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The Multi-Hazards Podcast

all about protecting communities . . . 

Oct 9, 2021

Can the environment be racist? No, but those with power can use it to further marginalise racialised communities. Industries, landfills and other large and small-scale projects are seldom put into affluent White neighbourhoods by the government and corporations, but more often where Indigenous, Black and Brown people live.

Today the Multi-Hazards Podcast features Dr. Ingrid Waldron, professor at McMaster University, author of There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities and co-producer of the documentary film of the same name on Netflix. Join us as we discuss environmental racism and how communities and their allies are fighting for environmental justice.

Direct download:
Best-looking link:
Study Guide here, click where it says "PDF" on the middle left:

Topics include:

* What exactly is "environmental racism"?  "Racialised communities"?
* Where do the communities that are often targeted by governments and corporations and their environmental racism live?
* How has Ingrid's background and journey led her into this topic?
* Why is environmental racism a very political topic?
* Why are sociologists just as important as environmental scientists to deal with the social aspects of the environment?
* How is environmental racism different from the term "environmental justice"?  
* How does environmental racism fit into the big picture of systemic racism that includes "high unemployment rates, income insecurity, poverty, food insecurity, poorly resourced neighbourhoods," etc.?
* What is "intersectionality"?  Who first used this phrase and why?  What are the various elements that can "intersect"?
* Why would, for example, landfills or industries, not be placed in or near white upper or middle class communities?  What do they have that racialised communities do not have?
* What are the "social determinants of health"?
* What are some of the social institutions where racism is embedded in?
* How did Ingrid get connected with actor Elliott Page?
* Why did releasing the "There's Something in the Water" film on Netflix right when the global pandemic first arrived ensure more people watched?  Why was this such a huge coincidence?
* Why was the film's emotional impact so obvious?
* Who are the Mikmaq First Nations and also the African Nova Scotians? What kind of environmental racism happened to their communities?
* What kinds of resistance, mobilising and activism are Indigenous and Black communities using in their fight against environmental racism?
* Beyond political resistance, why is policy making so important?
* Why is raising awareness so crucial?
* What needs to change in the Canadian education system?  Why are young people a priority to reach?
* Why do White folks have difficulty empathising with Black, Indigenous and other racialised communities?
* Why do the media focus on White women who are murdered and missing and most often ignore the ones who are non-White?
* What are some exciting new developments in the fight against environmental racism?

Dr. Ingrid Waldron's Bio:

Dr. Ingrid Waldron (MA, University of London; PhD, University of Toronto) is the HOPE Chair in Peace and Health in the Global Peace and Social Justice Program in the Faculty of Humanities at McMaster University. She teaches Peace, Environment and Health and Race, Place & Geographies of Violence in Indigenous & Black Communities (Special Topics Course) in the Global Peace and Social Justice Program in the Faculty of Humanities. She also teaches Social Justice Perspectives on Gender and Health in the Gender Studies and Feminist Research Graduate Program in the Faculty of Humanities.

Dr. Waldron is the author of There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities (Fernwood Publishing), which was turned into a 2020 Netflix documentary of the same name and was co-produced by Waldron, actor Elliot Page, Ian Daniel, and Julia Sanderson and directed by Page and Daniel.

Dr. Waldron is the founder and Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project), which inspired the federal private members bill a National Strategy Respecting Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice (Bill C-230). Bill C-230 was introduced in the House of Commons on February 26, 2020, by MP Lenore Zam and approved at second reading on March 24, 2021, and at amendments on June 21, 2021. She also co-founded the Anti-Environmental Racism Coalition, which has brought together organizations in the environment and climate change sector across Canada to collaborate on projects and share expertise and resources to address environmental racism and climate change inequities in Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities in Canada. She is also a Member of the Board of Directors at Research Canada.


There's Something in the Water on Netflix:
There's Something in the Water book:

Intro: "Ten Inch Spikes" by Jeremy Korpas on Youtube Audio Library
Outro: "Travel Nonstop" by Squadda B on YouTube Audio Library
Main Episode Photo by Ralf Vetterle from Pixabay