I just finished an interview with Jade Tynes for Metro Halifax about the intersections of climate and racial justice. I spoke a lot about the speakers who took part in a two-day Symposium that took place in Halifax this past October called Over the Line: A Conversation about Race, Place, and the Environment. The symposium was hosted by a collaborate research and engagement group called ENRICH which stands for Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health. It is led by Dr. Ingrid Waldron. I was to write about this months ago when it happened so I’m glad I had the chance to discuss it with Jade and write this post now.
The talks in this symposium are a must see. They were personal, practical, Community members, researchers, and policy analysts from across Canada and the US came to share their work and insights on the topic and many sub-topics. These included:
All Things Considered: Race, Place and Dreaming a Green Future – Dr. Carolyn Finney, Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She says: “I consider the power of resistance and resilience in the emergence of creative responses to environmental and social challenges.”
Environmental Racism in Canada: The Front-line Reality– Vanessa Gray, organizer for Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP) in Sarnia, Ontario. Vanessa discusses “her personal experiences living next to Chemical Valley and the growing resistance in her community using pictures and storytelling. ”
Environmental Racism & Life Support- Raymond Sheppard, is African Nova Scotian Mental Health Advocate and a Mental Health and Addiction Counselor. He discussed “his and other community members’ involvement in environmental justice struggles and their role as the principle architects of the Concerned Citizens of Lincolnville – a grassroots community group that led struggles against the landfill in Lincolnville. ”
What I loved was that the talks were accessible to anyone. Anyone could understand what was being discussed whether you were an academic or a retail worker or a high school student.
I had the amazing job of summarizing the entire 8-hour conference on the second day into a poem! Check out the entire video below to see the talks and hear the poetic summary at the end.