An upcoming online event will focus on environmental racism and its effects on BIPOC residents in Guelph and across the country.
On Oct. 7, eMERGE Guelph Sustainability is hosting Environmental Racism: There’s Something in the Water. The virtual lecture will feature the University of Dalhousie professor and There’s Something in the Water author Ingrid Waldron.
Waldron’s book focuses on a pulp and paper mill in Pictou Landing, Nova Scotia, and its negative impact on the local Indigenous group that live near it. The book has gone on to become a documentary, which was featured at TIFF.
“It’s become more of an issue of late because of the Black Lives Matter movement.” said Evan Ferrari, the executive director for eMERGE Guelph Sustainability, about environmental racism. “We saw this as an opportunity for people to look at these things in another way and understand how systemic they are.”
During the event, Waldron will talk about the longstanding history of environmental racism against Black and Indigenous peoples, along with offering interdisciplinary, multi-method approaches to help address the social, political and health effects environmental racism has on these communities.
“To be able to bring in someone with Ingrid’s expertise, that she’s not only identifying the problem areas from an Indigenous and Black perspective, but she’s also got solutions on how she's worked with communities to try and solve these problems.” said Ferrari, "Not only from an academic perspective, but from a practical perspective too.”
Besides Waldron, two local speakers will also be sharing their thoughts on environmental racism and its impact on the community. These speakers are the executive director of the Guelph Black Heritage Society, Kween, and retired teacher and member of Seven Generations Forward, Bruce Weaver.
“When you’re dealing with vulnerable populations who have been dealing with this for centuries, it’s an eye-opener for all of us." said Ferrari, "We need to look at these things much closer to see how we can help rectify these problems.”
Tickets are available for purchase at $5 or a donation of the participant’s choice. For those who may not be able to afford the ticket price, eMERGE Guelph Sustainability will also offer some tickets for free.
All interested residents are required to register, which can be done here.