Environmental Integrity

As vast as climate change, as personal as a child with asthma

WE NEED YOUR INPUT (not your money)

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As vast as climate change, as personal as a child with asthma

by Kate Bashford, Program Chair for Environmental Integrity, Wilma Dykeman Legacy

When I first heard the term environmental justice (EJ), I didn’t know its formal definition. Nevertheless, I had an intuitive sense through images and stories about what it meant.

Our country, state, and region have their histories of environmental [in]justice.  Western North Carolina is land that was taken from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Toxic sites and polluting power plants were disproportionately built in neighborhoods that are predominantly lower income or home to communities of color.

There is something profound, intuitive and personal about what environmental justice means to different communities and different individuals. To Wilma Dykeman, who began writing before the term was coined, environmental justice was a healthy ecosystem that supported a mutually beneficial relationship with the economy and with all segments of our society. In The French Broad, her book about the history and culture of the French Broad River watershed, she expounds beautifully on that sentiment.  

At the Wilma Dykeman Legacy, we are launching an initiative to learn about what environmental justice means to YOU.  What does it feel like to you?  What does it look like to you?

Since the onset of the agricultural and industrial revolutions, we humans have profoundly impacted not only the natural world, but we have also created societies ridden with scourges like racism, pollution, and poverty. These ills frequently intersect with our environment, creating problems as vast as climate change and as personal as a child with asthma.

Tell us what EJ means to you by completing the form below.

We plan to document your thoughts, ideas, and stories, to learn from them, and to put them into future action.

Environmental Justice Intake Form
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