Much of my desire to create equitable futures is rooted in experience. Growing up in Alabama, industrial pollution and toxic waste (mis)management were front and center, and those practices always impacted communities of color the most. It felt too common to hear news about cities like Uniontown, Ala. where the dumping of coal ash from the 2008 Kingston spill has led to extensive health challenges for a primarily low income, Black community. Though some might say environmental issues are “equalizers” because they affect everyone, marginalized folks historically lack the resources to manage or flee environmental crises.
I do my best work in a position of service, where I can help make meaningful change and improve conditions for the folks around me. As an organization that explicitly recognizes the connection between marginalized people and their environmental circumstance, Environmental Initiative is a good place to nurture that spirit. Much of the joy I find in my work comes from our partners. The most rewarding part of the work, to me, is knowing that our projects help sustain communities and create a world that prioritizes everyone’s health and safety.
“The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.” -James Baldwin