Why did you get involved in IMPACT?
Why are you interested in your trip focus?
How did I get involved in IMPACT?
Why am I interested in my trip focus?
A little background on Environmental Justice...
- Communities of color have higher exposure rates to air pollution than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. (Center for American Progress).
- Landfills, hazardous waste sites, and other industrial facilities are most often located in communities of color (Center for American Progress).
- Lead poisoning disproportionately affects children of color.
- Climate change disproportionately affects low income-communities and communities of color (Center for American Progress).
- 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
- Environmentalism: concern about and action aimed at protecting the environment
- Invasive Species: a species that is non-native and whose introduction causes economic or environmental harm or harm to human health
- Environmental Racism: the placement of low-income or minority communities in the proximity of environmentally hazardous or degraded environments such as toxic waste, pollution, and urban decay
- Pollution: introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change
- Climate Change: a change in global or regional climate patterns attributed largely to the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels
- Conservation: preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife
- Sustainability: avoidance in the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain ecological balance
- Environmental Stewardship: responsibility for the environmental quality shared by all those whose whose actions affect the environment
- Environmental Policy: any measure by a government or corporation or other public/ private organization regarding the effects of human activities on the environment
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): agency of the United States federal government whose mission is to protect human and environmental health. It was established in 1970 by an executive order by President Richard Nixon.
- Superfund: US federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of toxic wastes
- NIMBY: Not In My Backyard; the idea that certain groups of people don’t want unpleasant or potentially dangerous facilities in their own neighborhood, such as a landfill or hazardous waste facility. They also raise no objections to similar developments elsewhere
- PIMBY: Places In Minorities’ Backyards; goes along with NIMBY in that the privileged people refusing the undesirable facilities in their own neighborhoods typically leads to those facilities being built in poor, disadvantaged, minority communities.
- LULUs: Locally Unwanted Land Uses; term used to describe those unwanted facilities that could reduce the value and safety of their homes and community
Environmental Justice in Athens!
- Athens Land Trust: Athens Land Trust focuses on “conserving, empowering, and sustaining communities through responsible and visionary land use.” It was founded by two wonderful people, StipeMaas and Stangle, who saw a need for an integrated solution to protecting open spaces and providing affordable housing lots. 13,781 acres are now protected, and 415 individuals now have affordable homes because of Athens Land Trust. They also run the West Broad Farmers Market and Garden which is a “community-driven, education-oriented, weekly farmers market that supports local economic development & community wellness.” (http://www.athenslandtrust.org/)
- Sandy Creek Nature Center: Sandy Creek Nature Center is a huge park in Athens-Clarke County that is committed to protecting nature and educating on environmental preservation. They have educational programs, recreational activities, research projects, and other ways they promote the protection of the beautiful park. (http://www.sandycreeknaturecenterinc.org/)
- Rivers Alive: Rivers Alive is a statewide program that hosts an annual waterway volunteer cleanup day. Their mission is to “create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia’s water resources.” There are projects in Athens through this organization, cleaning our rivers, streams, and lakes. (https://riversalive.georgia.gov/about-rivers-alive)
- Keep Athens Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB): “The mission of Keep Athens Clarke County Beautiful (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.” This organization aids in the recycling, composting, litter pick-up, maintenance, and more for environmentally sustaining our county. They also handle the Adopt-Athens and Adopt-a-Highway programs. (https://www.athensclarkecounty.com/FAQ.aspx?TID=56)
Environmental Justice on Campus:
- Footprint at UGA is a campus organization that emphasizes the importance of environmental sustainability and alternative energy to the UGA student, staff, and faculty populace. They educate on personal responsibility and environmental politics, and they host lectures and volunteer projects to motivate the UGA community to action.
- The Lunchbox Garden Project has a main focus of promoting environmental literacy through food for children in Athens-Clarke County. They volunteer their time at Barnett Shoals Elementary School, educating the kids on the interconnectedness of their lunches with the environment around them.
- Ocean Initiative increases awareness of environmental issues specifically pertaining to marine ecosystems. They foster ocean literacy through education, research, and volunteering, all geared toward marine conservation.
- EcoReach has a main goal of connecting the University’s professional and up-incoming ecologists to the Athens community to educate and raise awareness of environmental issues and how we can help. They are very community-based, reaching outside campus to our Athens population.
- UGArden is our University community garden that teaches students about organic and sustainable food production. They offer volunteer opportunities, educational programs, internships, tours, and even classes for credit! All of the food grown there supplies UGA dining halls, Tate, student food pantries, and campus kitchen.
- Chew Crew is a fun one. This is a student-led organization that releases goats in neglected green spaces on campus to roam and munch on invasive species. The students then go back through and sow the seeds of the native plants in hopes of restoring these spaces to their original, intended, and natural beauty.
Some interesting articles on Environmental Justice:
Some videos we're watching:
A Brief History of Environmental Justice
Man vs. Earth
Climate Change Spoken Word
Greening the Ghetto
Environmental Justice Art:
Environmental Justice intersects with many other social justice foci; from feminism to disability awareness, this issue is one that is relevant to people from all walks of life.
Environmental Justice & Disability: https://www.ehn.org/climate-change-and-disability-2569643231.html
Environmental Justice & Women's Rights: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/11/01/welcoming-the-launch-of-women-speak/
Environmental Justice and Race: