For Educators: Environmental Justice Movement

Activity 5: How do I Make a Difference in My Community?

Introduction

"Now all of the issues of environmental racism and environmental justice don’t just deal with people of color. We are just as much concerned with inequities in Appalachia, for example, where the whites are basically dumped on because of lack of economic and political clout and lack of having a voice to say “no” and that’s environmental injustice." -Robert Bullard

Materials Needed:

Quote by Robert Bullard
Implementation

Discussion Questions:

Share the above quote with your students. Lead the class in discussion about what Dr. Bullard meant when he made this statement. Ask the students:

How important is it that we care about the impact of environmental justice on all people?
How do you feel the environment is today? Is it healthy? Unhealthy?

Activity: Organize a School-wide "Environmental Hazards Awareness Day"
With your students, organize a school-wide "Environmental Hazards Awareness Day."

Have the students survey their school campus for potential environmental hazards and document what they find using a digital camera. Using the images, create a PowerPoint presentation for screening during the Awareness Day festivities.
As part of the day's activities, host a poster contest featuring themes like environmental justice or types of pollutants in the air, water, and soil or environmental waste's impact on people’s health.
Invite community environmental agencies and Environmental Justices organizations to participate by setting-up displays to inform students about environmental issues in their community and how they can become active participants in their work.
Invite the local newspapers and other media to present news articles about the students' environmental activities.

additional information and links.