Environmental Justice Is Civil Rights

The environmental movement began to take shape in much the same way as the Civil Rights movement – with people organizing because of obvious issues, like rivers so polluted they were literally catching on fire. After years of progress, we continue to fight against challenges that are harder to see – the long-term threats that climate change poses to our children and grandchildren, invisible toxins in our water and air, or disparities between rich and poor on the burden of environmental degradation.

…In the work ahead, environmental justice is a principle that will inform all of our actions. That’s because environmental challenges have the power to deny equality of opportunity and hold back the progress of communities. Because every community has a right to equal protection from their government. These are the very same battles that Dr. King fought, and the ones he would still be fighting if he were with us today.

Lisa P. Jackson, EPA – Remarks at EPA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Read the rest of her remarks here

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