There’s an anecdote that Ruth Wilson Gilmore likes to share about being at an environmental-justice conference in Fresno in 2003. People from all over California’s Central Valley had gathered to talk about the serious environmental hazards their communities faced, mostly as a result of decades of industrial farming, conditions that still have not changed. (The air quality in the Central Valley is the worst in the nation, and one million of its residents drink tap water more poisoned than the water in Flint, Mich.)
There was a “youth track” at the conference, in which children were meant to talk about their worries and then decide as a group what was most important to be done in the name of environmental justice.
Reps. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) will lead a congressional delegation to the border Monday to investigate a migrant child’s death in the custody of U.S. agents.
Castro and Torres Small will lead at least four Housemembers and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to Alamogordo, N.M., where an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died of illness on Christmas Eve. The delegation includes Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who plans to investigate the matter as part of his immigration oversight agenda. Castro has been a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump’s border wall, accusing the administration of seeking money from Congress while neglecting humanitarian provisions for migrants.
On July 13, 2015, the unthinkable happened to the family of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old who was a “bright, beautiful, outspoken, bold, caring, loving and intelligent individual,” says her sister Shante Needham.
Three days after being arrested during a routine traffic stop, Bland was found hanging in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. She had been pulled over by state trooper Brian Encinia, who told her it was because she had failed to signal a lane change. Later, dashcam footage would reveal Encinia asking Bland to put out her cigarette.