Amelia Simpson 2

Amelia Simpson (far right) has worked as the border environmental justice campaign director and grant writer for EHC since 2002. We asked her about her 13-year-and-counting journey with the organization. This is what she had to say.

What was EHC like when you began?

I started as EHC's Border Environmental Justice Campaign director. Magdalena, now the director, was the community organizer at the time, and she did an amazing job. She organized our Tijuana Community Action Team - there were two groups at first that called themselves "los grupos de Nena [Magdalena]."

Soon after I came on, we rented a little house in Colonia Chilpancingo and turned it into a meeting space. They chose the new name Colectivo Chilpancingo Pro Justicia Ambiental. Most of the same women are still active today along with many new women. Many of their daughters and sons are in the Jóvenes Pro Justicia Ambiental Youth Group organized by Aníbal.

They're the next generation of environmental justice activists in Tijuana.

What brought you to work with EHC?

Amelia Simpson

I was working as a Mexico specialist with Amnesty International when I heard about EHC's opening for a director in the border region. I saw EHC as an organization that defended human rights in Mexico, like Amnesty, and I was very happy to be hired.

What do you enjoy most about working with EHC?

The most exciting thing is having the opportunity to be with the community; the opportunity to get to know people, hear their stories and work together to make changes that truly matter.

Do any milestones stand out most to you?

The campaign to clean up the American-owned Metales y Derivados maquiladora assembly plant was a tremendous achievement for the community. Not only was the neighborhood protected at last from the dumping of 42,000 tons of toxic waste, but the effort also brought together supporters from both sides of the border, including community residents and government agencies. This was an unprecedented collaboration to address a serious human rights violation.

To donate to EHC today, please click here.