On October 12, forty DEEP/DEC Community members met to set intentions, explore key EJ issues in our local community, learn about the work of Delphine Sellars and Urban Community Agrinomics (UCAN), and practice discussion protocols.
A key theme that emerged was the need for ways to collaborate around common themes, while building trust and being inclusive of all community members.
How you can participate. To assist with this, a Google document was created where community members can add their name and organization around organizing themes.
Other desired actions that emerged from this theme included:
(1) Creating a map of organizations and where they work (e.g., in Tableau, see example here),
(2) Developing a resource guide to help organization communicate in inclusive ways and decrease barriers to community member collaboration,
(3) Hosting in person events for DEEP Community members to gather and talk,
(4) Building a social network analysis based on common goals,
(5) Making a match-making list of organizations’ resources and needs.
We also invite our DEEP community to share Action Items to the DEEP listserv regularly. This listserv can serve as a place where DEEP Community members can share actions (e.g., plantings, work days, city council/petition support needs, volunteers) that align with our work. This is a means for us to support each other.
Other themes and topics were also foregrounded by small group discussion, including:
- Develop new thinking, procedures, goals, and modes of behavior to address the issues below.
- Involve, regularly engage with, and listen to community members and organizations from a variety of backgrounds.
- Honor and acknowledge past wrongs or complicities of organizations in racialized prejudice or other forms of prejudice and injustice.
- Develop pathways for K-12 students into environmental, environmental justice, social justice, and/or STEM spaces (e.g., teacher training, outdoor learning, equity of opportunity, etc.).
- Provide access to land for a variety of community members that honors recreational, cultural, spiritual, culinary, and personal practices and beliefs (esp. honoring POC).
- Communicate in an inclusive way in meetings, outreach, and signs.
- Inclusive connection and communication among organizations, western-trained scientists and academics, and communities.
- Improve the built environment to meet a variety of environmental, social, and economic needs.
- Create workplaces that are inclusive, equity-focused, diverse, and build community for all people (esp. POC).
List of Local EJ/DEI Issues.
- Flooding in low-lying neighborhoods
- Lack of equitable access to green space
- Tree canopy loss and inequity (e.g., redlining correlations)
- Tracking in local K-12 school system (e.g., honors track, regular track)
- Habitat loss and landscape fragmentation from development
- Food and farm access
- Lack of natural playgrounds and playspaces
- Addressing impacts of C on people in lower socioeconomic status situations
- Afghanistan refugee project
- Bringing young POC into environmental/STEM jobs
- Voting rights
- Urban heat island effects
- Recovering from divisiveness of COVID
Resources. During the meeting people generously shared resources; those are pasted below:
- Durham Environmental Coalition: www.durhamenvironmentalcoalition.org
- Master’s Project that included a Network and Landscape Analysis of the DEEP Community at the time: https://dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10161/18444/MP%20Final.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
- Connect Community: https://connect.community.duke.edu/
- Article on re-imagining pathways into environmental fields/STEM disciplines as braided rivers: https://eos.org/opinions/reimagining-stem-workforce-development-as-a-braided-river
- Slice 325 Healthy Food and Social Justice organization: https://slice325.org/
- Sankofa Farms: https://www.sankofafarmsllc.com/
- Building Local Infrastructure in Black Communities: https://www.wral.com/research-hub-focused-on-equity-development-proposed-for-durham-s-hayti-neighborhood/19912835/