Today is Earth Day, a time when people around the world do something for the good of the planet. But for communities on the front lines of the climate crisis, it’s always time for environmental action. Given their continued exposure to air pollution, extreme heat, and flooding, those living in sacrifice zones, who are often people of color, don’t have the luxury of only tuning in one day each April.
It’s those people that activist Mustafa Santiago Ali wants to honor with a federal holiday of their own: Environmental Justice Day. Ali is the vice president of environmental justice, climate, and community revitalization at the National Wildlife Federation. Before that, he led the EPA’s environmental justice program for 24 years. He says it’s past time for a day recognizing that those with the fewest resources are often straddled with the biggest climate burdens.
Last summer’s protests against police brutality intensified conversations about the intersections of race and climate. Ali argues that an Environmental Justice Day could keep attention focused on the issue while also calling out the fact that Earth Day, and the mai... Read more