Justice/C.A.R.AT Team Program
Project Coordinator: Carolyn Bell
communities and people of color suffer a disproportionate burden of environmental
hazards and the various health problems associated with poor quality air,
water and toxic exposure. Often, these communities are also victims of
environmental racism and the discriminatory enforcement of environmental
laws and regulations, resulting in high rates of disease, birth defects
and sometimes early death.
CBTU is part
of the growing environmental justice movement that empowers community-based
organizations to identify harmful or discriminatory conditions, mobilize
their constituencies, and resolve local environmental health problems.
In 1998, CBTU initiated an environmental action strategy. Several CBTU
chapters have formed Community Action and Response Against Toxics (CARAT)
teams, which along with other safety and environmental allies
help to educate and monitor issues such as illegal waste dumping
and hauling in poor communities.
The CARAT Team Program is hugely popular with CBTU members.
- A national
CARAT Team training program has been created.
- CBTU members
can receive Emergency Response training, Train-the Trainer
instruction, and Advanced Technical Skills training.
toxics conferences have been held in several cities to raise awareness.
- The national
CARAT Toxic Awareness & Training Conference draws overflow attendance
at the CBTU annual national convention.
ABOUT THE C.A.R.A.T TEAM PROGRAM
up CARAT Teams?
The teams are comprised of trade unionists, affected residents, environmental
justice advocates, legislators, community leaders, scientists, and other
persons interested in a collective environmental health protection effort.
CARAT Teams do?
grassroots community rallies, marches, demonstrations, etc.
- Serve as
liaison between community-based minority groups and environmental advocacy
organizations and agencies.
- Assess the
needs of the community and help propose solutions.
- Refer environmental
health issues to the appropriate agencies.
CARAT teams in public libraries and other
environmental hazard information to public libraries and community-based
- Meet regularly
and submit activity reports to the CBTU leadership.
How do CARAT
Teams work with other environmental justice groups?
CARAT Teams do not replace existing environmental justice activities.These
teams collaborate with existing grassroots efforts to help coordinate
and empower community-based organizations to raise awareness, mobilize
their constituencies, and resolve environmental health problems.
How can I form a CARAT Team in my city?
your local CBTU chapter president
- Host a CARAT
Team organizing meeting with potential stakeholders
operational guidelines for your chapterís CARAT Team
and prioritize local environmental health issues
- Form a liaison
with the local Emergency Planning Committee
strategies to raise community awareness
support for your issues
educational institutions to serve as resources
research and education
chapters currently host CARAT Teams?
- North Central
- St. Louis,