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Environmental Studies Talk: "The Climate Legacy of Racist Housing Policy"

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 5:00pm to 6:00pm

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The Climate Legacy of Racist Housing Policy

Cate Mingoya ’08, Director of Capacity Building at Groundwork USA
Vivek Shandas, Professor of Urban Studies, Portland State University

The climate is in crisis, race relations are approaching a tipping point, and Americans moved by these issues feel stuck about how to right the wrongs of America’s past and protect those most vulnerable from the threats of the future. The impacts of extreme heat and precipitation disproportionately fall on areas with a history of race-based housing segregation. Eighty years later, formerly redlined neighborhoods are still majority black, brown and low-income, are hotter- by as much as 16 degrees- and more prone to flooding than formerly greenlined communities. Sweeping federal or state-level action on either race or the climate crisis seems unlikely, and local governments, struggling with lean budgets, are looking for ways to demonstrate their commitment to justice and to protect groups most at risk from extreme heat and flooding. But how did we get here? How bad is it? And what can we realistically do about it? The solutions are not as radical or unachievable as we think. PSU’s Vivek Shandas will discuss current day implications of climate-induced stressors on urban neighborhoods, and the use of existing planning tools for center historically disinvested populations. Cate Mingoya ’08 will present on Groundwork USA's Climate Safe Neighborhoods Partnership- a nine city project to build the capacity of residents to self-advocate for a more equitable distribution of resources to keep vulnerable communities safe from extreme heat and precipitation.

Open to the public. (Please email gonyerk@reed.edu for Zoom link & password).

Event Details

  • Jacqueline Dirks
  • Aislin Steill
  • Olga Moriarty
  • Billy Fish

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