The Center congratulates alum, Joyce S. Lee (MSRED/MArch ’89), who was recently named an inaugural commissioner of the Philadelphia Environmental Justice Commission.
With this commission, Philadelphia is taking concrete steps towards addressing the injustices of the past and creating a more resilient future. Low-wealth communities and communities of color are more likely to live in neighborhoods experiencing multiple environmental burdens and disproportionate vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Part of this comes from Philadelphia’s industrial past combined with racially-biased and discriminatory policies and practices such as exclusionary zoning, racial covenants, and redlining. The consequences are that these communities often face unequal health burdens observed through indicators such as rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.