Water Equity Clearinghouse

Partnership for Southern Equity

Atlanta, GA

The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) is an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization that seeks social justice through policies and actions that equitably distribute wealth, resources, and power. PSE recognizes that community-based action is the most effective way to ensure sustainable growth and opportunity for all. Thus, PSE brings communities together through forums, research, and organizing efforts in order to advance equitable growth, energy, and economic systems.

PSE works with a coalition-based model, and convenes two types of coalitions: Issue Circles and Equity Hubs. The former bring together experts and community members around specific issues in order to create shared equity goals. PSE is currently coordinating the JUST Growth, JUST Energy and JUST Opportunity Circles. Equity Hubs are countywide coalitions that are intended build the capacity of economically vulnerable and under-represented communities to advocate for progress. Issue Circles and Equity Hubs have a symbiotic relationship, building on each other’s work and ensuring that communities have a strong voice in advocacy.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

PSE has a dedicated focus on programs and strategies that not only make neighborhoods more resilient and livable, but also create opportunities for vulnerable populations to join the economic mainstream. Equitable Green infrastructure is one such endeavor that PSE is implementing to improve quality of life.

In Atlanta’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, historically inequitable growth has contributed to difficult living conditions as compared to more affluent neighborhoods. Combined sewer and stormwater systems that are overtaxed by heavy rain events have led to flooding throughout the years in these areas. Green infrastructure projects have demonstrated effectiveness in mitigating damage in flood prone areas, and the City has pledged to spend $40 million in an effort to strengthen Atlanta.

PSE is now partnering with Climate Interactive, American Rivers, Eco-Action, and other organizations to ensure that these public and private investments revitalize communities, create jobs, and most importantly, minimize the displacement of lower-income communities and communities of color. Having a multitude of stakeholders and participants from community based organizations, clean water and clean air groups, universities, city officials, and public health experts will enable PSE to build an inclusive, informed movement for equitable green infrastructure. By working with activists within these neighborhoods, fostering leadership development, and convening forums, PSE will start the long term work required to advance and sustain an equity ecosystem for    sustained engagement for shared prosperity and inclusion.