I’ve always had a personal connection with the environment, starting with time I spent as a child with my grandparents in the Catskill mountains at a small hotel they ran next to a dairy farm. We spent hours outside, sometimes picking blueberries or fishing, and at other times just sitting on a back step, looking at the stars during the quiet evenings. When I attended law school my love for the outdoors didn’t immediately translate into a professional goal. Since a very young age I’ve been interested and involved in social movements, and I attended law school to engage in the struggle for civil rights. It wasn’t until I started working on health issues at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund in the late 80s and early 90s that my interest in the environment and my profession began to intersect. It was also the dawning moment for the environmental justice movement, and I wound up gravitating more and more to the health problems facing overly burdened communities and the ways in which contamination of our environment affects our lives.
I arrived at Earthjustice in the spring of 2010, right in the midst of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf. It’s been a humbling experience realizing how much the Gulf communities have been affected, but I am thankful to be working for an organization that can get involved in the effort to prevent this kind of catastrophe from happening again. I’m excited about Earthjustice’s environmental health docket and the opportunity to take action to protect public health and reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals, air and water pollution, and hazardous waste.
My family and I, including our adorable dog Dusty, currently live and enjoy our time in New York City. Luckily, the members of my family are good sports about my desire to use every opportunity we have to hike, bike, kayak and generally be outside and active. Though it always seems to rain when we plan a hike, these moments build character (and I think they actually have a good time).
Marianne Engelman Lado joined Earthjustice with more than twenty years of experience working on issues of health within the civil rights context. She served for ten years as the director of litigation and advocacy at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a non-profit civil rights law firm that focuses on racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care, environmental justice, and disability rights. She was previously a staff attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), where she represented clients attempting to break barriers of access to health care and quality education. Marianne has also played a key role in the development of the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, a nationwide effort to address the rollback of civil rights by the courts. Marianne has lectured widely and has taught graduate and undergraduate level courses in public administration, health policy, family law, and education law at the School of Law at Seton Hall University and at Baruch College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from Cornell University, a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an Masters of Arts in politics from Princeton University.