Our Network

None of our work would be possible without giving credit to the company we keep.

Start:Empowerment is dedicated to social and environmental justice. We work with coalitions, campaigns, and allies around New York City to organize around causes important to New Yorkers. Our work has mainly been centered in Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, with plans for further expansion in all 5 boroughs.

CCIA Rally, 05/18 - Photo Credit: Devin Deane

Guided by Chancellor's Regulation A-850, the Office of Sustainability seeks to transform the NYC Department of Education into a more sustainable and efficient public entity regarding facility operations and student environmental education. Located within the Division of School Facilities, the Office engages both facility and pedagogical staff, including the DOE Offices of STEM, Wellness, Career and Technical Education, and District 75 to integrate programs into existing structures while also creating new education opportunities. The Office also partners with a diverse array of organizations to provide curriculum and programming to students and educators.


Our Network

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NYC Dept. of Education's (DOE) Office of Sustainability

Our Network

National Wildlife Foundation's 

Dedicated to increasing access to interdisciplinary climate education and professional learning opportunities in New York's schools.

The Task Force collectively manages a range of projects that advance climate education in New York in four key areas: public events; policy; equity, justice and inclusion; and teacher support.

The Task Force is committed to racial, social, economic, and environmental justice, and prioritizes youth and frontline communities as it strives to achieve its goals.

Our Network

Environmental Justice Coalition

NY Renews is a coalition of over 200 environmental, justice, faith, labor, and community groups, and the force behind the nation’s most progressive climate law. We fight for good jobs and climate justice, and we’re not finished yet.

We're fighting for:

  • Good Jobs: Create thousands of clean energy jobs throughout New York state.

  • Environmental Justice: Support low-income communities disproportionately hurt by climate change with revenue generated by a fee to polluters.

  • 100% Clean & Renewable Energy: Foster a transition to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050 with a benchmark goal of 50% by 2030.

  • Worker Protection: Advocate for economic justice in the transition to a 100% clean energy economy that puts workers and families first. 

Our Network

Chidi Asoluka is a dean and English teacher in New York City. Since 2005, Asoluka has dedicated his life to education, starting in the non-profit sector to his current position as a class dean. Asoluka Company is his attempt to have a broader impact beyond his local community.

The New Community (NewComm) Project for Educators Program's purpose is to use the study of literature as the starting point to design and implement purposeful community initiatives for a local non-profit organization. Plainly, Chidi wanted students to see how traditional “school texts” provided a unique lens into the living, breathing text of their surrounding neighborhoods.

What We Support

rally with us around the

Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA)

Download the 2-pager flyers here.

Our Network

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New York University's

Office of Sustainability

NYU’s Office of Sustainability leads the University-wide effort to build a healthier and more sustainable future.

Co-founder, Kiersten Blake, at the CCIA Rally, 05/18

Photo Credit: Devin Deane

What is it?

Why it matters

In a nutshell, it's a Just Transition bill paid for by a polluter penalty.​

The CCIA would impose a fee on greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants and siphon it into a fund to be invested in environmental justice communities, mass transit, and alternative clean energy. Supporters say it is the best option to provide the revenue needed to achieve the state's ambitious emissions reduction mandate of 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.

The Argument

The fee on pollutants would hit businesses and industries that are carbon producers and be felt at the gas pump, and advocates claim that the fund would rake in up to $15 billion in revenue per year. They also claim it would create thousands of jobs and potential higher energy costs would be offset with rebates of up to $1,200 annually. However, critics have noted that gas prices may spike by as much as 55 cents per gallon, putting an undue burden on those who commute by car and businesses that operate fleet vehicles.

the current context

The CCIA has drawn fierce criticism from Republican members of the Legislature and business groups throughout the state, Last month, testifying before the Legislature, the Business Council of New York State criticized the bill as unsustainable. The Council represents several fossil fuel companies, along with other energy-intensive industries like logging, forestry, and paper mills and is staunchly opposed to the CCIA.


Download the outreach materials

Courtesy of NY Renews of which Start:Empowerment is a member.

Co-founder, Alexia Leclercq, at the CCIA Rally, 05/18

Photo Credit: Devin Deane