Christian Rodriguez is a community organizer in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey. Christian is focused on educating and engaging their community on environmental issues and is cultivating climate solutions as a farmer, growing fresh food while sowing seeds of justice in younger generations. Ironbound is in close proximity to fossil fuel manufacturing and other heavily polluting industries, including one of the largest trash incinerators on the east coast, an airport, sewage facilities, and the Port of Newark – all within a five-mile radius. The area is an environmental justice “sacrifice zone,” a term used to describe a location that has experienced economic disinvestment in residential areas and has been significantly altered by heavy environmental pollution that further compounds adverse impacts on the people who live there.
Christian’s work at the Ironbound Community Corporation is fighting back through climate solutions that improve surrounding neighborhoods. This includes educating and engaging community members through activities like composting, regenerative agriculture, advocating for renewable energy, and fighting for a future free from fossil fuels.