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 works with communities of color.

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

Gift of Compassion

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 this experience, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Juvenile Justice Program

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 engaged in […]

Biomonitoring Resource Center

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

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 heals the […]

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.