Thursday, October 15, 2009
Where is the diversity in the environmental movement?
Recently, my husband and I have been to some events focused on green living/green technologies, including the Solar Decathlon on The Mall in DC and The Metro DC Solar Homes Tour. At each of these events, there was a glaring lack of minority presence. I know that there is a perception of what an "environmentalist" looks like - white, well-educated, upper class. There is also the perception that caring about the environment means that one is a "tree hugger" or that the environment does not include places where we live and work, but coral reefs or wildlife preserves. I believe these perceptions keep more minorities from getting involved and are also what keep the mainstream movement from including these groups. The reality is that environmental issues affect minorities more than any other group of people. Studies have shown that there are significantly more toxic and industrial waste sites located near poor and predominately minority communities than near more affluent and majority white communities. Why is this a huge deal???? Look for the answer in my next post.