Environmental and Health Justice Intersect for Healthy Black FuturesFebruary 17, 2017
Creating healthy Black futures requires attention and action to protect the environment in the spaces we call home. The environment greatly influences health status and outcomes, especially for communities of color where many are already overburdened by experiences of injustice that have health, social, and economic consequences. For a healthy future, we need environmental practices and health policies that strengthen our ability to be and stay healthy.
Unfortunately, the current political climate doesn’t bode well for the environment or our health. In the first two weeks of this new U.S. presidential administration alone, Trump has advocated for the Dakota Access Pipeline to move forward, lead the ongoing Republican denial of climate change, met with pro–land transfer groups who advocate selling federal land currently used for public purposes, and attempted to silence and halt the normal activities of the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies tasked with protecting and promoting human health. The administration’s very first executive order, which seeks the “prompt repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), would effectively eliminate financial access to healthcare for millions of Americans and increase racial disparities in health insurance coverage which are currently declining. This is a lose-lose scenario for communities of color and Black folks who are likely to be hit the hardest.