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Georgia: Harambee House, Inc. / Citizens for Environment Justice (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The summary and links below provide a description and documentation of a Savannah, Georgia project that received a Level I Cooperative Agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2006, and a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement in 2008. These case studies serve as historic references, and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.

The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.


Harambee House, Inc. (2006)
Savannah, Georgia
EPA Region 4

Harambee House (HH) is the recipient of a Level I CARE Cooperative Agreement. HH has over 15 years of experience as a community-based organization working on environmental justice, neighborhood revitalization, and community/youth development issues. Additionally, HH has been recognized by the Ford Foundation as an environmental leader in the Southeast region. Building on an environmental justice collaborative problem-solving cooperative agreement, HH will use CARE funding to create a broad-based community group that understands the toxic risks in the community and sets priorities for action. One goal outlined in HH’s work plan is to create a multi-stakeholder partnership that includes the surrounding industries and small business owners in two neighborhoods that are over 90 percent African-American, and with 14 percent below the poverty line. Other goals include utilizing the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC) Community Roadmap, and EPA Voluntary Programs, to help identify environmental and public health concerns, to work with local officials in engaging stakeholders, and to develop a baseline evaluation plan for measuring results.

Prospective CARE Partners:  Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR); Eastside Concerned Citizens; Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; CJ’s Management and Consulting; Citizens for Clean Air and Water; Northwest Communities’ Education Center; Fort Valley State University; Morehouse School of Medicine; Savannah Development and Renewal Authority; Shinholster Group; Auto Works; Savannah City Council; George State Senate; Savannah City Council; Chatham County Health Department, and; Savannah State University. 

Harambee House, Inc. / Citizens for Environment Justice (2008)
Savannah, Georgia
EPA Region 4

The Harambee House, Inc. / Citizens for Environmental Justice (HH/CFEJ) are recipients of a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement, building on a Level I award of 2006. HH/CFEJ is a community-based organization in Savannah, GA, focusing on environmental justice, environmental stewardship, and community and youth development. HH/CFEJ will focus primarily on the Hudson Hill and Woodville neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are predominately African American, and 30 percent of the population lives at or below the poverty line. A chemical of great concern is the release of the by-product dioxin from the production activities of International Paper and Weyerhaeuser Companies. Other community concerns focus on reducing sulfur, volatile organic compounds, fine particles and oxides of nitrogen. During the CARE II process, this project will help build community assets, engage faculty and students, and increase the lab and technology resources of the historically black colleges and universities. This Level CARE II project will also expand industry participation in the partnership. Building on the Level I CARE project, HH/CFEJ will take action to reduce the risk from lead through the Lead Awareness and Abatement Campaign.

Established CARE Partners: Office of the Mayor, Savannah, GA, City of Savannah - City Council, Commissioners of Chatham County, Woodville Community Action Organization, The Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), The Hazardous Waste Management Branch of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, Chatham County Health Department - Environmental Health Division, Regensis Economic Development Organization, Savannah Development and Renewal Authority, Savannah State University - Department of Natural Sciences, Good Service LLC, Citizens for Clean Air and Water, Shinhoster Group International, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Newborn Church of Faith in Christ, Abyssinia Baptist Church, CJ’s Management and Consulting Service, and the Southeast Community Research Center.

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