The Pleasantville neighborhood on Houston’s east side provided Black servicemen an opportunity to own their own homes—something that was hard for them to come by in 1948 due to pervasive housing discrimination. What was designated as a residential area attracted numerous Black families—but it wasn’t long before the neighborhood of opportunity became home to several chemical and manufacturing plants, metal recyclers, and salvage yards, with freight trains and a steady stream of trucks trekking in and out of the residential area, polluting the air and compromising the health of its residents.  Yes, things were bad—but just how bad remained a mystery.

Until Bridgette Murray was introduced to the concepts of citizen science and community-university partnerships.
Believing that more data was needed to empower and protect her community, the retired nurse and resident of Pleasantville founded Achieving Community Tasks Successfully (ACTS) in 2012. The Houston-based nonprofit is a grantee of the Women’s Environmental Leadership Fund, (WE LEAD), a Tides Foundation funding initiative that launched in 2020 with an explicit focus on addressing historic inequities by directing resources to Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color (BIWOC) leaders and BIWOC-led climate justice organizations.
Since its creation, ACTS has been focused on three core areas: community-led air monitoring, food insecurity, and emergency response.

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