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800 22nd Street NW, Washington DC 20052

“Environmental Justice, I bet you don’t even know what that means…I had no idea that it actually affects every one of us. That is until it came to my home”

So begins Mayah’s Lot, Book 1 of the Environmental Justice Chronicles. Mayah’s Lot tells the story of a young girl who organizes her urban neighbors to block the siting of an industrial waste storage facility in their already overburdened community. The fictional town of Forestville could be anywhere that struggles with environmental injustice and that is overburdened with polluting industry, while not accruing much of the wealth those activities generate. Since Mayah’s Lot was first published in 2012, the Environmental Justice Chronicles has grown to include Bina’s PlantTroop’s Run, and The Earth Defenders (made in partnership with the United Nations Environmental Programme).

Created in partnership with artist Charlie LaGreca and NYC students, The Environmental Justice Chronicles helps young city dwellers build a new environmentalism that is not only about protecting wilderness but also about protecting their own neighborhoods. These young people represent the future of our ever-more-urban world. If they do not see environmental protection as their fight, it spells disaster for us all.

This talk describes how the Environmental Justice Chronicles began. It chronicles how Mayah’s Lot has been used to teach basic civics, build environmental justice awareness, turn environmental knowledge into social advocacy, and cultivate a new generation of environmental leaders. As we work toward a just transition to a carbon-free economy, these lessons are central to achieving climate justice and energy justice as well as environmental justice. The Environmental Justice Chronicles is not only a good story, but it is also a teaching tool that introduces readers to street science, basic administrative procedures, and effective community organizing. Readers learn alongside Mayah. From its start as a comic book, Mayah’s Lot has grown into a video and curriculum that has engaged students in classrooms across New York City, the United States, and beyond. Using non-traditional tools and project learning, the book opens conversations about what kind of a society students want to have—asking them to notice how environmental benefits and burdens are currently distributed across populations, and then to work for a fairer, greener world.

Join us on March 27, 12-2 pm, for a workshop featuring a lecture by The Environmental Justice Chronicles author, Prof. Rebecca Bratspies, followed by a panel of experts offering their reactions from the perspectives of law, urban policy, public health, and energy policy. This is a hybrid event. Remote attendees will receive a Zoom link at least 24 hours prior to the event. You must register on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link.

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