Environmental justice, or EJ, emerged as a concept in the United States in the early 1980s. The term often describes a social movement whose focus is on the equitable distribution of environmental burdens (and benefits).
Since the media has become abuzz with the Flint, Michigan water crisis, I have been thrilled to see terms such as, Environmental Justice, Environmental Racism, Environmental Equality used.
Nearly every single time I have come across this sort of story, it involves a poor minority community. It is impossible for me to ignore this trend or the fact it is more than a coincidence.
Through decades of research on this issue, Dr. Robert Bullard, has discovered that it is often race and class that are the best indicators for toxic environmental exposure.
My hope is not only that the Flint community get its pollution issues resolved, but also that this national attention encourages EJ communities everywhere to continue the incredibly important work they’re doing. As a Houston EJ community organizer, I hope the visibility of this issue motivates Houston environmental activists to join AAH in its EJ work.