It takes 21 days to form a habit. 

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Week 4: Public Health 
Today's Challenge: Environmental Racism
A large part of our health is determined by our environment. For generations, the impact of pollution and environmental damage has largely fallen on marginalized communities. Systemically racist policies have resulted in people of color having an increased likelihood of exposure to unsafe drinking water, lead paint in homes, and industrial waste. Today, we are looking at the environmental justice movement and the people of color pushing for change.

We Challenge You To Take...

Watch this video about how systemic racism means that Black Americans face disproportionate rates of lead poisoning, asthma, and environmental harm.
Read about the climate crisis’s disproportionate impacts on Indigenous communities, and how Indigenous people have been at the forefront of the fight against the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and other environmental injustices.
Listen to this podcast, winner of  NPR's Student Podcast Challenge, titled "climate change Is racial injustice." This podcast features a group of high school youth in Manhattan discussing the environmental racism they see in their community. 
This article discusses ten key links between racial and environmental justice including the lack of diversity among leadership of major environmental organizations, insufficient diversity transparency among environmental funders and the value in creating new career paths for people of color. 

There are over 3.1 million Tennesseans who live in a food desert, including over 300,000 children. There are multiple food banks, local community gardens and others working to combat this issue of food insecurity. Watch this segment from WBIR Channel 10 Knoxville about local organizations who are trying to balance the food insecurity scale, including YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley. Also, check the areas that you live in by visiting the United States Department of Agriculture food desert map HERE

Public Health Week Action Items

Learn more about Black Mamas Matter Alliance that is referenced in above resources by clicking HERE.
Talk to your company/organization's HR department about their parental leave policy and other systems in place to support new parents.
Write a letter to your local elected officials urging them to declare racism a public health crisis. Chattanooga and Memphis already have. Here is a list of Knoxville's City Council members. 
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