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?
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…)
By Dara Cooper, Contributing Editor, Environment, Food, and Sustainability * This post is in honor of freedom fighter Yuri Kochiyama. May she rest in peace and power. “I want to first acknowledge that this conference is taking place on colonized … Continue reading
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
Repost from Grist. This piece is part of a series that asks what pragmatic steps we can take to make regional food systems more sustainable. Read more here.
Repost from Grist. New York state-based photographer Brandi Merolla uses Victorian prints, tiny charms, paintings, vintage postcards, and figurines she collected throughout the years to illustrate fracking. View her collection here.
Repost from Grist. “The Civil Rights Act is most often identified with the desegregation of public buses and busing to integrate schools. But it also has a key provision that ensures that people of color are able to access buses … Continue reading
Repost from Grist. Brentin Mock of Grist interviews Clarice Gaylord about how she was able to develop an office that was destined to fail, given the low support for social justice matters within the EPA at the time. Read more … Continue reading
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
Repost from Yes! Frances Shure is responsible for decisions over whether to let gas companies frack land that’s been in her family for generations. The more she’s learned about the process, the less willing she’s been to say “yes.” Read … Continue reading
By Dara Cooper, Contributing Editor, Environment, Food, and Sustainability Editor’s Note: As an activist working on food justice, I have a very personal experience with systemic poverty, disenfranchisement, violence and Black land loss. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents owned … Continue reading
Repost from NPR. Greensburg Mayor, Bob Dixson, defies presumed party lines and fights to make Greensburg, Kansas a more sustainable city. Read and listen more at NPR.
Repost from NPR. This article looks at the relationship between the increasing number of earthquakes in Texas and the boom in oil and gas activity. Read and listen more at NPR.
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
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
Black and brown people deserve the right to LIFE, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness. Black and brown people deserve the right to access quality food. Those rights are connected. Last week, thousands of people marched the streets all … Continue reading