Brown University

Contested Illnesses Research Group
Brown University , Providence RI

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Reuse in RI: A State-Based Approach to Complex Exposures - Superfund Research Program - Community Outreach Core

The Community Outreach Core promotes environmental health and justice outreach and education across Rhode Island, a small, densely populated state burdened by a long history of industrial activity. Our program of “Environmental Health and Justice Outreach Education” complements the Brown University Superfund Research Program’s focus on a state-based approach by working on multiple levels with a variety of constituencies, including community-based organizations, state and federal government agencies such as EPA, ATSDR, and RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), and our and other universities. The Outreach Core works to develop the capacity of RI-based community environmental organizations to advocate for remediation of existing toxic waste sites and the prevention of future contamination. We work closely on environmental health and justice education and outreach with our community-based partner organizations, the Environmental Neighborhood Awareness Committee of Tiverton (ENACT), the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC), and the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island (EJLRI), as well as groups from the communities of Alton, Bradford, and the Adelaide Avenue/Gorham site in Providence, which is the latest source of conflict in a history of conflicts in Providence over school siting on brownfields. The Core, together with the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island, runs an after-school/evening Community Environmental College for teenagers and adults that provides free classes to Providence-area residents of all ages, as well as a series of Science Cafes. Additionally, the Core works to expand citizen involvement in toxics remediation and re-use. This is done through outreach to several local, state, and federal environmental agencies (particularly the EPA and RIDEM), and by conducting legislative conferences whose goals are to develop a more comprehensive environmental legislative coalition and to strengthen existing legislation. The Core also promotes and broadens Brown faculty, undergraduate, and graduate student awareness of and involvement in community environmental health and justice issues by continuing to provide courses and course modules, invite speakers, bring community partners to campus, and engage students in collaborating communities.

For full information on the research projects, the Research Translation Core, Analytical Core, Training Core, and Molecular Pathology Core of the Superfund Research Program, see:

Superfund Research Program