Community Member

Community Health Aligning Revitalization Resilience & Sustainability (CHARRS)

Atlanta, Georgia

Community Health Aligning Revitalization Resilience & Sustainability (CHARRS) is an environmental health organization whose work is intergenerational and interdisciplinary. Their primary focus is on equity, health, and environmental justice in African American and marginalized communities. CHARRS works to develop solutions to environmental justice issues, social, educational, and economic inequities, and health disparities that impede access to health and wellness in African American and other marginalized communities by viewing them through environmental and social determinants of health lens.​​ While firmly rooted in Atlanta, Georgia, CHARRS is also focused on global outreach. The organization’s vision is based on an understanding that engaged and Informed communities are strengthened by intergenerational relationships and hands-on traditional and non-traditional education opportunities. These communities use that knowledge to build and leverage partnerships and advocate for their community members’ right to lives of health and well-being in the natural and built environments where they live.

A group of High School Students visits Atlanta’s Hawke Hollow Wylde Center as part of CHARRS’ Project REMOVE. Photo Source: CHARRS

CHARRS was founded in 2016 as a non-profit community organization committed to environmental justice, environmental and economic health, education equity, and citizen science. CHARRS is concerned with Social Determinants of Health, their impact on African American and underserved communities, and implementing solutions to the inequities and injustices associated with them. In 2017, CHARRS launched the Collier Heights Environmental Health Outdoor Classroom, which was funded by Emory’s Center for Children’s Health, the Environmental, the Microbiome and Metabolomics. CHARRS’s founder and director Gwen Smith is supported by a project manager and a four-person board. The organization’s current projects are concentrated in the Atlanta region’s Fulton, Dekalb, Cobb and Cook counties, all of which are majority African American, but the organization is also exploring projects beyond Atlanta, domestically and internationally.

For more information:

Something’s in the air: two Atlanta organizations to initiate air pollution monitoring in underserved communities – Saporta Report September 2023

AQEarth West Atlanta: Addressing Community Needs – TD Enviro, September 2023

Commissioner Abdur Rahman Partners with Local Environmental Health Agency for the Atlanta Repair Café – Fulton County, April 2023

Stewart Sinclair

Stewart Sinclair

Stewart L. Sinclair is a writer, editor and educator from Ventura, California. His essays, reportage and narrative nonfiction have appeared in Guernica, The Millions, The Morning News, The New Orleans Review, Creative Nonfiction’s “True Story” series and elsewhere.

Contact

Gwen Smith, Executive Director & Founder

Website

Social Media

Climate Impacts

Air Pollution, Drought, Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding, Heat, Hurricanes/Tropical Storms

Environmental Justice Concerns

Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Groundwater Contamination, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Lead Contamination, Noise/Light Pollution, PFAS/PFOS, Port/Transit/Highway Contamination/Noise, Sewage/Sewage Treatment

Strategies

Art Activism, Community Organizing and Education, Green Infrastructure, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform, Renewable Energy, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc

501c3 Tax Deductible

Yes

Accepting Donations

Yes