Community Empowerment

what we do

Citizen Empowerment

Downwinders at Risk is a local DFW grassroots group founded on the principles of citizen empowerment and community organizing. We first used these principles to halt the burning of hazardous waste in North Texas cement plants. Then we used them to stop gas drilling in Dallas, close an outlaw lead smelter in Frisco, prevent new batch plants from setting-up shop in Southern Dallas and close the Shingle Mountain illegal dump site.  We believe that ordinary "Davids" can defeat huge "Goliaths" if they're well-organized.

We're the only group in Dallas-Fort Worth that uses traditional community organizing techniques to tackle environmental and health problems. We're also the only DFW group employing a full time community organizer to assist local citizens to take on their fights with polluters or government or both.

Our goal is to build local community power that not only solves those problems but democratizes the way the decisions about them are made so they're less likely to occur in the future.

If your community would like to know how to receive direct staff help from Downwidners at Risk, please contact us at We only show-up where we're invited.

Besides offering direct staff assistance to communities in need, we host the only school in Texas to train citizen activists to "think like an organizer." Our College for Constructive Hell-Raising offers the same training as professional organizers receive for a fraction of the cost and adds history lessons about past successful local social justice campaigns. The College is a way for us to pass on the formulas for successful community action we've used to amass our unprecedented track record to those citizens looking to be more effective in their own advocacy work, no matter the issue.

All of Downwinders' program work reflects our commitment to the idea of citizen empowerment, whether it's helping form new groups in "fence line" neighborhoods, training citizens how to monitor their own community's air,  or working for a healthier public transit system.