Guiding Principles

Sowing Justice supports the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing and Environmental Justice Principles. We work to ensure that people closest to the pain of environmental racism and injustice are civically engaged to shape the solutions for clean air, water, and soil.
Environmental Justice is a human rights movement and a legal term to address environmental racism and injustice. Our approach to relation organizing is inclusive and guided by the Jemez Principles of Democratic Organizing and Environmental Justice Principles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Legal Definition

                                                                                                                                                                                                Environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or policies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Meaningful involvement means:
  • People have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health;
  • The public's contribution can influence the regulatory agency's decision;
  • Community concerns will be considered in the decision-making process; and
  • Decision-makers will seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected.


Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing


The Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing were outlined and adopted at a coalition meeting in 1996 hosted by the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (SNEEJ), in Jemez, New Mexico. The meeting was designed to reach a common understanding between participants from different cultures, politics, and organizations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Environmental Justice Principles

Delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held on October 24-27, 1991, in Washington DC, drafted and adopted these 17 principles of Environmental Justice. Since then, the Principles have served as a defining document for the growing grassroots movement for environmental justice.


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