Where do we dump our toxic waste? Where do we bury contaminated soil? Where do we put our industrial waste facilities? Hazardous sites are most frequently placed near Black and brown neighborhoods. Environmental pollution, whether dirty air or contaminated water, has disproportionately impacted communities of color for decades. Years of governmental support for housing discrimination through practices such as redlining created communities segregated along racial lines. Red-lined neighborhoods then became targets for environmental degradation. Zoning and city and state permits perpetuated environmental racism, whether intentional or not. Now the climate crisis is compounding the impact on communities of color–from extreme heat to increasing natural disasters (and unequal relief responses). Join us for a timely discussion on the history of environmental racism and the movement for environmental justice that began in the 1970s and continues to grow today.
This program is cohosted by Pima County Public Library – Salazar-Ajo Branch.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Matthew Whitaker is a decorated educator, historian, author, social justice advocate, motivational speaker, and founder of the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, where he taught for 16 years. Whitaker’s expertise lies in U.S. history, African American history, race relations, social movements, cultural competency, equity and inclusion, teaching excellence, and community partnerships. Whitaker has received numerous awards including the 2016 DLA Diversity and Inclusion Award, ASU’s 2015 Pioneer Award for work on African American life and culture, and 2014 DLA Inclusive Workplace Award. Whitaker has spoken throughout the U.S. and abroad, and has been featured on CNN, NPR, PBS, WVON, and KEMET. His books include Hurricane Katrina: America’s Unnatural Disaster, Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West, and his forthcoming memoir, The Undisputed Truth: A Revolutionary Journey to Black Manhood.