Climate Justice Initiative

Climate Justice Initiative Mural Design © City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Climate Justice Initiative / The Art Circle: Denise Bright Dove Ashton-Dunkley, Eurhi Jones, Gamar Markarian, and Dolores Stanford with the Climate Justice Initiative Collaborators.

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  • completion date

    October 15, 2023

The Climate Justice Initiative creates public art about climate change in Lenapehoking (the homelands of the Lenape people, approximately equivalent to the watershed of the Lenapei Sipu / Delaware River). Convened by Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Environmental Justice Department, this collaboration between activists, organizers, and artists seeks to galvanize individuals into collective action for climate justice.

Climate change impacts everyone, but not equally. Marginalized communities face disproportionate risks, and are least-responsible for climate pollution. Fortunately, the transition to a more just future is already underway: across the planet, people are building towards climate justice. The CJI highlights local climate justice leaders in low-income communities of color across Lenapehoking.

The MURAL illustrates the past, present, and future of environmental change in the region. Based on collaborators’ stories, it acknowledges the injustices of the past and present, and offers a hopeful vision for the future.

The HUB SPACE at the Iglesias Community Garden will host educational events planned by Land Circle collaborators in June and July of 2022.

CREATIVE DISRUPTIONS are artistically-driven direct actions that support campaign objectives of collaborators in the Air and Trash Circles.

See the Climate Justice Initiative website for more information

See the Mural Come to Life: An Animated Story of Philadelphia’s Climate Justice Movements 

Change for Climate is Here, an animated mural by the Climate Justice Initiative. ©️ 2021 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Climate Justice Initiative / Denise Bright Dove Ashton-Dunkley, Shari Hersh, Eurhi Jones, Jeannine Kayembe Oro, Jonathan Leibovic, Gamar Markarian, Dolores Stanford, Ron Whyte, and CJI Collaborators

CJI Structure 

Our structure is based on the Action Circle model, an organizational framework of power-sharing and relationship-building used by many organizations in different variations over the years. Local activists, organizers, artists, and thinkers collaborate to focus on three main areas related to climate justice: air, land, and trash.

Learn about the issues collaborators shared during the knowledge sharing process:


Alkebu-Lan Marcus

Aminata Sandra Calhoun

Cannon Cline

Connie Dimalanta

Billy Dufala

Denise Bright Dove Ashton-Dunkley

Terrill Haigler

Shari Hersh

César Andreu Iglesias Community Garden

Indigenous 215

Eurhi Jones

Jonathan Leibovic

Meg Lemieur

Chief Vincent Mann

Gamar Markarian

Zulene Mayfield

Jeanette Miller

Charito Morales

Adriana Moran Garcia

Gabriella Paez

Dakota Plourde

RuthAnn Purchase

Lynn Robinson

Dolores Stanford

Ron Whyte

Jeremie Rose Wimbrow

Emma Wu


Abena Ampofoa Asare

Ezekiel Torres

Ciara Williams


Major support for the Climate Justice Initiative is provided by the PTS Foundation

Special Thanks To 

Special thanks to Daniel Aldana Cohen (UPenn Department of Sociology), Ray Bailey (Extinction Rebellion Philadelphia), Rachel Beck (Sunrise Movement Philadelphia), Avery Broughton (Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education), Mitch Chanin (350 Philadelphia), Saleem Chapman (Mayor’s Office of Sustainability), Rebecca Collins (Temple University), Meg DeBrito (Greensgrow Farms), Nora Elmarzouky (POWER Interfaith), Nic Esposito (Circular Philadelphia), Alexis Frasz (Helicon Collaborative), Karyn Gerred (The Resource Exchange), Anthony Giancatarino (Just Community Energy Transition Project), Julie Hancher (Green Philly), Nate Kleinman (Experimental Farm Network), Sabirah Mahmud (US Youth Climate Strike), Malcolm Miller, Kelly Offner (Keep Philadelphia Beautiful), Dina Oswald, Ernesto Pujol (artist), Meenal Raval (Philly Talks Climate), Maurice Sampson (Clean Water Action), and Judy Wicks (Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia) for giving us their time and knowledge so generously early on in the project and help inform it.