Is Your Home Making You Sick?

Being healthy isn’t only about individual choices, like eating well or exercising. Homes with poor air quality, mold, lead, and pests can lead to diseases such as toxic poisoning and asthma. Because of unfair housing practices, these problems affect low-income communities and communities of color more than others.  And since many indoor environmental threats are invisible, it can be difficult for families to identify and fix the problem on their own. So what makes a home unhealthy? And what can you do about it?

To address these problems CUP, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and designer Melissa Gorman came together to create Is Your Home Making You Sick?, a bilingual, fold-out poster in English and Spanish. Using colorful, user-friendly illustrations and visuals, the poster shows how things like neighborhood pollution and poor indoor air quality impact your health, and empowers residents to change and improve their home environments by holding landlords accountable and organizing for policy change.

WE ACT for Environmental Justice is distributing the poster widely through monthly community  meetings, their network of community groups, and local political leaders. They are also using this guide as the basis for their membership and organizer trainings on the topic of healthy homes. 

Is Your Home Making You Sick? launched at a community meeting hosted by WE ACT. More than 90 community members participated in sessions to learn how their home environment can affect their health, and how to get involved in changing policy to improve the health of everyone’s home.

Resources & Links

WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of cound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.

Melissa Gorman is a graphic designer, art director, and illustrator focusing on publication design, illustration, and visual identity. Combining the rigor of a design process with the emotion of art-making. She endeavors to find meaningful visual solutions to complex ideas.

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Clair Beltran, Crystal Butler, Rodney Cromartie, Christine Gaspar, Ingrid Haftel, Glen Holloman, Munina Magassa, Tenya Steele, Ron Thomas


  • CUP
  • Oscar Nuñez
    Mark Torrey
    • WE ACT
    • Advocate Partner
    • Brooke Havlik

    • Designer
    • Melissa Gorman