Popular Science

We can’t truly protect the environment unless we tackle social justice issues, too

People of color continue to live closer to environmental hazards.

Protesters are confronted by the police in Warren County, NC.

In the 1980s, the state of North Carolina built a toxic landfill in a low-income, predominantly African American county. In 1982, protests against it exposed environmental racism nationally.

In the Southside of Chicago, Ali Rashad works with a group of men to rebuild the community they live in; environmentally, spiritually, and economically. As the manager of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network’s Green ReEntry Program, Rashad helps formerly incarcerated individuals find jobs that are rooted in sustainability.

The program, which has been operating for the last seven years, aims to provide these Chicago residents economic opportunity by rehabbing and revitalizing homes in Chicago Lawn, a neighborhood on the city’s southwest side that has experienced decades of white-flight, segregation, and changing demographics.

The Green ReEntry Initiative runs a fully accredited program that helps members become certified for HVAC installations, carpentry, and electrical work. But in each step, the program emphasizes the use of environmentally friendly products and processes—from disposing of debris during construction to installing tankless water heaters and high efficiency furnaces. The organization is actively expanding its green jobs as well. Soon, they may include a solar panel installation track, further reducing the group’s environmental impact.

Green ReEntry’s approach is part of a larger network of environmental justice organizations across the nation. Historically, low income and minority communities have been on the receiving end of pollution, toxic waste, and other environmental problems at rates much

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science5 min read
Here's How To View, Download, And Delete Your Personal Information Online
Imagine on that screen there's a never ending parade of internet privacy center sites. Pixabay Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a speech outlining the need for digital privacy reform, especially here in the United States where we don’t enjoy legal
Popular Science3 min readSociety
Fewer People Got The Flu Shot Last Season—and That May Be Why It Was One Of The Deadliest
People over age 65 are at higher risk for developing severe flu symptoms that could land them in the hospital Pexels By now you’ve probably heard that last year’s flu season was one of the worst on record. Preliminary estimates suggested new heights
Popular Science2 min readScience
MEGAPIXELS: This Geometric Iceberg Will Soothe Your Soul
So smooth. NASA/Jeremy Harbeck It looks like a quick photoshop job. Or the work of a secret Antarctic civilization that worshipped right angles. But this rectangular iceberg is one hundred percent natural. Okay so it’s not a perfect rectangle, but th