News and Learning



Power to Thrive:

The Intersection of Health, Environment, and Equity



Free Public Talk

December 5, 2016

6:30 – 8:30 PM

Waterville Opera House


Hosted by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation


We invite you to join us at the Waterville Opera House on Monday, December 5 at 6:30pm for a free public talk with health researcher Ming Kuo and civil rights attorney Cesar De La Vega*, joined in conversation with Maine-based leaders about why the connection of health, environment and equity matters.


Register Now

A growing body of evidence demonstrates the critical link between access to “green space” and human functioning and wellness.  Ming Kuo is an internationally-known researcher who has documented the impact of time spent in nature with reduced AD/HD symptoms, reduced aggression and crime and increased immune function.
Cesar De La Vega is the Juanita Tate Social Justice Fellow at The City Project in Los Angeles, California. The City Project believes that all people should have access to healthy, livable communities.  They work with diverse allies to ensure equal access to (1) healthy green land use through planning by and for the community; (2) climate justice; (3) physical education and schools of hope as centers of their communities; (4) health equity and wellness; and (5) economic vitality for all, including jobs and avoiding displacement as communities become greener and more desirable.
Our keynote speakers will be joined by Maine leaders: Eric Brown, Jamie Bissonette Lewey and Ryder Scott, for a discussion that explores the health implications of time spent in nature, existing obstacles and disparities in access, differences between urban and rural regions of Maine, and possible paths forward to improve individual and community well-being.

* Due to health concerns our original speaker, Robert Garcia, is unable to join us. We are sorry to miss him and wish him a speedy recovery and are pleased to have his colleague and leader in social justice, public interest law and civil rights advocacy, Cesar De La Vega in his stead.

Sewall Foundation Integrated Well-Being Forum
On September 18, 2105 Sewall Foundation staff and board gathered with representatives of nonprofits who recently received grants through the Healthy People Healthy Places program to discuss the inherent link between environmental and human well-being.  Read the forum agenda, Jay Espy’s opening remarks, Brad Gentry’s presentation, and a summary of the day's Discussion Themes and Learnings
The Foundation’s
 Healthy People Healthy Places Program
Click here to watch the Healthy People Healthy Places Webinar

For the past six years, the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation supported programs and organizations throughout Maine engaged in three broad categories of activity: Animal Welfare, Environment and Human Well-Being.  Beginning in 2015, the Foundation changed its approach to grant making in the areas of the Environment and Human Well-Being.  A new integrated program entitled, “Healthy People Healthy Places”,  replaced the previously separate Environment and Human Well-Being program areas.


We recognize that any time a funder modifies its priorities or changes its guidelines, many questions are likely to arise among those seeking support.  Therefore, we held a webinar, open to those seeking information about the Sewall Foundation’s new direction. Foundation staff described the Healthy People Healthy Places Program, discussed its implications for future grant making as well as non-grant related activities and answered questions.