SNEWS® Live: WE ACT rallies minorities in urban communities to fight for environmental justice

West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT) executive director Peggy Shepard discusses issues of environmental justice for minorities and the urban poor with SNEWS® Live.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face

[advertising_display billboard_name="|Podcast_TNF_Billboard|" number_to_display="|3|"]

SNEWS® Live: Racism is a word that seldom comes up in a discussion about environmental protection. Clean air, water and soil are universal human values that transcend ethnic identity or the color of one's skin. But in metropolitan centers around the United States, minority communities are being inundated with a disproportionate burden of pollution. Industrial waste, municipal garbage and sewage treatment plants are routinely deposited or located in areas predominately populated by low income African-Americans and Hispanics.

These blighted areas are targeted primarily because the people who live there are disenfranchised. They lack the social capital and political clout to fight back. While affluent neighborhoods rid themselves of noxious substances, they impose upon the less fortunate a plague of urban filth. Under these conditions, the poor and minorities are subjected to an unacceptable discrimination.

In New York City, a non-profit organization was formed to address these issues of environmental justice. West Harlem Environmental Action, also known as WE ACT, rallies communities of color to resist the neglect of federal, state and local governments. The group combats policies and referenda that would compel minorities to live in areas so contaminated as to jeopardize their physical health.

SNEWS® Live spoke with WE ACT founder and executive director Peggy Shepard. While much attention is paid to the conservation of wilderness areas, Shepard insists that our cities are in need of environmental protection as well.

Related

polarguard_banner.gif

SNEWS® Live: Black community leaders meet to discuss the role of minorities in the conservation movement

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by Polarguard SNEWS® Live: As a group, African-American people in the United States have been conspicuously under represented among those involved in outdoor recreation. But an organization of community leaders say they believe that ...read more

SNEWS® Live: Mountain communities reveal earliest indications of climate change impact

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by Patagonia [advertising_display billboard_name="|Patagonia-SNEWSLive|" number_to_display="|3|"] SNEWS® Live: Those of us who love the outdoors probably know better than most the ill effects of climate change. Receding glaciers and ...read more

SNEWS® Live: Nature photographer and author Dudley Edmondson offers insight on minority participation in outdoor recreation

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The Conservation Alliance SNEWS® Live: Dudley Edmondson is an African-American nature photographer. In a career that spans more than 15 years, he's taken pictures around the world. Through his lens, Edmondson has brought to life ...read more

SNEWS® Live: Outdoor enthusiasts deal with guilt over SUV use in backcountry

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The Conservation Alliance SNEWS® Live: It's an ironic twist of fate that those of us who most want to protect the environment are actively participating in its deterioration. Who among us hasn't driven an automobile to visit and ...read more

SNEWS® Live: Chasing Glaciers expedition highlights mission to fight climate change

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face [advertising_display billboard_name="|Podcast_TNF_Billboard|" number_to_display="|3|"] SNEWS® Live: Mountain guide Zoe Hart and pro skier/environmentalist Alison Gannett are on the trail of massive bodies of ice that ...read more

SNEWS® Live: The Dirtbag Diaries share intimate tales from the heart of the outdoor community

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face [advertising_display billboard_name="|Podcast_TNF_Billboard|" number_to_display="|3|"] SNEWS® Live:  At SNEWS® Live, we're in the business of telling stories about the people, places and products of the outdoor and ...read more

SNEWS® Live: "Planet Walker" John Francis shares his story of a silent crusade to protect the environment

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face SNEWS® Live: In 1971, John Francis witnessed a catastrophic oil spill in San Francisco Bay. The greasy black sludge that coated resident sea life and stained nearby beaches left an indelible impression on him as ...read more

SNEWS® Live: Starbucks executive shares responsible business practices at OIA breakfast

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face [advertising_display billboard_name="|Podcast_TNF_Billboard|" number_to_display="|3|"]> SNEWS® Live:  Starbucks is one of the world's leading retailers. With 14,400 stores in 41 countries, the popular coffee company ...read more

SNEWS® Live: Mountain to Mountain brings high-elevation communities together to promote good works abroad

This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by the Outdoor Industry Association SNEWS® Live: There was a lot more than just fun and adventure during the 2007 Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colo. The active lifestyle festival also featured the charitable work of organizations that ...read more