Summer 2022

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SWEA News & Updates

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Message from Our Founder & Executive Director

 Happy Summer South Ward Family!

Congratulations to all the 2022

High school and College graduates!

We acknowledge the hard work, dedication and support of our youth as future advocates for environmental justice. 

We would like to send a special shout-out to SWEA's Youth Coordinator, Frankie Mo"Nay Walls, as a 2022 graduate of Ithaca College. 

Let's celebrate all our South Ward graduates with a shout-out in our next edition.

Please email a picture with the graduate's full name and graduating school to Asada Rashidi at

                                               ~ Kim Gaddy, Executive Director 

Welcome to our new office!

SWEA's new home office is located at 208 Lyons Avenue, overlooking the heart of the South Ward. Our new office is located inside of the Rev. Ronald B. Christian Community Health & Wellness Center.

Thanks to a new partnership with the Beth Israel Medical Center, residents and our environmental justice partners, can meet and train in our office space.

                    Sonny William Gaddy Jr. Book Scholarship 2022 Recipient 

"This Sonny William Gaddy Jr. Scholarship aligns with my values because I believe that through hard work success is possible and will be determined by the effort you put in to achieve your goals."

Obianuju Enekebe

Obianuju Enekebe is a 17-year old senior that attends Science Park High School located in Newark, New Jersey. 

Asthma Awareness Month

World Asthma Day takes place every year during the first week of May. 

This year World Asthma Day was held on May 3rd, 2022.

In light of spreading awareness, SWEA partnered with the Power Business Resource Group on May 19th to host a table at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center to explain how asthma is linked to environmental justice. 

One potent asthma trigger is poor air quality. Some neighborhoods, like the South Ward of Newark are more disproportionately affected by air pollution because of environmental racism. Black and brown populations live in more polluted neighborhoods with heavy truck traffic and close to polluting industries due to redlining and housing discrimination. Fighting for environmental justice will help reduce environmental asthma triggers.


Newark Truck Count

Spring 2022 Truck Count and

Air Monitoring Recap

In late spring, the South Ward Environmental Alliance and Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) hosted a Truck Count and Air Monitoring project in the South Ward and Ironbound sections of Newark. The goal was to highlight the extensive amount of truck traffic and diesel pollution that comes through the Ironbound and Dayton Street neighborhoods each day.

During the truck count days, 5,000 medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks traveled on the South Ward local roads. 

Why air quality monitoring is essential?

Monitoring helps in assessing the level of pollution in relation to the ambient air quality standards. These standards are a regulatory measure used to set the target for pollution reduction and achieving clean air.

South Ward Truck Hotspots Monitored:

Club Eclipse  247 Fabyan Pl.

Elizabeth Ave + Meeker Ave

Frelinghuysen Ave + Meeker Ave

Frelinghuysen Ave + Empire St 

Frelinghuysen Ave + Evergreen Ave 

SWEA stands with our residents to  fight towards a healthy Port of Newark, one that minimizes air pollution and maximizes community benefits and local jobs. Together, this initiative will engage a base of Newark residents ready to fight for a clean and healthy Port of Newark.

Click Here to Watch our Truck Count Event
Moving Forward Network - Digital Campaign NoX Truck 

New Jersey - Recently the Environmental Protection Agency for NJ, NJ EPA announced their proposed Heavy Duty NOx Truck rule. As so many expected, the rule, according to the Moving Forward Network partners like SWEA, 'falls short and does not address any of the requests made in our letter. By not taking on a comprehensive zero emissions program for all trucks, especially heavy duty trucks, the EPA is prioritizing industry and dodging accountability.'

According to members of the Moving Forward Network, 'stalling of a comprehensive regulatory proposal that includes at least the demands from our EJ communities, will result in further public health and environmental damages for our communities, who have been breathing toxic, polluted air for far too long.'

How Can You Help?

We’ve put together some initial materials to respond to the rule below to share them on your social media channels:

Facebook - The EPA's proposed Heavy Duty NOx Rule fails to protect the lives of EJ communities everywhere. Achieving a Zero Emission future for our freight system requires a holistic approach that prioritizes environmental justice. #ZeroMustMeanZero

Twitter - The administration should listen and center the voices from EJ communities who are the most impacted by the effects of freight. The proposed HD NOx rule falls dramatically short at protecting EJ communities. It's time for a just transition to zero emissions. #ZeroMustMeanZero

The Fight For A Community Benefits Agreement 

Chloe Desir of Newark tells roughly 75 demonstrators Thursday at 4 World Trade Center in New York why she opposes Amazons plans to build an air hub at Newark airport unless the company and Port Authority mitigate air pollution, truck traffic and guarantee living wages for workers.

By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for 

Protesters oppose Newark Airport Amazon air hub deal at Port Authority’s first

in-person meeting. Protesters greeted the Port Authority’s first in-person board meeting since the pandemic on Thursday to oppose an August 2021 agreement to build an Amazon Air hub at Newark Airport and asking the authority to revisit the deal.

Opponents reiterated their objections to Amazon leasing two buildings at Newark Airport to a 250,000-square-foot global air cargo campus charging the plan will hurt minority communities, take away high-paying union jobs and increase air pollution and truck traffic in nearby neighborhoods. They also contend the vote last summer was done at the last minute without a chance for public comment.

About 75 demonstrators picketed outside Port Authority headquarters at 4 World Trade Center and voiced their opposition during the authority’s first in-person meeting since they went virtual at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Several speakers from community organizations in Newark and Elizabeth voiced their concerns during the demonstration about how the Air hub would affect the surrounding communities.

Several speakers voiced concern about more pollution being inflicted on a neighborhood already affected by air pollution and associated diseases, such asthma, from the airport and port emissions.

“We cannot stand any more pollution in our community, our lives do matter,” said Kim Gaddy, Clean Water Action environmental justice director and a Newark resident. “Amazon and the secret deal will kill more people. “We want more community benefits, we want clean air. We demand you respect the residents of Newark and Elizabeth.”

Link To Full Article

NJ Green Amendment

Terrance L. Bankston, the NJ Environmental Justice Organizer for Clean Water Action, recently launched an environmental justice campaign pertaining to the NJ Green Amendment.


As of March 18, 2022, 4 Years and 70 Legislative Cosponsors later, the NJ Green Amendment has not been scheduled for a hearing with the NJ legislators.

"Once Again – the New Jersey Green Amendment (ACR72/SCR15) has been delayed, not even one hearing this legislative session despite a four-year struggle and strong support from 70 legislative cosponsors," voiced organizers from Green Amendments for the Generations.

Your right to clean air and water deserve to be heard. Tweetemail & call legislators to get hearings this Spring in time to get your rights on the ballot this year!  

Take Action Now

We Need a Green Amendment Hearing Before It's Too Late!  

To help take action in NJ, and to protect our right to clean air and water, and to help get a hearing scheduled for this Spring:

Contact or for any questions and/or to get more involved in the campaign.

Scholarships -
Sonny Williams Gaddy, Jr.

As an alumni of Science Park High School, this book scholarship recognizes students who understand the importance of hard work and dedication. Two select winners will be chosen to receive an award of $500 towards college book expenses. Please complete the application below and be sure to provide any additional supporting documentation.

This entrepreneurship scholarship recognizes business owners who understand the importance of innovation and vision. One select winner will be chosen to receive an award of $2500 towards “seed money” to help grow their business. Please complete the application below and be sure to provide any additional supporting documentation.

Click Below for: Entrepreneur Scholarship Application

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