Waves of Change: Meet Executive Director Alicia Smith

Waves of Change: Meet Executive Director Alicia Smith
November 28, 2023 GLN Editor

Waves of Change is a new online interview series highlighting the diverse faces and perspectives shaping the environmental justice movement throughout the Great Lakes region.

This month, we spoke with Alicia Smith, executive director of the Junction Coalition, a community nonprofit based in Toledo, Ohio made up of four pillars of justice: Environmental, Social, Economic and Peace Education.

Listen to the full interview

“Environmental justice is making sure people are aware of the harms within their community, social justice is making sure that they know how to advocate for themselves,” she said. “Economic justice is making sure that the people are more important than the profit … and peace is when you’re not living the trauma day to day.”

The Junction Coalition has worked to address environmental justice concerns for over a decade, for example algal blooms which caused over 500,000 people to be without water in 2014.

“You see a lot within the policy procedures talk about disadvantaged communities, but there’s no definition.” Smith said. “So we’re working to give a definition to what is a disadvantaged community. You hear a lot of people talk about equity, but there are no equity metrics. No way of checking and making sure people are doing the work … So Junction is working together.”

You can find The Junction Coalition on Instagram @junctioncoalition.

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Nibi Chronicles: The art of Ojibwe linoleum

I’m working to revitalize an Indigenous language and bring it into the future

Featured image: Photo courtesy of Alicia Smith.


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