Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Black History Month: Overcoming Environmental Racism in MN


Tuesday, February 22, 2022   

As Black History Month continues, the effects of environmental injustice are being woven into conversations about the ways Black communities are left behind, including in Minnesota.

Even prior to the current racial reckoning, Minnesota drew attention for stark disparities in education and wages.

Minister JaNaé Bates, communications director for the group, ISAIAH, said climate issues are no different, noting Minnesota has abundant resources to make sure everyone can live in a safe and healthy community, but policy and planning decisions over time have left out some Black populations.

"We deserve to have, you know, clean air, clean water, healthy land," Bates outlined. "What we've found is that is often not the case."

She pointed to St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood and North Minneapolis as areas suffering as a result of interstate construction and heavy industrial settings. The Biden administration has prioritized environmental justice in the new infrastructure law.

Bates acknowledged some movement to reverse the problems, but pointed out Black communities often are not made aware of policy developments. For example, Bates pointed out initiatives to provide subsidies for solar panels are not heavily advertised in Black communities.

She argued the gap goes beyond whether the programs are affordable.

"Not just the financial means," Bates explained. "But that they have the knowledge of what's going on when you consider that lower-income families often are also working multiple jobs, and don't usually have the time or space to absorb all the things happening in civic life around them."

She added Black-led groups are doing their part by creating greater awareness of climate issues in their communities.

Bates emphasized environmental racism can be tied to other historical inequities in Black neighborhoods, and while it may take a long time to fully overcome barriers, she contended recent history of political willpower provides hope.

"When COVID-19 became very prominent and very real in our lives, there was a bunch of legislation that passed that people had been working on for years," Bates remarked. "It was able to pass in almost the blink of an eye, because we recognized the urgent need."

And with more urgency behind environmental matters, she hopes it translates to expanding the types of infrastructure to make marginalized communities more climate resilient.

get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021