The Northeast Earth Coalition

7th Acting Locally for a More Sustainable World Conference

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022
Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm EST – Virtual Event
Location:  Montclair NJ, USA


Sponsored by:

Helen & William Mazer Foundation


and co-sponsored by:
The Next System Project, New Jersey Environmental Justice, Catholic Climate Covenant, and Montclair State University PS&G Institute for Sustainability Studies and TV34


The Northeast Earth Coalition (NEEC) invites you to join its 2022 annual conference on February 12, 2022, one of the largest gatherings of environmental and community activists in New Jersey. This year’s conference will be virtual due to the ongoing COVID crisis. Participants can join from anywhere in the country – or the world!

Local Food, Eco-friendly Gardening, Sustainable Communities, Alternative Transportation, Renewable Energy, Clean Air and Water, Environmental Justice and Climate Change Activism.


Gar Alperovitz, Co-Chair, The Next System Project: The Coming Transformation of the American Political Economic System

This will address how the great work going on in communities today is the pioneering work of the sustainable economic new age.

Gar Alperovitz is a distinguished political economist and historian, co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of The Next System Project. He has written or co-written 11 books. The latest is Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth (2017, Publisher: The Democracy Collective).  His early books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy won him critical acclaim.

His articles have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, the Los Angeles TimesThe New RepublicThe Nation, and The Atlantic, among others. Alperovitz has been a guest on network TV and cable news programs, featured in TV documentaries and profiled by mainstream and progressive media alike. As a well-known policy expert, he has testified before numerous Congressional committees and lectures widely around the country.

Early in his career, Alperovitz served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the U.S. State Department.  He holds a PhD in Political Economy from Cambridge University, an MA from University of California at Berkeley and a BS from the University of Wisconsin. For additional information:

Melissa Miles, Executive Director, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (Newark, NJ): Environmental Justice in New Jersey

Melissa Miles is an award-winning grassroots activist and organizer living in an Environmental Justice Community in Newark, New Jersey. Her knowledge of environmental justice and her commitment to making sure people at the frontlines are the protagonists in the struggle for their future is rooted in her lived experience.

NJEJA is dedicated to serving New Jersey’s low-income and Of Color communities overburdened by the impacts of pollution and climate change.  NJEJA was part of a coalition that worked to have the nation’s strongest law to protect these communities from pollutants enacted in New Jersey (S232, 2020).

Miles is also a member of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Advisory Council responsible for advising state agencies including the Department of Environmental Protection on issues of Environmental Justice.  She belongs to several national coalitions, including the Climate Justice Alliance, Moving Forward Network, The Coalition for Healthy Ports; and international coalitions, including The Movement of People Affected By Dams (MAB) and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.  She holds a MA in Anthropology from The New School. For additional information:

Jose Aguto, Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant (Washington, DC):  How the Pope Francis Encyclical, Laudato Si, Inspired Sustainability and Climate Action in the United States

Jose Aguto leads policy development that helps guide the US Catholic Church’s response to climate change. A key aspect of the Covenant’s policy is to inspire action on climate change as a moral and non-partisan call to love and care for God’s creation and our vulnerable neighbors as integral dimensions of the Catholic faith. This approach, undertaken when Aguto was at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), led in 2015 to the “Gibson resolution,” the first formal positive statement on climate change by a group of elected Republicans in Congress since 2008. That opened the door for bipartisan caucuses and legislation which are creating a politically viable foundation for meaningful climate action.

Aguto is also on the board of the U.S. Climate Action Network on the Steering Committee of the Green Leadership Trust. Earlier in his career, Aguto worked for the National Congress of American Indians, and EPA’s American Indian Environmental Office.  He graduated from Brown University and Villanova Law School and served with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. For Additional information:

Amy Tuininga, Director, PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies, Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ):  The Social Impact of Green Teams in Local Communities

Amy Tuininga works to create opportunities for students, faculty, and a wide range of stakeholders in corporations, non-profits, start-ups, and government organizations to address and advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Her approach is rooted in systems science and her experience with developing effective collaborations is based on her own research and mentoring of students.  She has also worked closely with many individuals from a wide variety of disciplines and fields to secure funding and build support for their work. Collectively, they have developed scalable programs that continue to serve diverse groups.

Prior to joining MSU, Tuininga held various faculty and administrative positions at Fordham University and collaborated with the Wildlife Conservation Society to create Project TRUE (Teens Researching Urban Ecology), a tiered-mentoring program that serves underrepresented groups in STEM. She holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, a MA from Oregon State University and a BS from the University of Washington. For Additional information:

Virtual tabling for registered groups will be available every day during the conference. Participants will have the opportunity to virtually meet the groups, learn about their programs and projects as well as network with them.

You may purchase tickets online at

About the Northeast Earth Coalition: Acting Locally For Global Impact.

The Northeast Earth Coalition, Inc, (NEEC) works at the community level to protect the environment and promote local sustainability and food security. The NEEC supports the work of community and environmental activists who give hope for a better future.

To accomplish this, we seek to bring together diverse environmental organizations in the Northeast to share ideas, identify common interests, and provide mutual support in building communities that are sustainable in terms of food production, energy, transportation, and preservation of the natural environment.

Contact us: PRESS

Jose German, NEEC CEO,; Phone: (646) 225-8414 (Mobile) & (973) 233-1106 (Office).

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