In an emotionally charged talk, MacArthur-winning activist Majora Carter details her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx — and shows how minority neighborhoods suffer most from flawed urban policy.
"Environmental justice, for those of you who may not be familiar with the term goes something like this: No community should be saddled with more environmental burdens and less environmental benefits than any other. Unfortunately, race and class are extremely reliable indicators as to where one might find the good stuff, like parks and trees, and where one might find bad stuff, like power plants and waste facilities. As a Black person in America, I am twice as likely as a white person to live in an area where air pollution poses the greatest risk to my health. I am five times more likely to live within walking distance of a power plant or a chemical facility, which I do. These land use decisions created the hostile conditions that lead to problems like obesity, diabetes and asthma. Why would someone leave their home to go for a brisk walk in a toxic neighborhood?”