We cannot be truly healthy people or live in peace on a sick planet. And we cannot heal the earth—or ourselves—without justice. Just as healing and learning are central to our lives, so is the quest for justice.

Commonweal started four decades ago with a core commitment to the health and well-being of children with learning and behavior disorders. We worked with young people incarcerated in California juvenile halls, youth prisons, and other institutions. The Commonweal Juvenile Justice Program is among the foremost advocacy programs for these young people in California—overwhelmingly children of color from low-income communities. The Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center works extensively with low-income communities exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals. The Collaborative on Health and the Environment explores the impact of disparities on human health, and the Regenerative Design Institute at Commonweal Garden draws people of all ages to learn in our permaculture garden.

We invite you to browse the list of our programs that work to address environmental issues and justice.

Health and Environment Action Research Team

DONATE HERE The Health and Environment Action Research Team at Commonweal (HEART) convenes ten Commonweal program directors and senior staff engaged in environmental health science, science communication, and science action projects at Commonweal. HEART partners strengthen their current work and explore new initiatives in human and ecosystem health. HEART partners are active at state, national, and […]

Gift of Compassion

DONATE HERE The Gift of Compassion focuses on under-served and under-resourced communities, integrating ancient practices with current conditions to help bring clarity and healing into the lives of both youth and adults. The program uses art as a portal to meditation and contemplative practice, creating opportunities for difference to merge as oneness. In pursuit of […]

Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies (HEEDS)

DONATE HERE Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are environmental chemicals that affect the function of the endocrine system—chemicals found in certain drugs, pesticides, and compounds used in the plastics industry. Commonweal has been concerned about, and working to bring awareness about, the adverse environmental and health effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals for decades. Founded in 2016 by […]

The Resilience Project

DONATE HERE The Resilience Project builds on four decades of work at Commonweal on healing ourselves and healing the earth. We focus on the Global Challenge—more than two dozen environmental and social stressors that have created a “perfect storm” of human and biosphere threats. We hope to explore how we can build personal and community resilience […]

Power of Hope

Power of Hope Youth Camp We believe that as a young person, your voice and energy is needed to help build a world that works for everybody. You have important gifts to offer, and at Power of Hope camp you’ll discover that you have more skill, talents, and spirit than you ever imagined. You’ll get […]

Collaborative on Health and the Environment

The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) is an international partnership, founded in 2002 at Commonweal, committed to strengthening the scientific and public dialogue on environmental factors linked to chronic disease and disability. CHE acts as a catalyst for civil discourse and collaborative initiatives among researchers, health professionals, health-affected groups and others concerned with social and environmental impacts on human health. Through these relationships, CHE fosters systemic, multi-factorial, prevention-oriented actions in order to improve human health across the lifespan. CHE’s partners include almost 5,000 individuals and organizations in 79 countries and all 50 states.

Regenerative Design Institute at Commonweal Garden

The Commonweal Garden is a beautiful 17-acre site in Bolinas, California—just down the road from the Commonweal Administrative Building—which has been developed into a large-scale living permaculture classroom and demonstration center for regenerative design.

In 2003, Penny Livingston Stark and James Stark became the caretakers of the Commonweal Garden land, bringing with them the expertise they had developed over decades of landscaping, permaculture design and education, and nature awareness education. The Regenerative Design Institute (RDI) was born. The Regenerative Design Institute, which has cultivated and developed Commonweal Garden, offer programs in permaculture, leadership, nature awareness, and urban homesteading.

Juvenile Justice Program

DONATE HERE Commonweal’s Juvenile Justice Program specializes in the development of laws, policies and programs for children and youth who become involved with the juvenile justice system. We also disseminate relevant research and policy information to interested stakeholders. Though our primary focus is on California youth justice issues and reforms, the Juvenile Justice program is […]

Biomonitoring Resource Center

Photo: Steve Gerbert; permission, IAFF

The Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center (CBRC) is an international resource seeking to promote individual and community resilience through the collaborative use of knowledge about the hundreds of environmental chemicals that people all over the world carry in their bodies.

Integrative Law Institute

DONATE HERE We believe that law can be a healing profession, and that lawyers can be peacemakers. At the Integrative Law Institute (ILI), our mission is to bring insights and tools to lawyers so that they have what they need to return the practice of law to this original purpose: helping people reach resolution that […]

Environment & Justice Special Projects

Living Resource Enterprises is the successor to the Commonweal Ocean Program, working with small-scale projects that leverage advances at the intersection of science, policy, and environmental stewardship.

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