During our 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge we took a deep dive into Environmental Racism. Today we’d like to shed some light on this rarely discussed topic. Below are some resources to help you learn about Environmental Racism, and we would like to kick things off with talking about what Environmental Justice is. What is environmental justice?
When we started looking at this issue, we found that there was so much more to it than just people of color having the most dangerous and at-risk jobs. It went so much further. Take a moment to listen to this 12-minute podcast that discusses the intersectionality of racism and environmental issues (this 10-minute Ted Talk also discusses how Climate Justice can’t happen without Racial Justice); then watch this 5-minute video to learn why ALL Americans should care about Environmental Racism.
So, we know we need to be a part of the Environmental Justice movement, but how do we fight against Environmental Racism? This article will give you 5 tips for dismantling Environmental Racism.
BUY ORGANIC PRODUCE
Buying organic produce might not seem like it can change a lot, but a United Farm Workers article describes the working conditions at non-organic farms disproportionately impact the health of minority members. Buying organic pushes farms and food suppliers to have ethical, safe, and less harmful environmental practices.
BUY ETHICAL FASHION
So much of our clothing and personal products are created in countries where employees are not treated ethically or paid fair wages. Questions you can ask yourself are “who made this garment?” or “Is this item made of organic cotton or materials?”
VOTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
Create environmental change by staying informed on initiatives like clean water, fracking, etc. You can write your political representatives to share your support for such initiatives or run for local offices to forward those initiatives. Below are links to articles that talk about areas where environmental intervention would benefit so many parties.
Fracking on Reservations (article)
This Change in Government Spending Could Reduce the Amount of Preventable Diseases (article)
Climate Change Litigation Could Help Fight Environmental Racism (article)
SUPPORT BUSINESSES THAT ENVRIONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS
Support businesses like H&M that focuses on recycling garments or Patagonia that purchases only organic cotton and pushes other clothing businesses to do the same.
CALL OUT INJUSTICES
When you see injustices call them out. Share on social media your experiences so others know how far reaching this issue is. When you can join marches and protests to fight against environmental racism. Below are links to articles where you may see these injustices in your life, but can call them out for big change.
- ‘Man-Killing Jobs’ and Environmental Racism (video)
- Hold Scientists Accountable (article)
- Lead Poisoning (article)
- Tribal Consultations (video)
- 5 Ways Businesses Can Take Action to Reduce Environmental Racism (article)
Fighting Environmental Racism can feel like a huge task to accomplish, but our voices rise Louder Together. Help us effect change in our community and around the world by taking any of these small steps or donating to YWCA South Hampton Roads toward dismantling Environmental Racism. DONATE NOW
More resources for you to read: