Our mission is to build the power of lower income residents and people of color to eradicate environmental racism and classicism and achieve environmental justice through community-based organizing and providing legal and technical assistance.
REEP strives to ignite the spark of hope and passion that we believe exists in every young person and fan that spark into a flame. Using an environmental justice framework, REEP helps young people understand that the appearance of and the problems in their communities are not their fault, that they have the power to fight back, and that they are not alone in their struggle for clean, healthy neighborhoods. Environmental justice gives young people a name to the oppression that they see in their community every day. REEP gives them the tools and skills they need to challenge that oppression and achieve improvements in the quality of life of their community. REEP combines education and youth development with community action, organizing, and civic engagement. As a result, REEP has nurtured the growth of a cadre of youth leaders who have convinced the City to completely redesign and renovate two parks in Roxbury, convinced a major developer to spend one-half million dollars to clean up a hazardous waste site, educated hundreds of their peers on the environmental links to asthma, organized an on-going campaign for clean air, and played a key role in launching the T Riders Union.
REEP participants learn that when they fight for environmental justice they join a movement that has a long, rich history rooted in the struggle for civil rights. REEP builds the capacity of youth as leaders and organizers in this struggle. It demands that youth find their own inner strength and empowers them to demand respect. The REEP program includes these elements: Youth Organizer Program Five to seven teens participate in this 3-year internship in which they develop into organizers and leaders. They work year-round earning a stipend and gaining job skills. They lead their own campaigns, engage ACE's youth members, and support ACE campaigns. Currently, REEP's youth organizers have identified youth violence as a toxic in their community that they want to reduce and prevent. They are waging a campaign to restore funding for youth jobs in Boston to support the vast majority of youth in Roxbury and other neighborhoods who are, in the words of REEP organizer Carlos Moreno, "Trying to do something positive with our lives." In-School Program and Curriculum Each year, we reach 75-100 youth in 3-4 Roxbury public schools (5th-12th grade). During the 2-4 month program with each school, students define their own priorities and then gain skills through a hands-on project in their community. Workshops and Tours REEP conducts 15-20 workshops and EJ tours each year, engaging 300-400 youth.