Environmental Justice Promotoras Program

group picture of individuals.

Climate Resolve and Promesa Boyle Heights (Promesa) are using the Promotora model for equitable outreach and engagement in the Boyle Heights Buffer Zone project. What is a Promotora? Promotoras are community members who are experts of the communities in which they reside and who share the desire to improve their neighborhoods by disseminating information and resources through door-to-door canvassing and community events. For this project, Promesa’s Promotoras de Salud Ambiental is supporting, as their main focus is educating and informing the community on wellness issues related to environmental justice, with a special focus on greening, water, and climate resiliency. As part of the Buffer Zone project, the Promotoras attended a series of workshops to learn about the environmental and climate impacts of the industrial area in southern Boyle Heights. The topics of these workshops have included Environmental impacts, urban greening, community mapping, etc.

Training #1 – Environmental Impacts / Urban Greening

During our first training session, we examined the current condition of the Boyle Heights community. Our team analyzed the environmental risks affecting the census tracts near the industrial corridor at the southern end of Boyle Heights. The presentation aimed to provide the Promesa Boyle Heights Promotoras with essential knowledge of why we focus on this area. As part of our previous engagement efforts for the Boyle Heights Community Plan update, there was frequent talk of rezoning the southern end of Boyle Heights for lighter industrial use. Our team will use the environmental impact data to start community engagement efforts to gain support for the Buffer Zone project.

Training #2 – Community mapping + Spherical 

This workshop was designated to gather feedback and knowledge from the community regarding areas of interest within the project area. We collaborated with Spherical, a strategic design and integrative research studio that focuses on regenerating the health and integrity of Earth’s living systems. Spherical designed an interactive tool that maps community lived experiences and provides data on infrastructure that can help mitigate environmental impacts. 

The Promotoras have first-hand experience with the hazards and dangers in their communities. This is a valuable step in our process of identifying specific project areas that need the most focus, using storytelling as a means of achieving this goal.

picture of individuals in a class room.
group of individuals in a classroom setting.

Training #3 – Hyphae

At our third workshop, Hyphae, one of our partners, presented to the promotoras. Hyphae Design Lab is an engineering firm that is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the industrial corridor of Boyle Heights. In this workshop, Hyphae demonstrated different design and implementation strategies that can help mitigate environmental impacts in the industrial corridor. From conceptualization to execution, Hyphae Design Lab will work with us to identify potential risks and create innovative solutions prioritizing safety and sustainability. The promotoras will use the knowledge gained from this workshop to provide mitigation strategies to community members who live, work, or play in or near the industrial corridor.