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Environmental Justice and Education Program

Environmental justice is a national, state and county program addressing the disparity of protection from environmental and health hazards in low income communities that lack resources to make improvements or investments for sustainable developments.


During the 2019 to 2021 Biennium, Refugee Federation Service Center contracted with the Washington State Department of Ecology Public Participation Grant Program to deliver workshops and field trips for each of six highly impacted communities in South King County. Community members will learn how local agencies manage solid and hazardous waste, waste reduction techniques, the life cycle of products, environmental and health effects of solid and hazardous waste pollution, and proper waste disposal. RFSC may contract with community-based partners to deliver culturally appropriate education and outreach. The results of this program included:

  • One hundred twenty-four (124) people from six ethnic communities completed at least one workshop on residential waste management strategies, helping raise awareness with their families and friends in the community.
  • Three grass roots community organizations in the Khmer, Cham, and Laotian
    communities and two community leaders in the Latinx and Burmese/Karen communities received subcontracts to provide environmental education in-language on source control and disposal of household hazardous items.
  • In year two, four community workshops were conducted virtually and two were
    conducted in person and sessions were split into smaller groups due to necessary safety precautions during the COVID19 pandemic.
Healthy Homes Project 2023

In partnership with Public Health-Seattle & King County (PHSKC), contracted to do a pilot project to provide Community Health Advocate (CHA) training on home assessments in multi-ethnic and language diverse households. The project focused in South King County rental and multi-family housing units that are affected by higher environmental risks to air quality, toxic contamination, and poor housing conditions. This project results included:

  • Healthy Homes community education on Indoor Air Quality, Mold Prevention, Lead Exposure Prevention, and Safer Cleaning Practices to participating community members.
  • Production and distribution of culturally relevant educational materials with a focus on lead poisoning prevention, indoor air quality, mold prevention, and safer cleaning practices.

Refugee Federation Service Center has contracted with King County WaterWorks to provide education and outreach to six ethnic communities on water pollution, pollution prevention actions and fish consumption advisories, “Don’t Flush Trash” resources, water cycle and watershed concepts, contamination sources to waters and community-level source control, and wastewater management.