Sierra Club
Press Release

Sierra Club Great Waters Group honors Richard Diaz as 2022 Environmental Hero


By - Nov 30th, 2022 10:43 am
Richard Diaz. Photo courtesy of the Sierra Club.

Richard Diaz. Photo courtesy of the Sierra Club.

MILWAUKEE – On Dec. 3, 2022, the Great Waters Group of the Sierra Club will present its annual Environmental Hero Award to community activist Richard Diaz.

Diaz was selected for his many years of activism and outreach on behalf of Milwaukee residents to address the lead crisis, secure rights for laborers and promote environmental justice.  Among his many contributions to improving life for local residents, Diaz has:

  • Co-founded the Coalition on Lead Emergency (COLE) and, in collaboration with COLE members, secured the allocation of $26.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for lead abatement efforts in Milwaukee homes.
  • Worked to engage partners and allies for the BlueGreen Alliance in the Midwest.
  • Partnered with Walnut Way Conservation Corp. to start its environmental justice initiatives.
  • Assisted in building Amani United, a neighborhood organization in one of the America’s most disenfranchised ZIP codes (53206).
  • Helped local Amalgamated Transit Union 998 achieve a fair worker-oriented labor contract.
  • Helped thousands of voters register and get out to vote.

“In everything he does, Richard exemplifies the mission and purpose of the Great Waters Group to protect our local environment and to address Milwaukee’s history of racial inequality,” said Jenny Abel, chair of the Great Waters Group Executive Committee.

The Great Waters Group will present the award during its annual holiday party, which will be held Dec. 3 from noon to 3:30 p.m., starting with a hike, at Havenwoods State Forest, 6141 N Hopkins St. in Milwaukee.

The Great Waters Group is the local group of the Sierra Club covering Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties.  For more information, visit

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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