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RTI International to serve as a new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center

RTI International to serve as a new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center

Research Triangle Park, N.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected nonprofit research institute RTI International to coordinate a new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (EJ TCTAC) to help communities access funding opportunities to advance environmental justice. RTI will use a $10 million grant to serve communities throughout EPA Region 4, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and six Tribal Nations.

“The region has a diverse racial and socioeconomic makeup and several environmental challenges that disproportionately impact underserved communities and communities of color,” said James Harrington, Ph.D., a research chemist at RTI and co-Director of the EJ TCTAC. “Some of those challenges include low air quality, contaminated drinking water, coastal flooding, access to healthy food and living spaces and access to resources to address these issues.”

The EJ TCTAC is one of 17 announced in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Each center will provide training and assistance to build capacity for navigating federal grant application systems, writing strong grant proposals and effectively managing grant funding. In addition, they will provide guidance on community engagement, meeting facilitation and translation and interpretation services for limited English-speaking participants, thus removing barriers and improving accessibility for communities with environmental justice concerns.

“We will hold listening sessions and networking events in rural and remote areas to connect community organizations and leaders with government officials and subject matter experts in climate resilience, alternative energy technologies and environmental exposures,” said Janelle Armstrong-Brown, Ph.D., a research public health analyst at RTI and co-Director of the EJ TCTAC. “Our network’s partnerships and efforts will help provide money to under-resourced, under-served communities and help them to develop the skills to address environmental injustices in the long-term and live longer, healthier lives.”

RTI’s center, REACT4EJ, stands for the Resource for Assistance and Community Training in Region 4. REACT4EJ will be jointly led by RTI’s experts in climate, environmental sciences and in transformative research for equity (TRUE). REACT4EJ also builds upon a strategic partnership between RTI and NCCU – the Center for Applied Research in Environmental Sciences (CARES) – that supports health and environmental justice research.

RTI will partner with eight universities across the Southeast:

  • Alabama A&M University   
  • Florida A&M University 

  • Jackson State University   

  • North Carolina Central University  

  • University of Georgia  

  • University of Kentucky  

  • University of Memphis

  • University of South Carolina


Learn more about RTI’s Center for Climate Solutions

Learn more about CARES

Learn more about TRUE