The Angeles Section staff hosted our second Social and Environmental Justice (ESJ) Book Club last week on Wednesday June 2nd. For this meeting, we have chosen the Toxic Communities of Dorceta Taylor. The book draws on a range of historical and contemporary case studies to explore controversies over racist disparities, inequalities and discrimination that affect our communities of color.
During the last thirty minutes of the meeting, we returned from the breakout rooms to form a large group. There each person had the opportunity to share their takeaways from the text regarding our work as conservationists and organizers. As the event closed, participants were challenged to continue to think about what they can do in their communities to ensure that all voices are represented and to imagine a world where everyone has its place at the table.
Main takeaways from the group:
- The movement for social and environmental justice has grown and is more inclusive (of issues and people).
- Toxic exposure is often communicated to communities of color long after the fact. Validates the dynamics of Power and health. That power structures, socio-economy and race have an impact on public health.
- Existence of internal colonialism and why Native Americans remain on their reserves while living near hazardous waste sites.
- How the perception of BIPOC housing as “slums” has led to the displacement of communities of color-ex. manhattan beach and Santa Monica.
We cannot express enough how much we appreciate the space that participants have helped us to create. Everyone, despite their knowledge of the issues, leaned in and contributed significantly. Thank you to those who continue to show up and participate in our little book club community.
“The Parable of the Sower,” published in 1993, takes place in a dystopian future in Los Angeles in 2024. In a future not so different from ours, global warming has resulted in drought and rising sea waters. sweet is rare, as precious as silver. Fires are frequent. Police services are expensive, yet few people trust the police. The book unfolds through the diary entries of its main character, a fifteen-year-old black girl named Lauren Oya Olamina. “People have changed the climate of the world,” she observes. “Now they are waiting for the good old days to return. We hope you can join us for the third book club of the year. This is a FREE event and everyone is welcome and invited so feel free to share with your family and friends!