Lecture 1. Environmental Justice: Histories of Contamination and Stories of Resistance

Starting at the scale of infrastructure, policy, and land acquisition, this lecture examines how the groundwork has been laid for ongoing exploitation and slow violence against communities of color in the United States. It explores the impacts of industrial pollution and contamination by highlighting the connections between the built environment and public health in light of the history of industrial zoning. Acknowledging the connections between race and contaminated environments, it grounds an examination of contemporary lived experiences with a history of zoning laws in American cities and federal policies that stripped Native Americans of their lands and led to high rates of environmental pollution near their communities. The lecture links to other educational resources and videos to explore how contamination has affected the built environment and cultural practices and connections to urban and natural landscapes.

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