As part of the many events surrounding Earth Day (April 22, 2011) Howard Jordan of The Jordan Journal interviewed Puerto Rican civil rights attorney Elizabeth C. Yeampierre. The interview focuses on environmental consciousness; youth awareness of pollutants, environmental justice and equality; and environmental needs of urban communities.
Ms. Yeampierre is the executive director of the United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE), Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization. UPROSE focuses on environmental, economic and social justice issues. Through this organization, Ms. Yeampierre developed a community based planning model to ensure that the UPROSE Greenway design is a community led greenway design. $8.4 million dollars have been allocated for the greenway and the waterfront park. She secured $1,000,000 for pollution reduction projects that are being shared and distributed throughout the community.
Yeampierre was also a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Energy, and she is a co-founder of CURE (Communities United for Responsible Energy), OWN (Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods), and Co-Chair of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. The Alliance was responsible for getting New York State’s first Brownfield legislation and NYC’s Solid Waste Management Plan passed. She was recently appointed acting co-chair of the US Environmental Protection Agency National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Yeampierre received her BA in political science from Fordham University and her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. Among many awards, Yeampierre received the 2004 National Latina Leadership Award from the National Foundation of Women Legislators and its affiliate, the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization. Her other recent accolades include the 2003 Asian Americans for Equality’s Dream of Equality Award and the Comité Noviembre Hispanic Heritage Award.
To listen to the program, go to the WBAI archive website http://archive.wbai.org/, look for The Jordan Journal and press play.
For more information on Elizabeth Yeampierre and image (courtesy of Greenstreet Construction), see http://weact.org/Programs/MovementBuilding/TheWEACTforClimateJusticeProject/AdvancingClimateJusticeConference/MeetourSpeakers/ElizabethYeampierre/tabid/474/Default.aspx