Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Environmental racism even has a connection with redlining (systemic denial of housing loans to people living in predominately Black neighborhoods by the federal government and mortgage lenders for decades beginning in the 1930’s). There are fewer trees with more paved surfaces in formerly redlined areas. This increases the community’s risk for heat waves and extreme storms as well as more localized flooding with less vegetation to absorb rainwater. This impacts not only the outdoor environment but also contributes to hotter homes and higher electric bills (if you can choose to compensate) for communities that can’t afford the increase. Communities of color are also disproportionately impacted by natural and manmade disasters. (Source: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2021/03/the-link-between-racist-housing-policies-of-the-past-and-the-climate-risks-of-today/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiPuwud3Y7wIVdAOzAB2FMQJSEAMYASAAEgILivD_BwE)
Additionally, environmental racism impacts harmful narratives being created and perpetuated of people of color and poor people being “dirty”. We see how the environment around low-income areas is not desirable without considering the impact of decisions to put factories and landfills in those communities as well as many other harmful policies and regulations that are outside the environmental scope.
We also must consider access to nature and not just harmful toxins. People of color have disproportionate access to green spaces and nature: whether that be proximity to parks, rivers, oceans or other natural venues. Nature can provide recreation, respite and recovery as well as functional elements.
We want a healthy environment for all people. Everyone has a right to clean and safe environments. When we work to protect the planet, we need to be mindful of especially vulnerable communities and how our policies impact them. Native Americans traditionally view land as a communal resource. We could certainly learn a lot from that perspective.
Ways to Engage in Your School Community:
– This website has great ideas for engaging all age groups in lessons and activities about environmental racism https://humaneeducation.org/teaching-about-environmental-racism-two-activities/
– Another great lesson plan for middle and high school students
– Resources for all ages
– Fantastic teacher resources for middle and high school with lesson plans and activities for specific current examples of environmental racism. Small cost associated for downloadable material.
- Incorporate this information along with any Earth Day events.
- Plan a community project for Earth Day utilizing some of the ideas in the links above.
- Start a school environmental club
Invite a local guest speaker to share about the work of Environmental Justice. A great recommendation would be Ashantae Green. She is an elected official in the office of Duval County Soil & Water Board is an environmental advocate!
Supporting Arab American Students
School counselors have not been adequately trained to meet the unique needs of these students in order to understand their needs within the context of culture, politics, and religion. Arab American experiences are jeopardizing their academic success and emotional well-being.
Use this resource to hear stories of and learn about the evolving needs of English Language Learners from Arab descent.
The lack of understanding is at the root and thus leads to their disempowerment, limiting their access to an equal education experience.
Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee
ADC is a civil rights organization committed to defending the rights of people of Arab descent and promoting their rich cultural heritage.
Under the ADCRI tab click the Education tab, you can find lesson plans, internships, scholarships, and outreach.
Arab-American in the Arts
“The Arab American National Museum (AANM) is the first and only museum in the United States devoted to documenting and sharing Arab American contributions that shaped the economic, political, and cultural landscapes of American life. The Museum also brings to light the shared experiences of immigrants and ethnic groups, paying tribute to the diversity of our nation.” -taken from the About Page.
Experience Arab American arts from film and visual to culinary and writing. Tour the museum virtually and download lesson plans.
Sponsored by the DCCPTA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
For more information contact Diversity@dccpta.org