From the EPA website, "environmental justice" is not as simple as a Websters definition. In fact, it has 3 defining points:
Sadly, over the eras, many of our black, brown, indigenous, and impoverished people have been living in the places where most of our environmental hazards have occurred. Some are due to bad luck and poor living conditions. Some are due to white communities adopting a NIMBY attitude (aka: "Not In My Backyard"). And sadly some have been purposeful governmental choices... making injustice far from a coincidence and rather by design. Due to this, environmental racism is a real thing.
A lot of conversations have been happening over the last year or so particularly centered around racism. Nationally, it certainly came forefront to us all as we sat at home, gazing at our televisions and the news as there wasn't much else to do in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic and we saw the stories of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor surface. Likewise, we have also been talking about a lot of diversity, equity, and inclusivity issues at my school--more this year, but it's been a growing conversation over the last several. Books like Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho (and his YouTube videos), White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, and How To Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi have been on my reading list over the last two years.
Given all of that, I was particularly struck when I ran across this extensive compilation of anti-racist resources for nature lovers. That was a thing? Why yes, it is--because of environmental justice (and injustice). Compiled by Wilder Child (a great website and now one of my new favorites to follow on Facebook as well), the resource list is entitled "Decolonizing Nature Connection: Resources for Raising Anti-Racist Nature Lovers." In addition to environmental justice by way of everything mentioned above, interestingly enough, nature is not necessarily as accessible as one would imagine! Environmental injustice has made being out in the great outdoors a more "white thing" than I ever thought. I mean, nature is free, right. And yet, I'm learning, it's not as free as I thought it would be.
The resources are plentiful and all through the lens of environmentalism. It provides a lot of interesting choices for my 52 Weeks/52 Books goal this year. In fact, my next book ready to read in my Kindle app is J. Drew Lanham's book The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature, one from the "Decolonizing Nature Connection" list. I'll be reporting back later on that read after I finish it.
- Yale Experts Explain Environmental Justice
- Vox's There’s a Clear Fix to Helping Black Communities Fight Pollution" by Rachel Ramirez (2.26.2021)
Collage created on Canvas.com using pictures fromhttps://images.app.goo.gl/fbEiM9kfthK3Q6FHA, https://www.teatown.org/what-is-environmental-justice/, and https://comingcleaninc.org/environmental-justice, definition of Environmental Justice is a screenshot from https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/learn-about-environmental-justice, Dr. Robert Bullard quote image created on canvas.com, screenshot of "Decolonizing Nature Connections" by Wilder Child from https://docs.google.com/document/d/18-D6-ZZA5rmgiapiokAFMte3isYK8dVqXswE8d16xlQ/edit?fbclid=IwAR3LHO0HsmE0trGYJ9PYUsooCPu2GcJdiTUs3wXS-prKv98Gs9nOyLAG1Sc
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