Richard Moore Honored With Environmental Health Hero Award
Protecting the environment is often about more than just buying a certain kind of product or eating the right foods. It’s also about standing up for the rights of the people and communities in need all around us. For 2016, Health Care Without Harm has chosen to bestow its highest honor, the Environmental Hero Award, to Richard Moore, an individual who has taken this principle to heart for more than 50 years.
Moore, the national co-coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform and previously the director and co-coordinator of Los Jardines Institute in Albuquerque’s South Valley, began his journey in New Mexico. There, he was inspired by the compassion and mentorship he received from community elders and before long, set out to give back by taking up one of the most effective ways to change the world around us—organizing.
In Albuquerque alone, Moore has helped to found the Bobby Garcia Memorial Clinic, a cultural school, free breakfast programs, a dental clinic, a wood co-op and other co-ops. Between 1980 and 2000, he oversaw organizations and campaigns that have been instrumental in helping the environmental justice movement blossom. During this period, Moore even fought inequality within nongovernmental organizations with a milestone letter, signed by more than 100 grassroots organizations, which addressed racial bias in policy and staffing and helped bring about changes in environmental leadership.
As co-founder and co-director of the Southwest Organizing Project and the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, he helped to lay the groundwork for the campaign that persuaded President Clinton to sign Executive Order 12898, which requires that federal agencies address the environmental effects of their policies on minority and low-income communities.
HCWH is proud to recognize Moore for his longstanding and tireless support for racial justice and environmental protection for low-income people and people of color in New Mexico, regionally and across the United States—not to mention his work with local health care clinics to supply fresh organic produce to low-income patients, a surefire prescription to better health.