(un)Just Sustainabilities online Exhibit

This online exhibit for Professor Heather Bedi’s Environmental and Social Justice class allows Dickinson College students to reflect on environmental injustices and demographic trends in their neighborhood, town, city, or state. In defining just sustainabilities, Agyeman et al. (2003) argue that social and economic inequalities across place exacerbate environmental injustices. They advocate for human equality to be central in sustainability efforts. Students explore (un) just sustainabilities in their place through a paper and a publicly exhibited zero-waste visual or audio project.

Soil Pollution in South Kingston Rhode Island

I investigated an area of South Kingstown, Rhode Island Where land pollution is a large issue as there is a landfill located amongst a community. This environmental bad spans an area of 1.25 square miles and is located right next to a university resulting in the college community and surrounding community getting disproportionately impacted by the landfill. The environmental health impacts of land pollution can result in building on contaminated soil which leads to exposure to dangerous chemicals and waste that is in the soil. This exposure can cause health problems like rashes. Skin irritation and central nervous system depression. This community in south Kingstown Rhode Island is an example of Unjust sustainabilities as individuals particularly young are exposed to high levels of soil pollution and contamination when compared to the rest of the Rhode Island population. In addition this community has a large percentage of individuals at or below the poverty line who are unfairly exposed to this environment badly. Finally, this community is one of the most  racially and ethnically diverse however white is not the majority meaning that the non majority population in rhode island is getting disproportionately affected.

 

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