I have been able to learn more about the impacts of the climate crises and environmental injustices and more specifically, the communities they affect, through my involvement in climate activism. More often than not, these communities are ones of color and of low socioeconomic status, and with that lack of privilege comes an inaccessibility to a platform that amplifies the voices, stories, and experiences of members of these communities. I had an idea for a project that would focus on the impacts of environmental injustice on marginalized communities across America and would present the findings in the form of a documentary. By focusing on certain communities around the nation, this documentary would aim to bring a new perspective to the table that has often been ignored and forgotten. Through a series of interviews with members of these communities, viewers would be able to learn more about environmental injustice from the perspective of the less privileged, a perspective that needs to be shared.
In the spring of 2019, I submitted a proposal to the Norton Family Center for the Common Good at the Loomis Chaffee School, to create this documentary. The project was selected and funded by The Norton Fellows program. Titled FRONTLINERS, it shines the spotlight on two communities – a) the indigenous community in northern Minnesota fighting against the Line 3 pipeline being built on their land, and b) Little Village, a predominantly Hispanic community in the industrial corridor of Chicago, dealing with the impacts of pollution and environmental racism. In both cases, I also take a look at youth involvement in combating environmental injustice.