Alternatives for Community & Environment

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Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) is based in Boston Massachusetts, and is close to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.


ACE was launched in 1993 by Charlie Lord and Bill Shutkin, two lawyers with a passion for social justice and environmental protection. Incorporated in 1994, ACE has pioneered an organic and powerful bottom-up model for environmental organizing and advocacy. Our early work supported community leadership on environmental justice issues and provided legal resources for community partners.

Today, ACE is becoming an organization composed of and led by the constituents we serve. ACE is anchored in our home neighborhood of Roxbury, and from these strong roots, organizes residents and builds coalitions to win significant concrete victories in Greater Boston and Massachusetts. Our Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project has become a model for nurturing youth leadership in the environmental justice movement. ACE also mobilizes legal and scientific resources in support of organizing strategies. Our approach serves as a model for communities throughout the nation and for the broadening environmental movement.

Since 1994, we have partnered with more than 40 neighborhood groups representing over 3,500 people throughout Greater Boston, Lowell, Lawrence, and New Bedford. We actively build coalitions and serve as a primary resource for the growing movement for environmental justice in Greater Boston and throughout New England. We have helped groups address persistent problems such as trash transfer stations, vacant lots, and dirty diesel exhaust. Our work has also prevented additional environmental insults such as asphalt plants and freeway offramps. But solving immediate environmental threats is not enough. Thus, many of our initiatives have grown from individual neighborhoods seeking relief from specific hazards to proactive system-wide efforts, such as converting the public bus fleet from diesel to cleaner alternative fuels, cleaning up and redeveloping "brownfields", and promoting a resident vision of sustainable communities.[1]

ACE Staff

Alternatives for Community & Environment staff, as of 2015;[2]

ACE Board

Alternatives for Community & Environment board, as of 2015;[3]

ACE Interns and Volunteers

Alternatives for Community & Environment interns, as of 2015;[4]