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Environment, Food & Sustainability

No set of issues is more vital today than climate change and access to clean water, healthy foods and fertile land. Nature in all of its bounty is being sequestered at an unprecedented rate, creating life-threatening borders between greed and need. What does a just and sustainable future look like?

Environmental Justice is Racial Justice: A Neighborhood Perspective

By Antonio R. López, Ph.D.

Editor’s note: The police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the epidemic of violence against Black and Brown youth in Chicago and nationally points to the urgent need for a more holistic understanding of environmental justice. Here, Antonio Lopez, Executive Director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, offers a critical analysis of the intersection of race and environment in the Little Village community in Chicago.  

Little Village is a thriving barrio on the southwest side of Chicago. Children from this predominantly Mexican neighborhood are raised in a community saturated with beautiful histories of migration and resiliency. A hunger strike waged by local activists resulted in the construction of a social justice high school in Little Village. Elementary schools are named after Emiliano Zapata and a local Chicana activist, Maria Saucedo, and the main business avenue, 26th street, was even dedicated to Los Tigres Del Norte, a a norteño-band ensemble based out of San Jose, California, with origins in Mexico.

Complex and colorful murals in Little Village capture oppositional histories and showcase the artistic talent of the neighborhood. The streets are always alive with vendors and the shrieking sounds of kids playing on the tightly packed sidewalks.  Working in the community I am reminded of Segundo Barrio and other historic barrios where border crossers somehow survived Amerika and managed to build communities that nurtured several generations. Though far from the Mexico of their ancestors, children raised in Little Village are in touch with their roots – there is a beauty in the lack of confusion. (more…)

Jackson, Mississippi is Rising: An Interview with Organizer Kali Akuno on Sustainability, Race, Class and Solidarity Economics

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By Dara Cooper, Contributing Editor, Environment, Food, & Sustainability Contributing Editor’s Note: “Doing alternative economics was dangerous. Especially in the south, you could get lynched, your stuff could get burned. Why? Because you were being either too uppity by trying … Continue reading

Standing Our Ground

By Regina Stevens-Truss, Contributing Editor, Science and Social Justice When did we lose our humanity and accept circumstances in which we are allowed to say, “I have a right to be here and to prove that I’m going to shoot … Continue reading

Sustainable Justice for 2014

By Dara Cooper Western notions of time and calendars aside (I also celebrate the Ethiopian New Year in September), I am reflecting on social justice, freedom struggles and what I hope we are able to accomplish in struggle this year.  … Continue reading

Journalism Is Action

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By Maya Schenwar Sometimes I wish there were another word for the “media.” No other term is exactly right to describe our work—the news, the press, journalism organizations all fall short of its meaning—but unfortunately, the “media” is often equated … Continue reading