Announcing the Findings of Its 2021 Cooling Center Audit and 2022 Extreme Heat Plan to Address the Health Impacts of Extreme Heat

WHAT: With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting above average temperatures this summer for most of the United States, including New York City, WE ACT for Environmental Justice is helping prepare residents of Northern Manhattan with a webinar on extreme heat, the deadliest impact of climate change, and how to mitigate its health effects. The comprehensive briefing, Too Hot to Handle: The Reality of Extreme Heat in New York and Hot to Prepare Frontline Communities, will feature the findings from WE ACT’s 2021 Cooling Center Report, based on in-person audits of Northern Manhattan’s cooling centers, along with the organization’s 2022 Extreme Heat Plan, which includes policy and strategy recommendations to proactively prepare New Yorkers for rising temperatures and mitigate the corresponding health risks.

Attendees will learn about extreme heat through the lens of environmental justice, explore strategies to mitigate its impacts, and connect with communities, advocates, government agencies, and elected officials to collaborate on solutions. Several guest speakers will participate (see below).

“Extreme heat disproportionately impacts communities of color,” noted Sonal Jessel, MPH, Director of Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “For example, between 2000 and 2012, the most recent data we have, nearly half of New York City’s heat-related deaths were Black/African Americans, despite the fact that they comprised less than 25-percent of the population at the time.”

WHO: WE ACT for Environmental Justice staff will be joined by community members and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice’s Deputy Director for Social Resiliency Daphne Lundi; New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Senior Environmental Epidemiologist Kathryn Lane & Environmental Systems Analyst Dr. Lauren Smalls-Mantey; Office of the New York City Comptroller Brad Lander’s Chief Climate Officer Louise Yeung; New York City Housing Authority’s Deputy Director, Sustainability Programs Siobhan Watson; and Columbia University’s Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Columbia Climate School Dr. Liv Yoon.

WHEN: 12:00 – 1:30 PM on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

WHERE: Via Zoom; RSVP at

WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Visit us at and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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