Racism Weekend Video

Weekend video: On environmental racism and being white

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Beau Ahrens, a former member of Dr. Ingrid Waldron’s Enrich project, talks about growing up poor, becoming aware of white privilege, and the need to fight alongside communities in Nova Scotia who face environmental racism, all in the plainest of language.

The Enrich project, with the indomitable Dr. Ingrid Waldron at the helm, identifies environmental racism as a root cause for toxic industries so often being located near Black or Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia. It supports these communities with research and advocacy while making sure that local residents always remain in the lead.

Ahrens, who has extensive experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) created the interactive map of Nova Scotia that shows the close proximity of landfills, waste sites and other environmental hazards to many African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw communities throughout Nova Scotia.

Ahrens is a straight-talking kind of guy, reminisces about growing up poor among Black and Middle Eastern friends, and receiving preferential treatment from teachers because of being white.

That’s exactly how environmental racism manifests, he says. As well, towards the end of the video he talks about solutions.

“Why would you want a community to progress with one part of it left behind? I wouldn’t. Is it not our duty to lend our voices and help them get their voices heard?”

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