Our Mission

Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s (SCSJ) Environmental Justice Program seeks to empower economically and politically disadvantaged communities and communities of color (together, “EJ communities”) in their efforts to overcome environmental injustice at a time when climate impacts exacerbate environmental inequities. Environmental injustice is pervasive throughout the South due to historical redlining and discriminatory land use policies that locate polluting industries in EJ communities. Gentrification in these areas also perpetuates the erasure of these communities and their history. We provide EJ communities with long-term support that is responsive to community needs rather than organizational directives. SCSJ is unique in the environmental justice field in our community-based lawyering approach that empowers the community itself as the agent of change and the experts in their own needs. SCSJ’s primary role is to use our organizational legal, research, and communications resources to improve access to a justice system that has historically excluded and failed to serve EJ communities. 

Our Work

Community legal education empowers organizing and collective action by equipping EJ communities with the resources for self-advocacy on an ongoing basis. Legal reference guides and toolkits provide a structure for understanding complicated legal systems, thereby bolstering community agency while improving access to and public participation in decision-making processes. These tools can be a source of immediate relief or remedy for impacted households and communities. In addition, such resources can enable community-building on a large scale, as successful EJ communities can connect and share their experiences and strategies with other impacted communities. SCSJ further empowers advocacy and facilitates community connections by providing research and communications support in addition to our legal expertise. 

Environmental Justice News

Environmental Justice

NC Environmental Advocates Unite to Challenge Duke Energy’s Carbon Plan

DURHAM (May 21, 2024) – Environmental justice organizations filed to intervene in Duke Energy’s Carbon Plan to ensure the voices of frontline communities are heard in the North Carolina Utilities Commission’s (NCUC) process.  Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a petition — and was approved — to intervene in the Carbon Plan and Integrated Resource…

Read More NC Environmental Advocates Unite to Challenge Duke Energy’s Carbon Plan
Duke Intervening Feature Image for Press Release