New Exhibition in Newark 'Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice'

Nov 4, 2019

Newark is one of many cities part of the 'Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice' exhibition
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice is an exhibition that uses virtual reality and other forms of media to tell the stories of communities directly affected by climate change.  

Climates of Inequality is a multimedia installation that was created by over 500 students, environmental justice, other community advocates and scholars from twenty different cities across the hemisphere,” said Liz Sevcenko, director of the Humanities Action Lab, a coalition of organizers across 40 cities that curate projects based on social issues.

Sevcenko says the exhibition digs into the deep histories of environmental injustice in the various cities through research, interviews, and VR videos.

“That allow you when you visit the exhibition to visit the places and help to show the kinds of inequalities they’re confronting. And stories of how the communities have developed amazing resilience and resistance strategies that we all can learn from,” Sevcenko said.

Humanities Action Lab supported the creation of Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

Over one-hundred advocates gathered in Newark at a conference celebrating the exhibition.  Sharing their stories and efforts towards global climate justice.  

“Environmental racism is what it is,” said Adrienne Hollis with the Union of Concerned Scientists.  “But there are people that feel uncomfortable with that.  Because they do it became environmental justice but it’s really injustice.  Justice is what you want.”

Marilyn Amar is an organizer seeking advice on environmental Justice in her hometown New Orleans.

“I’m in Newark seeking to spread the word about Gordon Plaza and it’s struggle and fight for a fully funded relocation off of toxic soil,” Amar said.

The city of Newark was well represented at the environmental conference.

“Newark has some of the biggest environmental issues in all of the country,” said Daniel Wiley Housing Justice Program Manager with the Ironbound Community Corporation.  “Sharing stories is very important.  I think the more we have convenings like this and the more people share stories about what they’re going through, the more people start to realize that it’s happening, its deliberate, and it has to stop.”

Dr. AJ Schneller with Skidmore College in New York State helped with telling Albany’s environmental story in the Climates of Inequality exhibition.

“We’re going to be networking with other organizations and college professors, including all of the different organizations that you see here today at this exhibit, to bring the plight of climate justice to Mexico City, Rio De Janeiro, west coast of the US, and the southern coast,” Dr. Schneller said.  “Everyone is going to be learning about climate justice not just in their own community but what other communities are facing so they don’t feel so isolated.”

Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice exhibition is running in Newark through December.