Water Equity/Water Economy
Human Right to Clean Water Stations
GCCLP network members and allies provide clean water stations in communities impacted by climate disaster and at community gatherings rooted in social justice. Stations are tailored to meet the immediate need for clean water and to promote the globally recognized human right to clean water and the rights of mother earth to keep water as part of the commons.
GCCLP provides targeted leadership development through fellowship and internship programming specifically tailored for leaders working in the unique landscape of the Gulf South. Leadership development programming is intended to identify and cultivate local leadership rooted in community and bound by the ultimate level of community accountability. GCCLP tailors fellowship & internship programs (by cohort and through staffing) to develop and politicize a pool of local experts who advance a broader vision of ecological equity and climate justice. GCCLP strengthens movement infrastructure through fellowship programs that develop local leadership.
Water Warrior Fellowship
GCCLP’s Water Warrior Fellowship Program is set for its inaugural launch in 2019 with a goal of cultivating Black and Indigenous professionals to engage in climate innovation with accountability to the communities on the frontline of climate change. Women professionals in Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) fields from across the US travel to the Gulf Coast to learn from communities and share knowledge as a method of democratizing information. This fellowship works with emerging professionals to develop an ecological equity and climate justice analysis rooted in a new climate reality. Cohorts will act as a community of practice and support for one another, and as professional advisors to community formations addressing solutions for a new climate reality. Fellows attend a one week retreat and training session that offers collective experiential learning.
National Water Equity & Climate Resiliency Caucus
GCCLP serves on the newly formed national steering committee for the Water Equity and Climate Resilience Caucus (WECR) anchored by PolicyLink and funded by the Kresge Foundation. The Water Caucus will explore equity approaches to addressing water-related vulnerabilities. Water shut-offs, shut-off-triggered health pandemics and foreclosures, and toxic and unaffordable residential or school waters (exposing households, neighborhoods, students & businesses to lead, arsenic, and other toxics) primarily manifest in communities of color and have profound public health and human rights implications.
GCCLP joins the national steering committee as
a regional leader around grassroots-based systems solutions to create economic inclusion in greening economy;
a resilience preparedness leader networking across disasters to address civil rights/sovereignty dimensions of disaster recovery, repeatedly addressing the same threats/challenges;
an organization advancing civil rights engagement emerging in resilience preparedness, includes flood/sea level-rise threats;
an emerging leader in addressing water infrastructure investments advancing equity parameters regulation, enforcement, funding options, affordability, workforce, and business opportunity, prioritized investment in highest-need communities; and
a leader integrating grassroots organizing with voter efforts for just transitions.
The WECR is a national network of frontline Water Protectors. The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy and co-chairs WECR with PolicyLink. The role of the caucus is to collectively develop an analysis around the nation's water challenges and build policy strategies that advance water equity for frontline communities. WECR convenes the foremost leaders on the local, state, federal levels working at the intersection of water equity and climate resilience to build strategy, peer power, and policy change.
The Caucus works to affect policies that move forward:
Safe and affordable drinking water for the 100 million economically vulnerable residents.
Water infrastructure investments to build climate resilience and expand economic opportunities for communities of color.
Agency for economically vulnerable communities in water infrastructure policymaking processes that shape their lives.
Developed as part of the Gulf South Rising Initiative in 2015, Sustainable H20, is a cooperative business enterprise that provides clean water and education on the human right to clean water. This non-extractive business enterprise advances the national "Protect the Commons" movement through the targeting of public water resources while serving as a model to employing chronically underemployed Black Male youth in the development of water filtration systems in partnership with local university partners. Local artists are trained in the human right to water and provide artwork to accompany zero-waste water stations and community information material. Sustainable H20 provides its zero-waste contracted services at festivals, conferences, meetings, and community celebrations throughout the South, with an immediate impact of plastic bottle waste reduction.
"Sustainable H20 was created to preserve the right to have clean water, offer zero waste water services, and educate the community on justice issues that connect to our public water supply. With our services at public events, we affirm that public water and public land should never be privatized," says Eric Harrison. Listen to an interview with the project lead and GCCLP staffer, Eric Harrison, here.