MPCA Environmental Justice Advisory Group

Six vacancies. Seeking applicants. Deadline August 12, 2019.

File Appplication for Environmental Justice Advisory Group (p-gen5-29)

The Environmental Justice Advisory Group advises the MPCA Commissioner on implementation of the agency's environmental justice framework, provides feedback on its effectiveness, and offer suggestions for future improvements. This includes:

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the MPCA in implementing our environmental justice framework, including assisting the MPCA in determining ways to measure success.
  • Providing recommendations to the MPCA Commissioner on improvements to policies and procedures to ensure integration of environmental justice principles into the MPCA’s work.
  • Providing input to the MPCA on activities and timeframes for framework implementation.
  • Collaborating with the MPCA to improve civic engagement with environmental justice communities and acting as liaisons to strengthen communications and relationships between environmental justice communities and the MPCA.
  • Sharing oral history and community experiences so the agency can better understand the communities they serve and inform community-based solutions.
  • For more information, the Environmental Justice Advisory Group charter describes its role and procedures in more detail.


MPCA will be hosting information sessions throughout the metro area and greater Minnesota to provide more background on  the group's scope, function, and goals before the August 12, deadline. 

  • Thurs. July 11, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. I Marshall-Lyon County Library 
  • Mon. July 15, 11:30 - 1:30 p.m. I Virtual Info Session
  • Wed. July 17, 4:30 - 7 p.m. I Minneapolis American Indian Center 
  • Wed. July 24, 4:30 - 7 p.m. I Great River Regional Library-St. Cloud Branch  
  • Thurs. July 25, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. I MPCA St.Paul Office**

**If you cannot attend the in-person information session This is an opportunity for interested applicants to call with questions about the group positions. The call-in number is 1.888.742.5095. The conference code is 247.340.5304.


Ideal candidates for advisory group include:

Residents of overburdened communities and individuals experienced in community engagement, public involvement, policy development, advocacy, or program implementation around environmental justice or health equity issues. This could include community members from areas of concern for environmental justice, community organizers and advocates, local government staff, representatives from non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and others.    


The MPCA Commissioner selects members with the input from a selection committee that includes external stakeholders and current EJAG members.  In choosing members, the Commissioner will strive to appoint a diverse group of people from various parts of the state, with a variety of backgrounds and skills.  The group exists to provide community perspectives to the MPCA as it strives to integrate environmental justice into its work.  


The following members will continue for a second term on the Advisory Group:

  • Maryan Abdinur 
  • Lea Foushee
  • Sarah Goodspeed 
  • Winona LaDuke 
  • Shirley Nordrum 
  • LaShella Sims
  • Halston Sleets
  • Steve Sternberg 
  • Anita Urvina Davis
  • Joan Vanhala


Commissioner Bishop thanks the following members of the original group who will not be renewing their terms:

  • Asha Long
  • Boise Jones 
  • David Manuel
  • Jennifer Nguyen Moore
  • Mahyar Sorour
  • Mariela Ojeda

We are grateful for their assisstance and advice over the past 2 1/2 years.



The MPCA strives to ensure that all Minnesotans receive equitable environmental protection, benefit equally from our work, and that all people have the opportunity to participate in and influence environmental decisions. The MPCA’s environmental justice framework outlines a set of strategies to achieve these principles. We developed this plan with input from community stakeholders and we want to establish a forum for ongoing stakeholder feedback, oversight, and collaboration.

The MPCA will regularly improve and modify implementation of the strategies based on initial experience, learning, and feedback.  The environmental justice advisory group is one important way to receive feedback from stakeholders on the framework implementation and to collaborate on ways to improve MPCA’s work.  This group is formed by the MPCA commissioner and is made up of a variety of stakeholders working on community engagement, environmental justice, health equity and related work.



Contact Environmental Justice Coordinator Jose Luis Villasenor at or call at 651-757-2575.