Photo of Mary Claire Kelly

Mary Claire Kelly

  • Hosted by Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP)
  • Sponsored by American Tire Distributors
  • Service location Birmingham, Alabama
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Environmental Justice, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Mary Claire Kelly’s (she/her/hers) project with the Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP) will assist grassroots movements in Alabama with legal advocacy for climate justice and environmental justice. Her work will widen the legal scope of the only nonprofit in northern Alabama dedicated to environmental justice in a state defined by generations of racial and economic oppression. This project also adds capacity and momentum for environmental and climate justice advocates in Alabama as they build towards a sustainable and equitable future.

Mary Claire entered law school with a personal commitment to return to the South, her home region, to practice public interest law. That commitment, combined with her drive to empower local movements and work towards climate justice, inspired this project.

Fellowship Plans

Through her Fellowship, Mary Claire will help communities tackle current environmental justice issues and build legal and policy avenues to address future issues that the climate crisis will bring. As a movement lawyer, she will assist grassroots coalition members and residents of communities affected by pollution with legal advice, action, and strategy. This work will include helping local and state efforts to develop climate justice policy, acting as a watchdog over local air permitting agencies, and providing legal assistance to marginalized communities advocating for a livable environment.

It will take all of us to turn our collective future away from climate chaos and towards a path of healing and equity. I am honored to do my part through this Fellowship with the amazing people at GASP.

Mary Claire Kelly /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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