Third Year Environmental Health Science Major / Disaster Management Minor
How did I get involved with IMPACT?
Third year Journalism and International Affairs major/Spanish minor
How did I get involved with IMPACT?
Environmental Justice: What is it?
The Environmental Justice movement finds its origins in Warren County, North Carolina, in 1982. The people of Warren County took a stand after the state government decided to move 6,000 truckloads of soil laced with toxic PCBs into the town’s landfill. The residents and allies halted the trucks by lying in the road, blocking their path to the landfill. Weeks of nonviolent marches and protests followed. While the people lost the battle and the waste eventually made its way into the landfill, a new social justice movement was born. This Warren County protest is considered to be the catalyst of the Environmental Justice movement. Read more here
Environmental Justice "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies”
Environmental Racism “ is racial discrimination in environmental policy-making and enforcement of regulations and laws, the deliberate targeting of communities of color for toxic waste facilities, the official sanctioning of the presence of life threatening poisons and pollutants for communities of color, and the history of excluding people of color from leadership of the environmental movement.” (Chavis, 1994)
NIMBY US Legal: “is the abbreviation for ‘not in my backyard.’ This phrase is used to describe the response that is made by neighborhoods and communities to proposed changes or development close to them”
Sacrifice Zones are communities, most often made up of low income people and/or people of color, that is located right next to or very close to heavily polluting industries (Lerner)
Sustainability “Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations”
Meaningful Involvement "means potentially affected community residents have an appropriate opportunity to participate in decisions about a proposed activity that will affect their environment and/or health; that the public’s contribution can influence the regulatory agency’s decision; that the concerns of all participants involved will be considered in the decision-making process; and that the decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those potentially affected
Local Athens Environmental Justice Organizations
- Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful: “Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB) is a nonprofit 501c3 organization offering community support and education regarding issues that affect the health and appearance of our environment … the mission of KACCB is to educate and empower citizens and businesses with the resources to take action as environmental stewards of litter prevention, waste reduction, and beautification.”
- Athens Land Trust: “Athens Land Trust conserves, empowers and sustains communities through responsible and visionary land use.” ALT focuses on three areas of land use: land conservation, affordable housing, and community agriculture.
- Georgia River Network: Founded in 1998, Georgia River Network serves as the voice of Georgia's rivers and works to empower everyone to enjoy, connect with, and advocate for economically vital and clean flowing rivers. We connect citizens to Georgia's rivers by providing fun, meaningful and educational water adventures. This is often where responsible river stewardship begins. We are also the only organization in Georgia that provides specialized water trail development assistance
- Bag the Bag: “The mission of Bag the Bag is to reduce plastic waste and advance the mindful use of commodities in Athens-Clarke County and on the UGA Campus. Bag the Bag strives to raise awareness about the ecological and economic dangers of single-use plastic items while promoting sustainable alternatives. Our current focus is on the single-use plastic bag. We believe that we should all be seeking innovative change to our world's greatest problems. Through the approaches of education, advocacy, outreach, and recycling, we aim to create a community-wide dialogue on consumption and waste reduction."
- Georgia Climate Change Coalition: “Through education, advocacy and action, the Georgia Climate Change Coalition aims to increase awareness about climate change and its projected impacts; work in partnership with all Georgians and stakeholders to promote solutions and adaptations to the climate crisis; actively support local, state, national and international energy/climate change initiatives and legislation; serve as a clearing house for climate information.”
- Sandy Creek Nature Center: “Sandy Creek Nature Center is a gateway to outdoor exploration. The property features 225 acres of woodlands and wetlands with over 4 miles of trails, including an ADA interpretive trail and connections to the North Oconee River Greenway and Cook's Trail.”
- Other Organizations: ServeUGA, Students for Environmental Action, UGArden, Habitat for Humanity, Speak out for Species, The Lunchbox Garden Project
- https://youtu.be/30xLg2HHg8Q A Brief History of Environmental Justice
- https://youtu.be/aCT6BO7wlDs Cancer Alley, Louisiana – Victims of Environmental Racism | NowThis
- https://youtu.be/LIRBAyPAVXk Environmental Racism in the South
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dREtXUij6_c Environmental justice, explained
- https://youtu.be/zJX_MXaXbJA Environmental Justice: Peggy Shepard at TEDxHarlem
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WMgNlU_vxQ Environmental Justice: Van Jones at TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch
- https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-barbara-lee/a-katrina-retrospective-s_b_702911.html A Katrina Retrospective: Structural Inequality, Environmental Justice and Our National Discourse on Race
- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160791X07000048 Environmental justice, local knowledge, and after-disaster planning in New Orleans
- https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-garcia-pruitt-environmental-justice_us_5a565eede4b03bc4d03d77b2 Pruitt’s Attacks On Environmental Protections Hit People Of Color Hardest
- https://inequality.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/media/_media/pdf/key_issues/Environment_policy.pdf ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE THROUGH THE EYE OF HURRICANE KATRINA
- Article/video: ‘Man-Killing Jobs’ and Environmental Racism https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/569023/braddock/
- http://projects.thelensnola.org/demolitions/#home Missing Home: A look at post-Katrina demolitions.
Art and images
How does Environmental Justice Intersect with Different Social Justice Issues?