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#548 In-person and Online: CNT: Guarding the goal of Justice40 by testing the methods behind the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST)


Preeti Shankar; Managing Director, Urban Analytics; she/her
Paul Esling; Senior Application Developer, Urban Analytics; he/him

This event will be in person, but you can also tune in via our usual livestream. Doors open at 6pm. The livestream and announcements will start around 6:30pm CDT.

In-person: TeamWorking, 20 N Upper Wacker Drive, 12th Floor, Chicago IL. Enter the Civic Opera Building using the entrance in the middle of the block between Washington and Madison streets. Take the elevators to the 12th floor.

For more information on our in-person events, please see our COVID Policy.

The Justice40 Initiative was announced by President Biden via Executive Order in 2021, with a goal of ensuring that “40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.” These investments will be substantial due in large to the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act and will cover a range of categories including climate change, clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and sustainable housing, training and workforce development, remediation and reduction of legacy pollution, and the development of critical clean water and wastewater infrastructure.

The initial step of the Justice40 Initiative is to identify the disadvantaged communities. To accomplish this, the White House tasked the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to develop the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), a mapping tool that identifies Census Tracts as disadvantaged based on 35 environmental, climate and social indicators. CEQ solicited feedback on the tool, and given the implications, Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) was eager to conduct a deep dive analysis of the CEJST data and engage with other non-profits and community-based organizations to provide input on its usefulness and limitations.

CNT is a 40+ year-old nonprofit whose mission is to deliver “innovative analysis and solutions that support community-based organizations and local governments to create neighborhoods that are equitable, sustainable, and resilient.” Preeti Shankar and Paul Esling work together in CNT’s Urban Analytics group. They, along with others at CNT, have developed a web tool that allows users to analyze the CEJST data and see the areas and reasons Census Tracts qualified or didn’t qualify as disadvantaged by CEJST, and how minor adjustments to the CEJST methodology can change the results and benefit marginalized communities.

RSVP In-person attendees should RSVP beforehand. As occupancy limits permit, walk-ins will be allowed to enter.

Masks required Attendees will be required to wear a mask. We will provide additional masks if you forget yours.

There will be food! We will be serving chicken, steak and veggie tacos from Atolito’s Tacos!

Agenda and meeting notes
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