Mapping Environmental Justice
Erik Wallenberg, History
Students in the spring 2017 class, American Environmental History at Brooklyn College, will research two locations of environmental disasters, toxic sites, or sites of struggle for environmental justice in the United States of America. They will write a 1000 word description of the event and location, a shorter one or two sentence summary, gather photographs and other visual materials, references and resources for further inquiries. Students will map this on a class website, creating a space to view the events in relation to one another. Mapping all of this will give us a visual of the toxic landscape across the United States of America as well the view of potentially toxic sites that were prevented from being created. This will allow us to note what was stopped by environmental justice organizing and what might have occurred, in order to document these averted histories. We will also have the potential to map this in relation to other data we might find, such as the racial and economic make-up of surrounding communities, workscapes, and recreational facilities.
Potential sites to map include the Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, Love Canal, the Donora Smog, the Cuyahoga River Fires, the Three Mile Island accident, the Campo Landfill, and the Warren County PCB landfill.