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Louisville Protests Continue a Long Quest for Environmental Justice

“African American activists have been targeting another killer, toxic pollutants, in the city’s Rubbertown district for decades.”

“LOUISVILLE, Kentucky—A month before thousands began marching here, day after day, to protest the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and a woman here named Breonna Taylor, a professor at the University of Louisville was a co-author on a study that identified another killer targeting Black lives: toxic pollutants.

Along with race, crime and income, the research found that proximity to an industrial neighborhood in the city called Rubbertown had a major effect on life expectancy, accounting for as much as three quarters of a 10- to 12-year reduced life expectancy in poor and mostly Black neighborhoods, compared to richer, white neighborhoods.

Among the demonstrators, demands for racial justice in policing and environmental justice quickly merged in Louisville, a city with a history of environmental injustice as striking as any in America.”

James Bruggers reports for InsideClimate News June 21, 2020.