CHICAGO — Dozens of leaders took a ‘toxic tour’ of several sites on Chicago’s southeast side as part of an ongoing effort to secure resources in the fight for environmental justice. 

“It gave us the opportunity to bring government and community together to talk about solutions,” said Cheryl Johnson, executive director of People for Community Recovery.

Her mother, Hazel Johnson, is called the mother of the environmental justice movement and credited with fighting for cleaner water, air and living conditions in Altgeld Gardens. 

The tour on Saturday made several stops including areas along the Little Calumet River and Flatfoot Lake. 

“We want opportunities to come to life to make this a better community,” said Dana Johnson, Senior Director of We ACT for Environmental Justice.

We ACT for Environmental Justice is traveling around the country to help communities leverage available federal dollars through President Joe Biden’s Justice 40 Initiative. The goal is for 40% of federal investments in categories including climate change, clean transit and workforce development go directly to areas that are underserved and overburdened by pollution.