Inaugural Blog Carnival: Challenges of Doing Diversity and Environment

Welcome to the Inaugural Rooted in the Earth Blog Carnival. The carnival theme is “Challenges of Doing Diversity and Environment.” The blogs were contributed by a writer and activist–Audrey Peterman, a professor–Elizabeth Blum, an entrepeneur–Rue Mapp, a blogger–Justfortheplanet, and two ministers–Alisha Tatem and Dianne Glave. Some shared about the hard work of trying to sustain the movement of diversity and the environment. A few put the movement in the context of race and racism. And then others shared the perspectives and stories of others.  Please comment on the blogs to encourage each contributor to continue in their hard work. And stay tuned for my second blog carnival titled Shades of Nature: The Process and the Writing

Now you may have noticed the photos in the blog. There is a connection to the carnival theme. I took both photos in Louisiana, and they remind me of two sets of experiences. The first, is some of the work I did in New Orleans. I taught a class on African American environmental history, perhaps the first time anyone taught the class. Getting to the point where I could teach it took many years and creativity: there was little published on the subject. The photo of the garden was at a living museum, a reconstituted plantation. That garden was most assuredly planted and cared for by African Americans who were enslaved.  My enslaved ancestors lived the history of which I teach and write.

The second photo relates to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in New Orleans when the hurricane was about to hit. I was fortunate to evacuate early but watched as thousands of African Americans suffered–many died and others survived the storm. In the aftermath, I visited New Orleans East and Treme, predominantly African American communities in the city, that had become environmental ghost towns.  Whenever I look at the broken steeple in the photo of what was probably an African American church, I remember New Orleans and Louisiana in the aftermath of Katrina.

Damaged Church, Algiers, LA, Post-Katrina, November 2004

 Each contributor also shared their own stories or interpretations of diversity and the environment. Read what they said: 

Audrey Peterman: The Hardest Working PERSON in Diversity and Environment Just4theplanet’s Can Obama Rage War on Cancer Causing Chemicals? 

Outdoor Afro’s Do White People Care About Diversity in Outdoor Spaces?  

Elizabeth D. Blum on African Americans and the Environment   Alisha Tatem’s African American Babies: Endangered Species? 

Dianne Glave’s How I Got into African American Environmental History! 

Dianne Valentin who is at Georgia Wand shared her thoughts about creating community concerning diversity and environment:

Laura Plantation, Louisiana, 2004

 This is great. It can seem like we are lonesome travelers down this road sometimes, but using forums like this will help us find like minded souls who have been working in this area, solving problems for decades. 

Some of my recent successes; working with my colleagues at Georgia WAND to get environmental monitoring for radionuclides restored in Georgia, we got CNN to do a story on the small Waynesboro community of Shell Bluff to bring light to their health issues that may be related to environmental contamination, we facilitated Swedish television news doing a story on that same community. 

Even though we have what seems to be the slowest turnaround even though we input maximum effort and time on these issues, positive outcomes do occur. 

I know it can sometimes seem lonely but you are definitely not alone! As they say in Horton Heres a Who! ‘Nous somme la, nous somme la! 

———-   

I have enjoyed reading each of these blogs and hope you do too!

— Dianne Glave   

Photos by Dianne Glave Except for the Book Cover  

  

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