What is “Intersectional Environ-mentalism”?
With current events, a great deal of racial injustice has been brought to the forefront of our news and media. As we think about the ways in which we want to do good for our planet earth, we also must acknowledge our responsibility to take care of eachother.
When striving to become more eco-friendly stewards of our planet, it’s also important to consider what communities are likely to be most impacted by to the consequences of waste, pollution, and climate change. It’s similarly important to consider which communities are already struggling to be protected by environmental laws so they can have equal access to a safe and healthy environment.
Clean air, water, and natural spaces are less accessible to people of color. Statistics show that minority and low-income communities are more likely to live in neighborhoods exposed to toxic waste, landfills, and other environmental hazards.
Intersectional Environmentalism, as currently defined by thought leaders like Leah Thomas, is “an inclusive version of environmentalism that advocates for both the protection of people and the planet”. It is intersection of both social justice and environmentalism— and it's essential for a truly sustainable future. Injustices such as the Flint Water Crisis, along with other similar issues are included in the Environmental Protection Agency’s goals for justice and advocacy in 2020.
As we seek to protect our planet so it can be preserved and enjoyed, we should also seek to make sure it can be justly enjoyed by all of its inhabitants.
To learn more about Environmental Justice and what action you can take, you can start by visiting the websites for these organizations who focus on environmental, economic, and environmental equity: