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

How We Advance Environmental Justice

Support Community Legal Education

Community legal education empowers organizing and collective action by equipping EJ communities with the resources for self-advocacy on an ongoing basis. SCSJ further empowers advocacy and facilitates community connections by providing research and communications support in addition to our legal expertise. 

Strategic Counseling & Advice

We provide strategic counseling and advice to both community members and decision-makers. For community members, this goes beyond general community legal education. It is tailored to community-specific issues faced by our partners and their communities and will depend on community-identified needs. 

Provide Rapid Response Direct Legal Services

While litigation is a measure of last resort and not appropriate to achieving desired outcomes in every scenario, it is a necessary and powerful tool to enforce justice, improve equity, and empower EJ communities. 

Environmental Justice News

Environmental Justice

SCSJ Condemns Merger of Enbridge, Dominion 

RALEIGH, N.C. (July 12, 2024) – Southern Coalition for Social Justice stood alongside environmental and community advocates to condemn the potential merger of Dominion Energy and Enbridge. Anne Harvey, SCSJ’s Chief Counsel for Environmental Justice, gave comments and sent a letter to the North Carolina Utilities Commission on July 8, urging the Commission to deny…

Read More SCSJ Condemns Merger of Enbridge, Dominion 
Liquified natural gas storage facility transposed on top of a decorate background in a collage-style design
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

Environmental Justice Cases

Duke Energy Carbon Plan

SCSJ filed an intervention seeking for NCUC to account for the true cost externalities and burdens of fossil fuel-based energy imposed on frontline communities.

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Clayton, et. al. v. Person County

SCSJ is challenging Person County's rezoning of parcels from rural residential and conservation designations to industrial zoning.

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Key Contacts