Welcome to Environmental Health Coalition's SALTA Community Leadership Training Program. This page has everything you need to learn about SALTA, create a registration account to download the curriculum and log in to return for more downloads and to provide feedback.
SALTA (Salud Ambiental Lideres Tomando Accion – Environmental Health, Leaders Taking Action) is a web-based, interactive leadership development curriculum that provides community leaders with skill-building training in community organizing, policy advocacy, building power, community health, environmental justice and effective communication.
SALTA is a key component to ensuring that EHC achieves our core mission. More than education, SALTA is integrated with EHC's organizing and advocacy efforts to achieve environmental and social justice.
SALTA programs represent the organic educational efforts of the different campaigns, teams, leaders, and staff that make up EHC and were designed specifically for our leaders based on our local efforts. We began SALTA trainings in 1996, and now more than 2,000 individuals have been trained.
Developed and field tested by EHC staff and leaders during the past 15 years, SALTA uses a popular education approach that makes the training inclusive and accessible to all participants. Trainings are based on the knowledge, skills and real-world experiences of EHC staff, leaders and training participants.
Popular education, which has varying interpretations, is best defined by the practice where participants share their own understanding and feelings about a specific topic or issue and that understanding and feelings are considered valid. The idea of popular education (often described as "education for critical consciousness") as a teaching methodology came from a Brazilian educator and writer named Paulo Freire, who was writing in the context of literacy education for poor and politically disempowered people in his country. It's different from formal education (in schools, for example) and informal education (learning by living) in that it is a process which aims to empower people who feel marginalized socially and politically to take control of their own learning and to effect social change.
The SALTA sessions improve participants' sense of belonging to a community as participants and stakeholders of their societies. They begin to see themselves as empowered members who can make change.
Click the sessions below to learn more.
Social change relies on leaders who act to improve conditions for themselves and their communities. In this session participants explore the roles and responsibilities of community leaders working for social and environmental justice.
In this session, the concepts of environmental racism and justice are discussed and defined through the lens of the history of the civil rights and environmental justice movements. Participants identify injustices in their neighborhoods and learn about inspiring organizing victories.
Environmental Health I
This session makes the link between pollution and human health in the workplace and community. The basics of the routes of exposure with a focus on childhood lead poisoning are presented.
Environmental Health II
Building on the Environmental Health I session, here the problem of air pollution with focus on diesel and greenhouse gas emissions is presented. Solution-oriented prevention strategies such as pollution prevention, the precautionary principle and cumulative impacts assessment are discussed.
In this session we answer the questions: What is power? How can community organizations build power to make change? Power analysis and EHC’s Social Change for Justice model are presented.
Messaging for Social Change
Participants in this session will learn effective methods of persuading individuals and decision-makers through effective messaging. Use of personal stories is encouraged to inspire trust and hope.
The foundation of community organizing is relationship building. In this session participants learn basic organizing skills and how to use them to build on their messaging skills.
Participants learn basic advocacy skills and how to use them to influence policy makers to take actions for environmental and social justice.
Land Use and Leadership
The last session provides a comprehensive review of the program and combines learning to develop a model organizing and advocacy plan. The plan incorporates the Problem/Solution/Action method.
The main objectives of SALTA are:
- To develop unity, commitment and shared consciousness on core principles
- To enhance leader's skills and effectiveness
- To develop an understanding of all efforts
If these objectives are consistent with your organization's mission and theory of change, SALTA can provide a forum for learning and growing. SALTA training works best when integrated with active campaigns and opportunities to use the skills in the real world.
Each session builds on the prior one. You may use individual activities or sessions as stand alone workshops but be aware that there may be topics covered in prior sessions that are integral to full understanding.
You will find it necessary in some cases to change or adapt some of the information or activities to suit your purposes, communities and local efforts. EHC encourages adaptation for individual needs of non-profits, environmental and social justice organizations, unions and public schools however any for-profit enterprise must first get permission directly from EHC.