We Can Be podcast - The Heinz Endowments

The fight against climate racism w/ NAACP Environmental Justice program dir. Jacqueline Patterson (S03EP07)

August 19, 2020

Communities of color breathe in nearly 40 percent more polluted air than white communities, and African-American children are three times as likely to suffer an asthma attack. And that’s just the tip of the environmental racism iceberg.


While these are undeniably stark statistics, they are being addressed head on by Jacqueline Patterson, the senior director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program., and coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United. Jacqui joins host Grant Oliphant for this new episode of “We Can Be.”


As a nationally-respected expert in the field of environmental justice for black and brown people who heads the NAACP’s largest program, Jacqui brings attention and a demand for action to the intersection of human rights and the environment. Before joining the national office of the NAACP in 2009, she lent her considerable energy to advocacy work for women’s rights, those affected by HIV & AIDS, and racial and economic justice.


In this episode, she shares why poor environmental conditions adversely affect the basic civil and human rights of communities of color, including education, health, and housing, and create an endless loop of challenges – and opportunities for what she believes can be “transformational solutions.”


“The earth was designed divinely to give us all we need to live in great abundance,” Jacqui says. “If we do it right.”


“We Can Be” is hosted by Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant, and produced by the Endowments, Josh Franzos and Tim Murray. Theme music by Josh Slifkin. Guest image courtesy of NAACP. Guest inquiries can be made to Scott Roller at sroller@heinz.org.

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