Adia Aidoo Third Year Public Relations and Sociology Major Contact information
Phone number: (513)560-9493
UGA email: email@example.com
Impact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How you got involved with the IMPACT program, or why you are involved with the IMPACT program.
I got into IMPACT through the open house that was in October. I had a great conversation with my future Site Leader (Christy ily 😊💖). That conversation really hyped me up and got me excited for going on a trip. I was super interested in the topic I applied for because it's an issue that affects the identities I belong to disproportionally.
Why you are interested in your trip focus or something you find fascinating about your trip focus.
I'm interested in my trip because I think environmental justice is an issue that gets overlooked a lot. The adverse effects that occur as a result of environmental injustice/ racism often are long term so they're not obvious or they only affect lower-income areas and minority-majority areas so they are always in the public eye. I feel like people believe that climate change is an issue that's larger than individuals or a community, so they aren't aware of the local effects of climate change.
Fun fact about yourself.
I broke my toe one time and didn't know until months later (It's still broken)
What is Environmental Justice?
According to the EPA,Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, culture, national origin, income, and educational levels with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of protective environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Some key terms: Pollution- the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that causes 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
Environmental Racism-Environmental racism is a concept in the environmental justice movement, which developed throughout the 1970s and 1980s in the United States. The term is used to describe environmental injustice that occurs in practice and in policy within a racialized context.
Overburdened Community- Minority, low-income, tribal, or indigenous populations or geographic locations in the United States that potentially experience disproportionate environmental harms and risks. This disproportionality can be as a result of greater vulnerability to environmental hazards, lack of opportunity for public participation, or other factors. The increased vulnerability may be attributable to an accumulation of negative or lack of positive environmental, health, economic, or social conditions within these populations or places. The term describes situations where multiple factors, including both environmental and socio-economic stressors, may act cumulatively to affect health and the environment and contribute to persistent environmental health disparities.
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; a term used to describe those unwanted facilities that could reduce the value and safety of their homes and community
Superfund- A US federal government program designed to locate, investigate and clean up uncontrolled and abandoned toxic waste sites nationwide.
Environmental Justice in Athens:
Athens Land Trust- Athens Land Trust preserves land through conservation easements. ALT is committed to preserving many types of land, including woods, stream corridors, wetlands, wildlife habitat, productive farms and forests, historic sites, and scenic vistas. This “green infrastructure” helps sustain clean air and water, biodiversity, water supply and productive soils.
Clean Air Campaign- A nonprofit organization that helps Georgians to take action to improve air quality and reduce traffic that is working with government agencies, employers, schools and residents in Athens to help motivate commuters to use alternatives to driving alone to work, such as riding Athens Transit, carpooling, teleworking, vanpooling, biking and walking.
Georgia Climate Change Coalition- A group of citizens and organizations that aims to increase awareness about climate change through education, advocacy, and action.
Keep Athens Clarke County Beautiful- A non-profit organization working to educate and empower citizens and businesses to take action as environmental stewards of litter prevention, waste reduction, and beautification.
Rivers Alive- An annual event where hundreds of volunteers come together to clean and protect our local rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands.
Sandy Creek Nature Center Inc.-A private non-profit organization that partners with Athens-Clarke County to support, promote and protect the environmental education and preservation work of Sandy Creek Nature Center.
Environmental Justice at UGA:
Bag the Bag- A group of concerned individuals advocating for the reduction of single-use plastic waste while promoting sustainable and reusable alternatives.
UGA Office of Sustainability- Coordinates sustainability initiatives on the university campus in the areas of teaching, research, service & outreach, student engagement, and campus operations. This mission includes efforts to reduce energy and water use, improve air and water quality, provide sustainable food and transportation options, minimize waste, and increase recycling.
UGArden-UGArden is a student-run learning and demonstration farm located just south of the main University of Georgia campus. The mission of UGArden is to build a community of students centered on a sustainable food system.
Watershed UGA-A town & gown initiative to involve the UGA and Athens community in restoring the health of tributary streams to the Oconee River, transforming them into a living laboratory through teaching, research, and service.
Art! Videos! Articles! Environmental Justice in a variety of contexts
Intersectionality is defined as “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.”
In other words, one aspect of a person’s identity can be influenced by other aspects of a person’s identity. People are complex and the experiences they’ve had result in multidimensional, interconnected layers of who and what a person thinks he or she is. The same concept applies to environmental justice, where communities that face environmental injustices also face many other injustices that are interconnected with the environment.
For example, native people often are a victim of environmental injustice because policy can make business interests more important than the sacred native lands. Pipe lines are often built on their land, and these pipelines have burst previously, polluting native lands.
Also, the placements of dumps and toxic waste sites tend to be in lower income communities of color. These sites increase rates of cancer, birth defects, and asthma which is caused by polluted air, water, and soil.
Environmental justice is an issue that many people don’t discuss because it’s not at the forefront of the environmentalism movement. It’s important to allow for underrepresented voices to be heard while discussing Environmental justice.