Rising tides: an ethnographic case study of resident-activists in an environmental justice community
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Environmental justice communities in the US are located at a nexus of social justice, political and corporate interest, and public health. This paper explores how resident activists, primarily those who identify as Latinx and female, simultaneously inhabit roles of resident and activist. In doing so, they create a space of equitable knowledge exchange, and support community members in realizing their own agency. Additionally, their efforts include, but are not limited to, collaboration with researchers in a way that promotes emancipatory education and culture-centered research models. The author spent over a year as a staff member of an urban EJ organization in Massachusetts, participating in and observing community meetings, fundraising efforts, municipal and state level environmental impact hearings, and organized protests. These community activists wrestle with the tension of simultaneously depending on and disrupting systems that have historically burdened their community.
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