On Monday, our nation celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King’s life demonstrated that peace and tolerance can triumph over hate and injustice, and can serve to correct social wrongs. On this holiday, we are reminded of his heroic devotion to equality, justice, and unity.
In the spirit of Dr. King, it seems appropriate to talk about an issue that has stemmed from King’s movement. The term “environmental justice” did not become popular until the 1980s, but the movement’s roots stem from King’s legacy.
- Toxic waste dumps are disproportionately located in neighborhoods inhabited by minority groups and people of low socioeconomic standing (EPA).
- A 1987 study found that race proved to be the most significant variable in determining the location of commercial hazardous waste facilities, more so then socioeconomic standing (United Church of Christ).
- Health effects stemming from pollutant exposure combine with other poverty-related factors like poor nutrition to exacerbate health effects (Grist).
- Watch Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, speak on how minority neighborhoods suffer most from flawed urban policy.
- Read more. APSCU’s blog and Grist both have great articles on this issue.
- Mark February 2 on your calendar. Renewal, a Christian student environmental group, is kicking off the International Day of Prayer for Creation Care: “Prayer for Environmental Justice”. More details to come.
- Hear John Perkins’ historic “A Quiet Revolution” on iTunes U, delivered at SPU during the 1977-78 chapel series.