On April 20, our annual awards celebration, Leaders United for Justice, recognized the everyday advocates making our communities better places to live, work and play.

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This year, we forgot the seated dinner party of the past. Instead, we treated guests to an evening of outdoor mingling, social media sharing, live music, inspiring photo displays and, most importantly, the stories of people leading our neighborhoods toward a healthier future.

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Elected officials and community leaders spent the night celebrating the progress of our leadership development program, SALTA, and helping us award three icons of environmental justice.

  • Keynote Speaker and Spirit of Justice Award: Dolores Huerta
    • As a civil rights activist and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, Huerta helped champion the rights of workers in agricultural fields. Her legendary work continues to empower communities to demand equality and social justice.
  • Environmental Justice Champion Award: Georgette Gomez
    • San Diego City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez grew up in Barrio Logan, where environmental injustices shaped her future in advocacy. Prior to her election to City Council, Gomez served as EHC’s associate director for policy where she spearheaded the effort for a new community plan for Barrio Logan and fought for climate justice.
  • Leadership Empowerment Award: Beatriz Barraza
    • Barraza was instrumental in developing the “promotora” model for peer-to-peer community health promotion, which EHC adopted for SALTA. Twenty years later, SALTA has trained more than 2,500 community members to become leaders for environmental justice in neighborhoods around the world.

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Now that the lights have dimmed on a spectacular evening, we want to say thank you. Thank you to every guest who attended and shouted “sí se puede” with us in unison. Thank you to each sponsor for heartfelt dedication to growing leaders from the ground up. Thank you every person who now proudly wears "I am EJ" or "Yo Soy EJ" pins. Thank you to those who could not attend to the event, but still want to make a donation to continue this important work.

Want to relive the celebration? Us too. Visit us on Facebook to see more photos from the evening.

From our social justice awardees, our 2,500 SALTA graduates, our community members and our team at EHC – thank you and see you next year.

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Irma believes, “anyone can be a leader,” even those who can’t read or write.

Irma and her fellow EHC leaders don’t put up walls around their communities – they open doors and pathways to leadership for everyone. With her infectious energy, Irma inspires her neighbors to get involved, raise their voices and make Barrio Logan a safe and healthy place for all people to live, work and play.

On April 20, please join us to honor Irma and her fellow visionaries at our awards celebration, Leaders United for Justice.


To Margarita, environmental justice means, “staying informed about what’s happening in our city,” and empowering her community to have a voice in the process. 


Margarita lives in National City, where poor air quality threatens the health of children and families. She goes door-to-door with EHC to inform her neighbors about the toxics in the air they breathe and she encourages them to demand change.

On April 20 at Leaders United for Justice, we’ll introduce you to leaders like Margarita who embody community leadership. Purchase your tickets today.

To Roddy, environmental justice means, “everybody has an equal right to clean air.”

As a City Heights resident, Roddy refuses to stand by while his neighborhood suffers from poor transportation options and air pollution. He channeled his concerns into action at EHC’s SALTA leadership-training program and has been a powerful advocate for his community since.

At our annual awards celebration, Leaders United for Justice, we’ll celebrate leaders like Roddy, who work every day to make our communities healthier places to live, work and play.

Will you join us on April 20? Click here to purchase your tickets today. 

If you attended our annual awards celebrationOne People, Una Frontera, you met our very special guest speaker Sergio De La Torre, co-producer of the documentary film Maquilapolis. Since the event, we've received many inquiries about his film, which tells a compelling story and highlights important issues in border justice.

Maquilapolis resonates very strongly with us and our communities. EHC has worked in the border region on social and environmental justice issues for more than 20 years. We collaborated extensively with the Maquilapolis film crew more than ten years ago – we even had one of our Community Action Team leaders as a protagonist in the documentary: Lourdes Luján.

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While the film was released ten years ago, the issues it addresses the ongoing and ultimately imporant environmental and social justice issues in our communities.

Please join us for EHC's first-ever screening of this eye-opening documentary on Wednesday, July 6, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park (2921 El Cajon Blvd, 92104). 

With only 40 seats available, reserve yours today for a suggested contribution of $8. Click here to share the event on Facebook and invite your friends, and to learn more about Maquilapolis, click here.