Delegates FNPELS – “Principles of Environmental Justice”

This article is about how the delegates of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit drafted 17 principles of Environmental Justice. And so, these principles have been used for the growth of the grassroots  movement. Their goals as a group is to ensure environmental justice, to promote economic alternatives that help the development of environmentally safe lives, and to make sure their political, economic and cultural liberation stay safe within their hands and away from their ancestors oppressors. Their 17 principles are mostly about what they can do to help keep Earth healthy and equality for all people with no bias. Also it talks about the stopping of harmful causes to people of color including health, environment, military, and peoples overall life. The 17 principles are a set of concepts that are for the equality of all and to ensure a healthy environment, economy, military, politics, and society as a whole.


In the article, “Walking the Walk”, it talks about how originally Thomas Jefferson high school was a whites only school, and that 25 years later the school gives credit to those who convinced the school board to keep their school open. The article also talks about how the school used to be so different years ago. According to Alumna Burton, who was a black student at TJ, and often felt the aggression of others that would yell terrible slurs at the black students. Also that the state has disinvested in the public school system and that neighbors, parents, and others were the ones who came together as a community to help and re-paint bathrooms and the school staff devoted hours fixing miscalculated grades. Then Burton says,”But activism doesn’t stop with marching. It needs a concerted and sustained effort by students, parents, teachers and administrators. Neglecting, defunding and closing schools are easy ways to save money, while demoralizing everyone such actions touch.” This to me shows how if we come together as a community and bring awareness to our local issues and stand together to try and change them for the better we can. Another quote really struck me was, “Funding education is not a drain of current resources, but an investment in our future.” And i agree with this because without good education opportunities our future generations won’t go anywhere and won’t succeed beyond the previous one. Also without a good education people are unaware of more important underlying issues that need to be solved.


I think the article is very convincing because the author went through the entire list of the negative effects climate change has on Earth. Personally, i already believe in climate change and howe we should be doing all we can in order to cap the rising C02 and temperatures. “If greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere by as much as 1.5 degrees Celsius, the most dire effects of climate change will be unleashed. Coastlines will be submerged, droughts and wildfires exacerbated, coral reefs exterminated, severe food shortages and poverty deepened. And humanity has only a fast-closing 12-year window to make the changes necessary to avoid this fate.” This paragraph from the article should be enough convincing. Because as a society we don’t have much time to begin with and especially not for climate change. So we need to act fast in hopes of at least slowing down climate change and all of its effects on Earth and the people. We are already losing trees, animals, having more natural disasters, and our sea life have been harshly affected for a while now from just pollution from us. The article also talks about capping the warming at 2 degrees, which is not enough we need to cap it at 1.5. Last semester, i was in an earth science class and we had a project explaining both sides of capping the warming at either 1.5 or 2 degrees, and so we concluded that it would be less detrimental to Earth if we capped warming at 1.5 degrees. This is because if we allow the warming to continue and rise we are only increasing the speed and strength of the consequences from climate change. 


The first article, “Henrico Should Expand Mass Transit to Short Pump, and Here’s Why”, talks about how the pre existing bus system of GRTC is helpful but still has issues. The biggest issue is that the bus system only stays in the central part of the city and limits the movement of people. Therefore, the Commonwealth Transportation board is trying to find a way to extend their budget and extend the amount of bus stops in order to help the people get all the way to the Short Pump area and get jobs. They say that Short Pump is a plentiful retail place that could use more people to fill the jobs. And so, if the bus system is extended more people would be able to get to their jobs faster and leave the central Richmond area and fill more jobs. However, the main point of this article is that the bus system is connected to race and how it disadvantages the black people the most. And that they are probably the ones who need it the most. In the second article, ‘The Impact of the GRTC 2018 Reroute on Richmond’s Disadvantaged Population”, they conduct a study to see what the impact of redesigning the bus system based on the regions disadvantaged areas, mostly low-income neighborhoods. With this study, the found that a lot of people, especially the low income, that it is pretty hard for people to get around and that they usually try and stay within their limits which is about 1/4 and 1/2 a mile away from their homes. With that, that means theres not as many jobs that are accessible to them. Therefore, by extending the bus route it is estimated that about 11,400 jobs would open up on top of the pre existing 184,158 and another 24,600 with the new route. In conclusion, both articles similarly looked at the effects of having a limited bus system on predominantly black and low income people. They both also talk about how if extended, the bus system can take many people out from their limited areas and give them better job opportunities. In the first article, they mention Short Pump being a plentiful retail area where many people go to shop and eat and therefore requires people to work at the stores and restaurants. In the second article, they specifically talk about how limited people are to their areas, which is only about 1/4 and 1/2 wide. And so, both articles talk about it would improve not only the economy but the lives of the people in Richmond and that it would give more and better opportunities. 



In this article the author, Ted McAllister, talks about how our modern democracy doesn’t make freedom a guarantee. But in America we have a tradition of that when the people participate in politics thats what makes us gain our freedom as Americans. And so he goes on and talks about civic engagement being rightly understood. He then talks about how civic engagement rightly understood requires the people to accept the need for others around us and the interactions it brings us. Because with too much self reliance comes individualism. With individualism people become isolated and separated from others which then they disassociate from their community which can hinder our “freedom” and making everyone dependent on the state. Therefore, civic engagement being rightly understood has a goal of having a self reliant community while individualism aims to maintain a universal dependence from the state.



When you first walk out of the elevator i turn and see the description of Rashid Johnson’s installation, Provocations. Then i turn and see a very large and tall stack with plants and books. As soon as I walked in the room i heard sounds that reminded me of a forest and water that sounded like a waterfall. I felt very calm, and at peace. I also felt that it was a very serene place and i was very relaxed. There were many things to read such as the description of his installation and his provocations project. However, what i noticed was all the books on display and that there were a few small tvs. Many I thought could have been related because some were about the stories of African Americans. I think what struck me the most was the books. At first I thought it was beautiful and serene but when i noticed the books i wondered why he made the decision to put them there. I think what makes it a monument is the fact that it shows the African American history behind it and that it’s trying to represent more than what meets the eye. I think the installation can be looked at as a living monument because it literally is because of all the plants and also that the fluorescent lights keep them alive. Also that the tvs and the books are still used to this day and that keeps the history alive. I think it’s similar because it is representing something bigger than we think and it is different because it isn’t a historical figure that had some sort of racist background or anything bad in general. Also it’s different because it is from another perspective like the black community and not only from the while males that were dominant. I think the local, would be that it is in VCU’s campus and so most people that go see the exhibits would be the students. And the non local i would guess that the artist has used his display for a wider influence and to inform more people. It is both local and non because his art is known by VCU but his art is shared and so others may know about it and want to see it for themselves. I think the message he is trying to convey is to inform people about the African American History and from a different perspective than just white peoples. I think it contributes by showing us another example of a monument that isn’t offensive to anyone and that it doesn’t have a negative past that was racist or oppressive to anyone. His art just shows his expression and that he wants to inform the people that are viewing his display.










HW#7 Summary

In the article The Costs of Confederacy, it talks about how America has spent a ton of money on confederate monuments. And how the author investigated the history and financing of the monuments. He then found that they stood for racist ideologies and that it costs a lot of money to maintain the monuments. And some people saw them as pieces of art for political correctness, but others were not happy with that because the confederacy was known for their racist ideologies and how they treated people unfairly especially the black people in America at the time. Overall, I think that our history is bloody and racist, and we shouldn’t forget it, but we should move on and learn from our mistakes and try to grow as a nation.


In the article On Monument Avenue, it is also talking about the Confederate statues that are preserved in Richmond as well. Some say that the people are too cowardly to fight for the tearing down of these statues. While others may say that Richmond has gone too far, and that the statues are works of art and that they shouldn’t be messed with. The author also writes about how the monuments may tell a story but it leaves so much unsaid. The author also talks about how they have seen the complexity of the original contexts of these monuments and how their significance has changed over time. They also say that pretty recently we live in an era of having an interest in commemoration. And that during the past few decades Americans have tried hard to match the efforts of monument building. Lastly, for a while now people have been questioning if the Confederate monuments can stand  as a symbol of unity in a diverse society that has many other political issues along with racism still being a prevalent issue.


In the article The Costs of Confederacy, American tax payers have spent over $40 million dollars on Confederate monuments and groups that stand for racist ideologies. The author conducted an investigation that went into the history and financing of Confederate monuments and disproved the justifications of preserving these memorials.  And so, he came up with very interesting findings. He found that these memorials were created and funded by the Jim Crow laws that the governments paid to a slave-owning society and overall an assertion of dominance over the black community.  And second, even though people try and claim that the monuments were a symbol for contemporary political correctness, they were actually used as instruments to promote white power. And lastly, Americans have been paying so much of their taxpayer money just to keep Confederate monuments—statues, homes, parks, museums, libraries and cemeteries—and to Confederate heritage organizations preserved. I personally think that we should just stop funding it. Obviously, theres too much history, too late, and people would protest if these monuments were taken down, but if we stop funding them then they will have to be replaced. I feel we as the public should compromise and put up the monuments that represent what America is today and not what happened in the past. Our history wasn’t pretty and it was while colonists centered and racist, therefore we should accept what happened but move on.



In this article,  the story is of Henrico county in Richmond, Virginia, where black cemeteries are being neglected unlike the level of care their confederate counter parts had received. People have tried to introduce bills to the General Assembly to try and provide funds to save these African American cemeteries.  However, these bills all have been “killed” in the committee.  “These cemeteries hold some of the iconic leaders of the past who in many ways have never been given their due honor,” said Ms. McQuinn. It is sad to know that even in their after lives they are being treated unequally.  It’s unfair for these people to have fought for our country and did the same jobs as the white men did, only to be disrespected and treated unfairly even after dying. Another thing is in our U.S. history it wouldn’t be history without talking about all the minorities in the world that they had encountered and later make America what it is today.  Without mentioning any of the ethnic people of the world and only talking about the white people, there would be no history at all. The original American colonists were originally British, so who are they to ignore a large group of people who are apart of America as well as the whites, Asians, Hispanics, Europeans, Africans, Middle Easterners, Islanders, etc.  Everyone deserves to have their stories told and their histories to be remembered. Lastly, It is said that the reason these cemeteries had gotten so bad was because either people have moved away or just lost connection to the graves and the people in them. It is sad to think that these peoples families have somewhat forgotten about them. Therefore, as the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos, we should always remember our past loved ones and what they had contributed to our world.