Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, International Speaker and Environmental Justice Leader, to Speak in South Portland

Environmental Health Strategy Center
News Releases

Dr. Ali Wins Leadership Award, 
Will Give Keynote at 2019 Celebration for Our Healthy Future

PORTLAND, Maine—Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, a pioneering thought leader for environmental justice and sought-after international speaker, will give the keynote address at the 2019 Celebration for Our Healthy Future, the annual fundraising event for the Portland-based health advocacy organization the Environmental Health Strategy Center, which begins at 6pm on Thursday, October 17, at Congregation Bet Ha’am in South Portland.

Dr. Ali is this year’s winner of the organization’s Frank Hatch Award for Environmental Health Leadership, given to a leader whose actions over a lifetime have created a significant positive impact on environmental public health.

“Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali has passionately championed environmental justice for decades,” said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center. “The most vulnerable in our society—infants and children, poor people, communities of color—bear the worst burden of toxic pollution and climate impacts. Dr. Ali has inspired us and many others to demand that all people have equal access to safe food and water, clean air, and thriving communities that are toxic-free and climate-friendly.”

A policy maker, community liaison, trainer, and facilitator, Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali began his career with 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice. He began working on social justice issues at the age of 16 and joined the EPA as a student. Dr. Ali’s public resignation from the EPA in 2017 garnered international headlines, and his letter of resignation to Scott Pruitt was a poignant and powerful call on the new EPA administrator to defend our most vulnerable communities.

At the EPA, Dr. Ali most recently served as senior advisor for environmental justice and community revitalization and assistant associate administrator, working to elevate environmental justice issues and strengthening environmental justice policies, programs, and initiatives. Dr. Ali worked for EPA administrators beginning with William Riley and ending with Scott Pruitt.

Dr. Ali currently serves as the Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation. He is also the founder of Revitalization Strategies, a business focused on moving our most vulnerable communities from “surviving to thriving.” Before joining the National Wildlife Federation, Dr. Ali was the senior vice president for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the hip-hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change.

In all his work, Dr. Ali uses a holistic approach to revitalizing vulnerable communities, and has worked with more than 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health, and economic justice.

Dr. Ali is frequently seen on television, including appearances on MSNBC, CNN, VICE, BET, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and Democracy NOW! Dr. Ali is also a regular guest on WURD radio, Roland Martin UnfilteredThe Dean Obeidallah Show, and many others, and is the former co-host of the live radio show and podcast Think 100%: The Coolest Show on Climate Change with Grammy-nominated singer and actress Antonique Smith and civil rights icon Rev. Lennox Yearwood.

The 2019 Celebration for Our Healthy Future starts at 6 p.m., Thursday, October 17 at Temple Bet Ha’am at 81 Westbrook Street in South Portland, with the leadership awards presentation beginning at 7 p.m. The event with full buffet and cash bar will also include a short film presentation as well as Dr. Ali’s keynote speech.

Tickets for the Celebration are $25 for adults, $15 for students and elected officials. Adjacent parking is free. Buy tickets at or call (207) 699-5789.

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The Environmental Health Strategy Center works for a world where all people are healthy and thriving, with equal access to safe food and drinking water, and products that are toxic-free and climate-friendly.