WASHINGTON, DC – Rachel’s Network announced that it has awarded environmental justice advocate Juliana Pino with its inaugural Catalyst Award. The award recognizes women of color making an environmental impact in communities across the country with a $10,000 prize and networking opportunities.

Juliana is policy director at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), a community-based frontline group that organizes for environmental justice and self-determination of immigrant, low-income, and working-class families. She was lead negotiator for low-income programs in the 2016 Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act, the most transformative piece of energy system legislation in the state’s history. It marked the first time that frontline communities were directly represented in energy negotiation in Illinois.

She was also a negotiator for one of the nation’s first statewide lead testing programs in schools and daycares and is working on policies that would replace all lead service lines in Illinois, along with a moratorium on water shutoffs for low-income households.

“Juliana doesn’t just walk away after passing legislation, she ensures that it’s implemented and completed,” said LVEJO Executive Director and Goldman Prize Winner Kim Wasserman. “Her dedication to seeing things through also involves ensuring other groups shift one-and-done approaches to policy victories toward long-term implementation. We need more people like Juliana who are fighting to protect our planet.”

“Frontline communities not only bear the brunt of environmental harms, their perspectives are essential when decisions are made about their neighborhoods,” said Rachel’s Network President Fern Shepard. “Juliana has dedicated herself to ensuring that these voices are given the respect and support they deserve. As a result, Illinois has some of the strongest environmental laws in the country.”

Juliana will be honored at an awards ceremony along with five other winners at Rachel’s Network Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in March 2020.


Rachel’s Network, named after noted environmentalist Rachel Carson, is a community of women at the intersection of environmental advocacy, philanthropy, and leadership. Their mission is to promote women as impassioned leaders and agents of change dedicated to the stewardship of the earth. The Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award was established to address the underrepresentation of women of color in leadership positions in the environmental community.

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