“Winning this award is a great honor, and validates all the work we are doing to end environmental racism and prioritize solutions in frontline communities that are hit first and worst by pollution and climate change,” said Vien Truong, director of Green For All, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.
Truong grew up the youngest of 11 kids to a refugee family that fled from war-torn Vietnam. Her parents worked in the pesticide-ridden fields of Oregon picking strawberries. Later they worked at sweatshops, where she grew up in the heavily polluted region of Oakland, California, known as the “toxic triangle.” It is through these life experiences that Truong grew to understand the inequality and marginalization endured by disadvantaged communities.
“I’m privileged to be leading Green For All to create national programs that will prioritize low income communities and communities of color in the crafting of policy across the country,” said Truong.
The award comes as Truong continues to lead in climate equity efforts in collaboration with a coalition called the Clean Power for All Collaborative, which is mobilizing to make sure that the EPA’s first national initiative to regulate greenhouse gases is used as an opportunity to clean up and reinvest in polluted communities.