Established by Executive Order 12898, the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) comprises 17 federal agencies and White House Offices that work together to guide, support and enhance environmental justice and community-based activities. Check out the EJ IWG Webpage for more information.
The EJ IWG is hosting the Access & Awareness Webinar Series, a monthly event, to provide public access to the working group and to increase community awareness of federal agency environmental justice strategies and holistic community-based solutions to address environmental justice issues. This series will help the public gain a deeper understanding of how federal agencies are collaborating and what resources are available to anyone interested in improving the health, quality-of-life, and economic opportunities in overburdened communities.
Webinar #6: January and February Webinars will be dedicated to
EJ and Emergency Management
Title: Discrimination Protections and Promising Practices in Federally Assisted Emergency Management
This webinar will discuss the nondiscrimination requirements of federally-assisted programs and activities related to emergency and disaster management as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and subsequent catastrophic events, the Federal government learned many critical lessons about how recipients of federal financial assistance engaged in emergency management activities can more effectively ensure that all members of the community receive access to information and services free from discrimination. On August 16, 2016, the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Transportation issued the first-ever, joint agency guidance to state and local governments and other entities involved in emergency management, services, and information-sharing that addresses nondiscrimination protections on the basis of race, color, and national origin.
The webinar will focus on promising practices for Title VI nondiscrimination compliance by recipients of federal financial assistance. The goal is to promote collaboration with and inclusion of all communities that may be affected by emergencies. Presenters will discuss Title VI nondiscrimination protections, its applicability (the distinction between federally assisted v. federally conducted programs and activities), and promising practices to ensure compliance in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Presenters will also discuss the how legal aid organizations can help in emergencies and disasters. Lastly, a representative from an advocacy group will share the group’s experience in ensuring nondiscrimination in post-emergency recovery efforts and what more should be done.