action at the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders meeting in June of this year, and was deeply impressed by the liveliness of the discussions, the vibrant energy in the room, and the strengthened sense of partnership between funders and grantees.

HEFN is piloting the Field Partner program for the 2018 meeting as we implement priorities in HEFN’s strategic plan, including ensuring that those most impacted have a meaningful voice in decision making. In support of our mission, vision and values, we’re inviting HEFN members to bring a Field Partner who represents a group that their organization is financially supporting, is working to remedy environmental injustices and improve community health, and who will bring an important perspective to our gathering. To facilitate conversations HEFN’s iron-clad no-pitch rules will be in place the duration of the meeting as always. Click here to read the full Field Partner Policy.

I am particularly proud to share that Karen Wang of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment will attend HEFN's meeting as the Jenifer Altman Foundation’s Field Partner. Karen brings a unique perspective to environmental health and justice work – her PhD in Strategic Management, strong background in data science and program evaluation with the United Nations, and personal passion for children’s health combine to make her a powerful communicator of science.

The launch of Because Health this year has opened a new portal for young parents seeking accessible and trustworthy information on toxic chemicals. I hope that Karen will challenge us to think more deeply about who we are talking to, and how we can speak their language.

In addition to its deep culture of learning, HEFN's Annual Meeting offers an agenda that hits diverse topics -- including toxics, climate change & energy, food, civic engagement work, racial and gender equity – to explore ways to build power across issues and geographies. Also new this year are two in-depth site visits and strategy discussions to hear from frontline fighters and advocates from the local community:

  • Track 1 - Petrochemicals, Plastics, and Fossil Fuels: Plugging Many Interests into a Force for Change
  • Track 2 - Disrupting Pollution: Technology-Boosted Community Action on Air and Water Quality

Read the full descriptions for these opportunities and other programs as we explore, "The Environmental Health and Justice Majority: Raising Voices, Building Power."

I hope you will consider my invitation to join us at this year’s Annual Meeting and I look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh!







Shorey Myers, Executive Director, Jenifer Altman Foundation,
and HEFN Steering Committee member

From our Blog

Field Partner Darryl Molina Sarmiento, Communities for a Better Environment
Blog posted on December 18, 2018
What more – or different – actions can funders and a funder group take to build multiracial majorities strong enough to protect environmental health and justice? HEFN dove into this question through...

Stay Informed