Environmental justice serves to ensure that no community suffers from environmental hazards more than another. Trash dumps, incinerators, and other harmful factors are more common in lower income areas. Harmful industries and jobs are also more likely.
The idea of environmental justice began in 1982 with the effort to stop a landfill from being put in an African-American community in North Carolina. Since then, community members and environmentalists have worked to correct injustices. The Environmental Protection Agency created the Office of Environmental Justice in 1992.
Sun Valley is a poor, Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles that has numerous landfills. Waste and runoff from auto body shops cause toxins to get into the soil and groundwater. Activists are working to clean up the area and create safe recreational spaces.
A community center in a poor African-American community in Chicago gives residents access to resources that have not been in the area for a long time. The center is bringing low cost internet access to the neighborhood.
Credits: Public Policy and Green Collar Opportunities: Environmental Justice
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Access to nature is an inalienable human right. The best that nature has to offer should be readily available to people of all cultural backgrounds and diverse economic levels. Similarly, man’s waste, refuse and poisons—those toxics that are damaging our natural habitat—should not be foisted upon the economically disadvantaged. This section explores modern social issues and their direct impact upon environmental justice. The lesson shows how ordinary citizens are fighting for greater environmental justice for all.
Length: 25 minutes
Copyright date: ©2009
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.
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