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Black Voices | Black Voices | Chicago News

Black Voices | Black Voices | Chicago News

America’s history of environmental racism is long and has a long reach for Black Americans.

Exposure to industrial pollution over decades has led to striking disparities. Around 13% of Black children suffer from asthma, compared to 7% for white children. Black people are exposed 1.54 times to fine particulate matter, while white people are exposed to 56% more pollution.

Chicago’s environmental justice advocates are working hard to change the system that has created these inequalities. They believe a greener future can be achieved if the city and the industry are willing to work together.

Naomi Davis, founder of and CEO of Blacks in GreenAccording to her, the Sustainable Square Mile plan of her organization offers a blueprint for creating communities where industry and healthy living can be supported by one another.

It promotes environmental justice by creating economics, such as in energy. Davis stated that we are creating synergies that have been lost back when Black families could walk or bike to work, shop, learn, play, and walk to school. Davis added that neighbor dollars could be circulated to fertilize our own self-interests. Davis explained that Davis is the owner of the businesses and the land and that Davis lives the conservation lifestyle. We are, historically speaking, exceptional stewards of land and the resources it produces. This is what everything is about. The idea of justice is the freedom for black communities and their ability to own themselves. Black contractors for Black community These are elements of environmental justice in action.

Dorothy Jean Tillman (16 years old) from Chicago stated that the greatest challenge is holding the government accountable for equitable distribution of resources.

Chicago is a city that has many green places. If you go downtown, you’ll see that they are making an effort to leave a good environmental footprint. But if you go to the South Side, you’ll find that they are not doing enough to ensure that things are great there, Tillman stated. This is a large area of the city. Chicago’s entire environment is at risk.

Tillmans organization, Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Leadership Academy, organized a discussion about global leadership in STEAM for Earth Day and will be taking students to Ghana in June to help with environmental justice.

Cheryl Johnson, executive Director of People for Community RecoveryTo create lasting change, Tillman and other young people must be involved in environmental activism.

I believe that government, especially the city and state, has a responsibility to ensure that communities that have been neglected are not redeveloped. [negatively impacted by]Johnson stated that those who work in these dirty industries have the education, tools and skills to be able learn to become environmental engineers or scientists in their community. They’re the ones that caused the problems in our community. They should be held responsible for improving and remediating the damage they have caused.

Johnson offers a concrete suggestion for industry to be held accountable for its output.

An independent environmental justice review board is one of the things we need. She said that the review board can examine the application of many industries to our state or city.

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Her organization was co-founded by Isis Baazaldua Bridges//Puentes Justice Collective of the Southeast2020. She said that learning about the struggles endured by previous generations is what got her started in activism.

Many people between the ages of 14 and 16 don’t understand the petcoke protests of 2011, 2010. Bazaldua stated that some students have never heard of petcoke and that people put up a front to protect future generations. We must also discuss how the South Side of Chicago built downtown Chicago in the past and how it has been abandoned as a dump for the same city it built.

Bazaldua stated that more industry needs to be done. It doesn’t matter how much water you use to make this shirt, if you are still polluting these communities with pollutants that will continue to cause asthma in children.

Eduardo Flores is a member Clean Power Lake CountyAccording to the steering committee, while remediating industrial abuse is essential for environmental justice, there are simpler, more affordable things administrations can do in order to create healthier communities.

He said that while there may be green spaces like parks or forest preserves in these communities, it is not the most important thing that people don’t realize. We need more trees in our neighborhoods, more community gardens, and more green spaces on roofs to create a healthier environment.


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