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Environmental racism is defined as the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color. Environmental justice is the movement against environmental racism—one focused on minimizing environmental impacts on all people, advocating for fairer environmental policies and lawmaking, and installing greater protections for BIPOC communities.
Environmental racism has encompassed many types of environmental issues and discriminations that still persist today. Incidents of environmental racism might be widely publicized, such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. On the other hand, many cases are not as well-known and sometimes framed outside of the scope of racism, such as disproportionate heat deaths.
Here, we’ll review some key examples throughout history and what is being done today to address environmental racism.