A large part of our health is determined by our environment. For generations, the impact of pollution and environmental damage has largely fallen on marginalized communities. Systemically racist policies have resulted in people of color having an increased likelihood of exposure to unsafe drinking water, lead paint in homes, and industrial waste.
Racism has led to redlined, heat-absorbing, asphalt-heavy neighborhoods with little cooling vegetation, as in parts of Yonkers. According to The New York Times, “even small differences in heat can be dangerous. Higher temperatures can strain the heart and make breathing more difficult, increasing hospitalization rates for cardiac arrest and respiratory diseases like asthma. Black children suffer with asthma at rates five times as high as white children.
In its 2018 annual air quality report, The American Lung Association graded Westchester an “F” for ozone pollution. A disproportionate share of the health harm from air pollution falls on vulnerable populations including children and adults, 92,337 of whom suffered from asthma and 41,034 people with COPD.
Today we are looking at the environmental justice movement and the people of color pushing for change.
Read about the climate crisis’s disproportionate impacts on Indigenous communities, and how Indigenous people have been at the forefront of the fight against the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and other environmental injustices.
Listen to the podcast about the history of toxic waste sites in Cleveland and how environmental burdens unequally impact communities of color.
Watch this interview with scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva where she links environmental activism to social justice and how that intersection can help us find common humanity.
Watch this video about how systemic racism means that Blacks face disproportionate rates of lead poisoning, asthma, and environmental harm.
These articles were curated by a local committee to be used as a list of resources pertinent to DEI topics. The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge Committee would like to thank and give attribution to those who created the content above, which reflects their individual perspectives. We do not support nor endorse any advertisements associated with the above content.
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