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The Think Tank produces report and policy recommendations on Environmental Racism in NYC

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The Think Tank Policy Brief calls for Environmental Justice for the Bronx

BRONX, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, July 27, 2021 / -- The Think Tank at The Thinkubator under the leadership of Dr. Lessie Branch released a policy brief on environmental racism issues in the Bronx. The report explores environmental inequities that exist in NYC and namely the Bronx. To document environmental inequities, The Thinkubator distributed surveys. The goal of these surveys were twofold, to inquire as to: (1) What is the effect of the Bronx environment on youth? and (2) What shapes environmental literacy among residents?

The Think Tank at The Thinkubator found the following:

Survey respondents expressed observing the following pollution sources: “other,” “noise,” and “land/soil.”
The experience of environmental inequity is varied among respondents. While most respondents believe pollution has not impacted their lives, a strong majority of the sample are knowledgeable of environmental inequity.
An overwhelming 71% of survey respondents support environmentally-friendly policies. Among survey participants, these include recycling, cleaner alternatives, addressing littering and pollution and more sustainable infrastructure.

Based on need, economic factors and social factors, combined with input from our survey results it is recommended that Bronx officials consider the following four recommendations: (1) Promote youth-based input for environmental justice initiatives in the Bronx; (2) Support Bronx policy agenda that increases capacity for “green” jobs; (3) Advocate for “green” energy development in Bronx low-income housing development; (4) Restructure the Bronx infrastructure and amend planning. These recommendations are critical to combating environmental racism and to support the economic recovery of the Bronx. This is about environmental and economic justice. “Youth empowerment and engagement is critical to advancing injustices in any city or locality. The Bronx needs to continue to invest in a youth driven strategy to create a more equitable and environmentally just Bronx” said Dr. Edward Summers, President and CEO, The Thinkubator. “Environment racism and justice are very important topics that need to be discussed more broadly in contemporary politics and policymaking. I appreciate The Thinkubator for providing youth with a microphone to help identify policy issues and support solutions that impact youth and are driven by us” said James Walrond, Apprentice, The Thinkubator and entering freshman at Marist College. The Thinkubator is a youth led organization and youth continue to lead on this topic as well. "The Thinkubator LEADS program (Youth Council) was instrumental in driving conversations around the topic, wondering aloud why there were such high rates of asthma in the borough and connecting the dots between heavy industry in the South Bronx and the subsequent pollution they witness in real-time” said Julian Joyner, Lead Facilitator and Head of Student Voice, The Thinkubator.

Dr. Lessie Branch, Director of The Think Tank argues that the impact of climate change is embedded in issues regarding environmental racism. She stated: “As the ill effects of lack of care become more real to our planet, its people and ecosystems, it is evident that climate change is not a hoax! To ignore the negative effects and the call to reverse them is perilous!” “Responses to The Thinkubator’s survey show that residents of the Bronx are willing to play their part in ensuring a safer environment for their community. Now is the time for policy to be more reflective of this and reduce the harmful impacts of environmental injustice” said Asantie Murrell, Policy Analyst, The Thinkubator.

More about The Think Tank at The Thinkubator:

The Think Tank at The Thinkubator, launched by Dr. Lessie Branch, Associate Professor of Business at Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), serves as a hub for rigorous academic, scholarly, and professional research that supports the documentation and evaluation of The Thinkubator activities, seeks to understand The Bronx as a contested, complex urban form, and addresses narratives of marginalized - Black, Brown, Female, and low-income communities. The Think Tank conducts research and analysis, provides youth with a platform to conduct and produce research, and produces policy briefs and reports for public discourse.

More about The Thinkubator
The Thinkubator is a Bronx-based innovation and workforce development nonprofit organization. We craft innovative strategies to complex local challenges that have global implications. The Thinkubator approaches our work with a racial and economic equity lens through three major areas: education, research, and community.

Edward Summers
The Thinkubator
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