Madeline Middlebrooks

  • Hosted by Great Rivers Environmental Law Center
  • Sponsored by Faber Daeufer & Itrato
  • Service location St. Louis, Missouri
  • Law school University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • Issue area Environmental Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Madeline will employ a multi-dimensional legal and policy strategy to support low income, African American families on the lead contamination water crisis in St. Louis Public Schools.

Low income, African American children are exposed to lead every day while attending schools in certain parts of St. Louis. Currently, St. Louis Public Schools are providing their students with lead-contaminated drinking water.  This is detrimental to their students’ health. Madeline will address this public health crisis by advocating on behalf of these families through direct representation or a legislative campaign.

Madeline believes that communities should not be exposed to contaminates or pollution at higher rates because of the color of their skin or their socioeconomic status. She was inspired to do this work because of her grandmother’s community in North St. Louis, which faces many environmental injustices. Madeline is excited to start her legal career representing her grandmother’s community and others by advocating for clean water in St. Louis Public Schools.

Fellowship Plans

Madeline will start her Fellowship by submitting record requests to state government officials and building a coalition of key stakeholders. She will negotiate with St. Louis Public Schools to put in place short-term safeguards to prevent any further contamination and will represent families by bringing a Safe Drinking Water Act to claim on their behalf or by starting a statewide legislative campaign to place better water quality standards into Missouri state statutes.


Fostering a More Just Society

Environmental statutes and public health regulations should benefit everyone, not just the wealthy. Your ZIP code or the color of your skin should not dictate your quality of life in regard to exposure to toxins and pollution.

Madeline Middlebrooks /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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