WE 365: Youth Voices on Environmental Justice

My name is Lauren Wood and I’m a sophomore at DuPont Manual High School.

I’m passionate about advancing environmental sustainability because climate change is an issue of climate justice. POC and lower-income individuals are hit hardest by the effects of climate change and are taken advantage of by polluting companies. According to the Metro Public Health Department, in 2015, 30.3% of West End residents live with a health concern caused by air pollution, compared to only 16% of residents in East Louisville. When we address environmental concerns, we also take action against racism and classism. A significant issue in environmental justice work today is protecting coal and other nonrenewable energy source workers, especially right here in Kentucky. I believe that a shift to more environmentally conscious fuel sources is not complete without a framework for building and transitioning these workers into a clean energy workforce. In Louisville, we must take action against our growing urban heat island by planting more trees and protecting existing trees. On a personal level, we can all contact our representatives about our environmental concerns, eat sustainably, and reduce our waste. True environmental justice takes big picture reform and bipartisan effort, but we can make little changes to our lives to help the fight along the way!