New York City Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice

At a Glance


Government/Public Administration

Project Types

Climate Justice/Energy Equity, Engagement and Behavior Change




New York, NY


Sofia Barandiaran assisted the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ) with a first-of-its-kind citywide environmental justice report.


MOCEJ enlisted Sofia to help with its upcoming Environmental Justice (EJ) Report, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive study of environmental justice in New York City. The legislatively mandated Report, crafted in collaboration with the NYC Environmental Justice Advisory Board (EJ AB), analyzes the distribution of environmental and climate burdens in the city. Sofia was tasked with independently researching and writing a section of the report on the history of environmental justice in New York City (EJ History).


Sofia supported the development of the EJ Report both by researching and writing the EJ History and by assisting with project management. She collaborated with MOCEJ to establish goals for the EJ History and then worked independently to achieve those goals. She conducted feedback sessions both with MOCEJ and with the EJ AB, continuously integrating that feedback into her work.

Ultimately, Sofia produced a thoroughly researched, 11,500-word narrative that spans 400 years of history to reveal the historical root causes of observed environmental disparities. Sofia also assisted with project management—in particular, she provided feedback on deliverables produced by the consultant team, including a literature review, public engagement materials, a data inventory, and a draft table of contents.

Potential Impact

Once published, the EJ History narrative will be the City’s first public, comprehensive recounting of its historical role in shaping environmental justice and environmental racism in New York. This represents a crucial first step in repairing these past harms—we must understand our history to learn from it. The EJ Report of which this History is a section will ultimately be used to inform a citywide Environmental Justice Plan, which will for the first time endeavor to systematically operationalize environmental justice throughout City programs and processes.

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