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Follow the Data Podcast: Addressing Racial Inequity in Climate Justice Through Art

Communities of color face disproportionate risks from the effects of climate change. For example, according to New York Times Magazine, African-Americans are 75 percent more likely than other communities to live near facilities that produce hazardous waste. Data like this makes it clear that tackling climate change, improving public health, and fighting racial inequality all go together.

This episode of Follow the Data is the first in a two-part series that features live discussions from the Power of Difference Summit, held in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative in October 2022, which focused on equitable climate approaches that improve the well-being of overburdened and underinvested Black communities.

Stephanie Dockery of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts team spoke with two artists who use their work to tackle these issues: Vedra Chandler, artist and project manager of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge projects in Camden, NJ, partnered with the Mayor of Camden, Rutgers-Camden University, and the nonprofit Camden Community Partnership to reclaim public space by transforming highly visible illegal dumping lots into venues for public art.

She joined fellow panelist Erika Dickerson-Despenza, a New Orleans-based poet and award-winning playwright. Erika’s plays primarily focus on the legacy of Black land and environmental racism.

Erika and Vedra are both addressing racial inequity in climate justice through the arts, actively working to eradicate systemic inequality, which is so aligned with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people around the world.

You can listen to the podcast and past episodes in the following ways:

Apply for the Public Art Challenge at before February 15, 2023. 

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