On Friday, December 11th from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST, PROTECT will host its fall webinar of the 2020 – 2021 academic year. This webinar will feature a discussion with Maria Lopez-Nuñez, Deputy Director of Advocacy and Organizing for the Ironbound Community Corporation. Through her advocacy and engagement with multiple stakeholders, Ms. Lopez-Nuñez was instrumental in the passing of New Jersey’s historic environmental justice legislation that offers the strongest state protection in the nation. Please join us to hear about the lessons learned and the pathway to this successful outcome.
Maria Lopez-Nunez, (she/her) grew up in Bushwick and remembers going back to Honduras as a kid to connect with her roots and swim in her rivers. Being displaced multiple times by colonization, racism, and violence sparked her commitment to fight multiple extractive industries and end sacrifice zones once and for all. The Ironbound district of Newark, New Jersey, where she resides is predominantly Black and Latinx, is one of the most toxic neighborhoods in the country, and like many is also getting gentrified at an unprecedented rate. In her role as Deputy Director of Advocacy and Organizing of Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC); she fights the bad and builds the new challenging the current political system, holding power brokers and polluters accountable while fighting for environmental, housing, immigrant, and racial justice. She has organized and helped the passage of historic and landmark city and state legislation such as the Right to Council, the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), and the Environmental Justice Cumulative Impacts Bil. All of which will significantly increase the quality of life of those that are often deemed disposable. Currently, she is cultivating a more Compassionate New Jersey that protects children and families from eviction in the midst of the COVID Pandemic.
A proud Catracha – You can catch Maria and her team in action in the 2019 film, The Sacrifice Zone or at Down Bottom Farms planting new futures with youth and elders. She is a member of Right to the City, and Grassroots Global Justice. She is a Steering Committee member of the Climate Justice Alliance which unites communities for a Just Transition, the Coalition of Healthy Ports, and volunteers as a Board Member and trainer for ROOTS. She shares custody of dog-child Oshi, loves to grow bushy moss, is a skilled fire-keeper, militant reader, family taught woodworker and can spend hours feeding small urban animals and caring for her expanding indoor apartment jungle. She has a distinct talent at ID’ing putrid smells, purple plume from the Covanta Incinerator (Shut it down!!) and other polluting facilities. Follow her on IG –@five5five_ , @downbottomfarm_newark