African-Americans, Nature and Environmental Justice

Science Talk


Road wanting. This is so exciting. Fred Tuchman is the river keeper for the Pawtuxet River in Maryland and a winner of the Audubon. Naturalist Society Twenty Twenty Environmental Champions Award River keepers are part of the national nonprofit group dedicated to protecting waterways. Swami this conversation with myself began sixteen years ago started production, river, keeper, and the Guy delivered packages to the office. It might have been ups or something like. Like that, so what in the world you guys do? I told him you know. We protect a river, and we sue polluters, and we run advocacy movements. And he said wow thought about that I could see the wheels turning in his head. He was a person of color, and he said I didn't think that black people could do this successfully wore. The white communities would accept doing this. So I realized that there was perspective out there a set of expectations about what any of us are likely to be able to do, and that we had to challenge those expectations all of us as the only African American river keeper in the US Tuchman acts as a bridge between a white, dominated conservation, establishment and communities of color alongside the river. He protects you find challenges being a person of color in working in this field. Sure I feel challenges and their intricate ones because I don't want to. To be identified as the river keeper for the Black Folks. That's kind of futile right I. I feel like I'm representing a movement that wants to protect a watershed that requires as much participation across many boundaries and I do find time to the messing us in black and brown communities necessarily needs to be different, because the problems are different, because the perspective is different, environmental consultant to Chemo Price adds that perspective may be at odds with the perspectives of mainstream environmental groups had to talk to people who. Bring bring trees to neighborhoods. It hadn't even considered the history of African. Americans in trees. People may not be jumping up and down. Going here on trees, you know older people, maybe like you know what reasonable represent safety for me who knows, but it's just being open and honest about an invalidating the fact that not everybody is a tree hugger in it's okay, and while many people consider untrammelled park lands peaceful escapes from the stresses of the city. People of color may view them differently. There's a lot of people that you know of justifiably are afraid of certain parks because that's where people go maybe to. To Do to dump bodies where people go to do things that they don't want other people to see them doing, and she says that people may simply feel unwelcome especially in federal parks. This like that room in your house that has the plastic on the couch gymnastics to go into, but looks really nice, but you can't go use it so sometimes I think people perceive that is just any unaccessible space to them that distance people may feel regarding these spaces comes partly from their not having been included in the process of creating them, maisy us is a landscape architect and arborist and says that city. City planners pay much more attention to the needs and desires of upscale neighborhoods than those of low income communities. I've gone to so many different community admitting and can tell you from firsthand experience. How much more deference communities that are rich white? Get in the in the planning process how they get to Co. create their communities as part of that because they have power that they can leverage in that process. She's found that many people don't fully understand the process one in which city planners create land, use maps and decide the fate of each community everywhere there is. There are people who decide what type. Type of land use goes where rate so if you have like a power plant in your neighborhood, somebody decided that your neighborhood is a good location for that power plant. If you have other types of pollutants in your neighborhood, a lot of times it has to do with industrial land uses or commercial land uses those are decisions that an urban planner would make, and so if you noticed stat, communities of color tend to have these adjacent cities with pollution. That's because somebody approved that land use, but people don't know that land use maps drive like these kinds of decisions and a lot of times people. Are not part of the process when they're creating the land use maps in a lot of times, people are part of the process. Get Nord in the process of creating this,

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