Witnessing, Listening for Justice and Peace - Environmental Justice

#Harvey #Irma #Maria #EnvironmentalJustice

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In 2017, communities touching the western Atlantic Ocean suffered through 17 named tropical storms or hurricanes - wreaking terrible damage and often impacting communities of color in an extremely disproportionate way. OEP consistently shared justice-related stories about these storms.

“Displacement . . . is increasingly becoming inevitable for people of color, not just because of climate change and extreme weather events, but because of discriminatory policies that push them into unlivable conditions. It’s a reality that is rarely confronted when it comes time to map out where people can and can’t rebuild. But ignoring it likely means that policies for rebuilding will suffer from the same disparities that have predated recent storm recoveries by several decades.” - Brentin Mock


“When you start talking about how you are going to rebuild and recover, that has to be watched closely because if not it’s just going to be a rebuilding on top of inequity. If we’re not careful, those areas might be rebuilt with all kinds of protections, greening them up with more resiliency, but it will push out people who lived in those neighborhoods for a long time — so you get that rebuilding gentrification going on.”
-- Robert Bullard, professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Houston’s Texas Southern University.

(Quotes from “After Harvey and Irma, people of color face displacement,” Grist Magazine, September 14, 2017)


During 2017, Annika Harley provided leadership to establish an OEP Environmental Justice Community of Practice, focused “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 Protection Agency definition).

Matt Guynn


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