LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A scavenger hunt that dives deep into the racist, but also courageous, history of Las Vegas gave people the opportunity to learn about community resources and culturally historical sites in the Black community.
Las Vegas resident Tanya Flanagan expresses: "African American people were red-lined to live in this area. Not only were we forced to live in an area and not allowed to buy or purchase what we wanted to, they made street names after former presidents of the united states who also were slave owners. It’s very degrading. In a historic area that’s dedicated to the memory of the contributions from black people to the community."
Make It Work Nevada fights for reproductive justice, racial justice and economic justice. Included in that is environmental justice.
Make It Work Nevada A'esha Goins asks the crowd: "How many of y'all noticed there were trees missing? Do you know that the lack of trees adds to the power bill because it means that this area is hotter than other areas with trees. We always use the statement that it cost money to be poor."
Their mission: Examine the connections between the abuse of the environment and the oppression of people with the least power. The poor, immigrants, women and people of color.
"How many of y'all were surprised that there were no places to walk your dog? What this says is they don’t want poor people to have dogs," Goins tells the crowd.
The organization seeks to educate these communities about environmental justice issues because many don’t know about the dangerously unhealthy things that are historically dumped in low-income, underserved neighborhoods.
"Communities of color are often used as sites for garbage dumps and waste transfer stations," says Make It Work Nevada communications manager Alcinia Whiters.
Knowledge equips these people with power to fight against environmental justice.
Food insecurity, poor air quality, access to public transportation, few green spaces and higher energy bills are all among the issues plaguing marginalized communities.
"This community garden is home grown in 89106. It provides fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income families. Vegas roots! Who planted seeds? It’s symbolic of planting seeds in the community and planting seeds in environmental and climate justice," Whiters says.