Amee Raval

Amee Raval
Location: Oakland, California Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Environmental Justice, Immigrants and Refugees Populations Served: Asian/Asian American, Immigrants and Refugees, Low-Income Communities
Policy & Research Director
Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Amee focuses working-class communities of color at the center of building solutions to the climate crisis. The communities with the fewest material resources face the greatest threats from climate change. A lot of efforts around climate adaptation traditionally focus on protecting forests, coasts, and wetlands. But communities and neighborhoods remain vastly underprepared. Now more than ever, climate readiness efforts are needed to uplift those hit hardest by climate pollution and disasters. These solutions must enable communities not only to cope and survive, but to grow and thrive in the transition toward a regenerative economy. As part of the environmental justice movement, Amee is fighting climate change by challenging the extractive economy, helping to pass state policies that transform the energy system and putting resources toward building resilience in the places that need it most.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Creation of a Youth-led Climate Resilience Hub in Richmond, California: a Frontline Community
My strategic initiative aims to address the challenges faced by communities on the frontlines of climate change, which have long endured economic instability and poor health outcomes due to their proximity to polluting industries. Richmond, California, located next to the Chevron oil refinery, is one such frontline community that has experienced disproportionate health impacts from pollution and poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic and concurrent climate disasters experienced in California have not only revealed existing disparities but are further widening the gap. Through the pandemic, wildfires, and heat waves, new models of crisis response are emerging: Resilience hubs, for example, are physical institutions that offer space for community members to gather, organize, and access social services on a daily basis, alongside disaster response and recovery. My strategic initiative will advance the implementation of a place-based model for community resilience by supporting the RYSE Center (currently constructing a 45,000-square-foot campus) to become a youth-led climate resilience hub. Specific elements envisioned in the project include installation of solar and battery storage for the Center’s ongoing electricity needs, and during power outages, access to cooling and refrigeration, clean air respite, mental health and crisis support, and other emergency resources.

Amee is a policy advocate advancing community resilience and environmental justice. Her roots, coming from a South Asian immigrant family, connect her to struggles to fight for worker health and racial equity. She is applying her scientific background in public health to address the intersecting crises of a rapidly changing climate and growing economic inequality.


Click here to watch Amee’s Legacy Project video.