Catherine Flowers’ visit

Catherine Flowers’ visit

Catherine Flowers has an infectious positive energy and a beautiful smile.

When we first came into the room, I immediately felt that I was in the presence of someone who had had vast experience in the environmental field and had lots of advice to share about environmental action.

Surprisingly, I realized that I knew very little about environmental justice. I know about the history and rise of environmentalism, the policy in place for the protection of the planet, the international negotiations and organizations, the science behind the natural processes that govern our Earth, but when it comes to justice and our sense of morality surrounding environmental issues, my knowledge shrinks. Of course I know the basic idea that environmental disasters don’t affect humans the same way, but our visit with Catherine Flowers really brought to life and to light such injustices for me. In fact, Catherine Flowers was herself a victim of environmental injustice: in 2001 she and her community in Alabama had no access to sewer systems and consequently suffered from raw sewage leaks into their residence. During our visit with her, Catherine Flowers spoke about her fight against this injustice for herself and for her community and about how that was the start of her career and engagement in environmental action.

Catherine Flowers –

Seeing someone who had experienced such injustices firsthand made me aware of how central a piece environmental justice is when formulating and issuing laws and regulations for the environment. With the idea of designing nature’s future in mind, I think that having a legislative body that includes all voices affected by a certain legislation on the local level is fundamental. If the Catherine Flowers of every state, region, town were constantly involved in and part of the discussion of environmental laws and regulations, then we would have a much more proactive and conscious approach to fight back against environmental injustices.

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