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About Lois Gibbs


  Lois Gibbs was raising her family in Love Canal, near Niagara Falls in upstate New York, when, in 1978, she discovered that her home and those of her neighbors were sitting next to 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals.


  That shocking discovery spurred Lois to lead her neighbors in a three-year struggle to protect their families from the hazardous waste buried in  their backyards.  In that fight, Lois discovered that no local, state or national organization existed to provide communities with strategic advice, guidance, training and technical assistance.
  Lois, with her neighbors on their own, by trial and error, developed the strategies and methods to educate and organize their neighbors, assess the impacts of toxic wastes on their health, and challenge corporate and government policies on the dumping of hazardous materials.  Her leadership led to the relocation of 833 Love Canal households.
 Loisí experiences with Love Canal inspired her to found in 1981 what was then called the Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste (CCHW).  Today, as the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, organizing and community empowerment continue to be at the core of the organizationís mission.

  Lois Gibbs at protest  

  Neighbor to neighbor, one community at a time . . . CHEJ helps to harness the power of the grassroots to collectively change the balance of power. CHEJís Organizing and Information Services Programs help communities identify volunteer leaders, form organizations and networks, develop basic skills and expand their community base.  Itís truly remarkable how a step-by-step process can be so empowering in the fight for community safety.

The Feb. 25, 2006 Conference


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