The United States has one of the most progressive environmental justice systems in the world. Theoretically, Americans have access to more information, more options, and more community support in trying to lessen their environmental impact.
Environmentalism is still viewed by many as a luxury for the privileged, though more and more people are recognizing that we’re all subject to the dangers of environmental destruction, especially working class families already limited by their income.
The definition of "American Environmentalism" needs to be retooled in accordance with the changing reality of the "American Environmentalist": made more inclusive and accessible to everyone in a society that needs it more than ever.
Today’s panel included:
- Dr. Mary Washington, assistant director of the Urban Resources Initiative at Parks and People and commissioner on the Baltimore Sustainability Program
- Irv Sheffy, Environmental Justice Organizer for the Sierra Club in Southeast DC, Anacostia Area
- Julian Agyeman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning at Tufts University, co-founder of the Black Environmental Network, the first environmental justice based organization of it’s kind in Britain, started in 1988, and author of many books, including Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice and the upcoming Environmental Injustice Across Borders: Local Perspectives on Global Inequities.