About

 

VISION:
A world where everyone can make healthy choices about their own environment.

MISSION:

Connecting women to vital information and tools empowering all to take action for prevention. Raising awareness of environmental health risks that must be addressed for a just and healthy society and planet.

Our Guiding Principles and Values:

  • Supporting environmental and social consciousness to mobilize communities for preventative action
  • Recognizing that the natural environment and human action are part of an interconnected ecosystem
  • Leveraging the local knowledge and experience of women as a catalyst for change
  • Engaging communities in ways that acknowledge social inequality and strive for inclusion
  • Acting in ways that are collaborative and respectful

Women’s Healthy Environments Network (WHEN) aspires to a vision where every person is able to live free of exposure to environmental health risks. Recognizing that environmental health promotion starts with our everyday choices and decisions, WHEN connects women to the vital tools and information which will inspire and empower us to take action for prevention.

WHEN’s success lies in leveraging the local knowledge and experience of women as a catalyst for change. We are a unique organization, working in the space where women’s lives, environmental issues and human health intersect. Since its inception in 1994, WHEN has been striving to show that environmental health is a key determinant of public health.

WHEN originally began as an organization that used film as a means of raising awareness, particularly around cancer prevention with the film Exposure, and around the prevention of children’s diseases with Toxic Trespass. Over the years, WHEN has grown its scope to address a variety of environmentally linked health issues such as asthma, reproductive health, and chemical and electrical sensitivities. Growing numbers of people are calling for clean and safe air, food, and water. WHEN routinely organizes and participates in environmental health education at both an individual and community level. Our mission is to connect women to vital information and tools empowering all to take action on prevention.

Host Shannon Skinner speaks with Marie Lorenzo, former WHEN Chair about the importance of organizations such as WHEN, why many of our products and foods are unsafe, and what women can do now to have a healthy environment.

HISTORY 

WHEN originally began as an organization that used film as a means of raising awareness, particularly around cancer prevention. Over the years, WHEN has expanded its scope to address a variety of environmentally linked health issues – such as asthma, reproductive health, infertility, allergies, and other chemical and electrical sensitivities. Growing numbers of people are calling for clean and safe air, food, and water. WHEN organizes and participates in environmental health advocacy at both an individual and community level. Our mission is to connect women to vital information and tools empowering all to take action for prevention.

WHAT WE DO 

  • Hold screenings and workshops using film to raise awareness about environmental links to health concerns. We use “Toxic Trespass”, a documentary film the environmental children’s health and the environment; “Exposure”, a documentary film on the environmental links to breast cancer; and “Living Downstream”, a documentary film about one scientist’s personal journey with cancer and her attempts to understand the environmental links
  • Produce a quarterly e-newsletter on current issues about the environment and human health
  • Research and develop practical action guides with practical information on how we can each take action for prevention on issues including air quality, children and school, food and toxics reduction
  • Host events to raise consciousness and make connections between individuals and groups. These include our popular annual “Connect” events, organized around various themes, most recently Connect Beauty – connecting fashion designers, environmentalists, toxic reduction advocates and consumers.
  • Deliver workshops to groups on environmental health based on the precautionary principle. We identify the risks, but also offer practical alternatives to reduce your risks of exposure, including do-it-yourself solutions.
  • Lead the annual Cancer Prevention Challenge, a fun, interactive fundraiser from August to October which allows our friends and supporters to have fun helping us raise money for our local cancer prevention efforts
  • Lead the WTF (wannabe toxic free) education campaign at Community Environment Days and other green gatherings and exhibits

HISTORICAL MILESTONES

  • One of the founders of Prevent Cancer Now, a national coalition making the links between environmental toxins and the rise in cancer incidence
  • Supported the production of the film “Toxic Trespass”, a National Film Board co-production with If You Love our Children Productions, released Fall 2007; Produced the accompanying resource guide to “Toxic Trespass”, Taking Action on Children’s Health, published Fall 2007
  • Served on the executive of the National Network on Environments & Women’s Health (2000-2004)
  • Collaborated on the environmental health programming for the First (Kingston, ON, 1997) and Second (Ottawa, ON, 1999) World Conferences on Breast Cancer with the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
  • Supported the production of the film “Exposure: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer”, produced by Butterfield and Zuckerman Productions, released in 1997; Produced the accompanying resource guide to “Exposure”, Taking Action for a Healthy Future, 1997

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