As the Director of the Sierra Club’s Environmental Justice program, I’m thrilled to see that Grist is doing an in-depth analysis of various poverty and environment issues across the country. It is all too easy for many Americans, even those interested in environmental issues, to forget that low income communities and people of color suffer disproportionately at the hands of corporations and are neglected by our government officials.
Hurricane Katrina brought this disturbing fact into the limelight, and for awhile, Americans were painfully aware of the inequalities that pervade where we live, our access to resources, and how we’re treated during a natural emergency. But as the hurricane fades from public consciousness, we can’t forget those realities.
Odds are that no matter where you live, there’s a community living with environmental injustice nearby. No person should be condemned to living in a polluted community, and we must all work to ensure that people of color and low-income people are not disproportionately affected by pollution. We must see this work as integral to the environmental movement as a whole. Sierra Club supports environmental-justice efforts by assisting communities that deal with air pollution, mountaintop-removal mining, destruction of sacred sites, industrial facilities being built in neighborhoods, and sickness and death caused by chemical exposure. Find details on the work we are doing to support communities facing environmental injustices at our site.
Thanks for all of the work everyone is doing!