New NIH-funded project brings public health faculty and community leaders together to seek climate justice

Record-breaking heat and drought. Thick blankets of wildfire smoke. Walls of wind-driven flames. Pelting hail. Swath-cutting tornadoes. The summer of 2023 has been a constant reminder of the powerful effects of climate change. But the trying season is only one dramatic recent reminder of the changes and the toll they have taken on neighborhoods, communities, and economies in the form of air quality, water resources, food production and other factors that affect the quality of people’s lives.

The effects are not borne by people equally. Individuals living in communities hobbled by poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to resources like housing and healthcare suffer the effects of climate change disproportionately. The Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) and community partners in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado and the neighborhoods of West Denver are out to change that with a National Institutes of Health-funded project that is the product of years of relationship building between ColoradoSPH faculty and residents of these communities. Read more about JPB Fellow Katherine Dickinson’s research.