To celebrate Earth Month, the Green Iowa AmeriCorps members in the Linn County Sustainability Department are hosting a four-part environmental justice event series. Earth month was originally started in 1970 to bring national attention to the environmental movement. This series aims to help Linn County residents gain a deeper understanding of environmental justice by uplifting the voices of those from climate-vulnerable groups. Climate-vulnerable groups are communities that experience the impacts of a changing climate disproportionately and include the elderly, people with a disability, people of color, rural communities, and immigrant and refugee communities.
The U.S. federal government defines environmental justice as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
The Earth Month series aligns with one of Linn County’s strategic plan outcomes that aims to create a resilient and equitable community where all residents can thrive.
“The purpose of Earth Month is to demonstrate support for environmental protection, but I think we as participants miss a huge opportunity to learn and reflect on the historical and current environmental injustices that have or continue to impact vulnerable communities and populations,” Green Iowa AmeriCorps member, Sydney Evans explains.
Earth Month Series Event Details
The History of Redlining in Linn County
Date: Saturday, April 1
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Lester Buresh Family Community Wellness Center, 855 Palisades Rd., Mt. Vernon
Topic: This event will educate participants on the history of redlining in Linn County with a featured speaker from the African American Museum of Iowa
Disaster Action Planning
Date: Wednesday, April 12
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Fairfax City Hall, 300 80th St. Court, Fairfax
Topic: This event will feature an informational presentation by the Linn County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) on environmental disaster preparedness planning for aging populations
Date: Wednesday, April 19
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Wellington Heights Community Church, 1600 4th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
Topic: This event will include a panel of community leaders with diverse backgrounds who will discuss neighborhood revitalization and its connection to environmental justice in Linn County
Date: Earth Day, Saturday, April 22
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Ecofest at NewBo City Market/Linn County Sustainability Ecofest booth
Topic: Attendees will be provided with ways to continue learning about environmental justice initiatives and ways to support the work at the Linn County Sustainability Ecofest booth. A summary of key findings and next steps will also be published on the Linn County website under the Sustainability Department’s page.
“This event series represents an opportunity to not only bring recognition to the environmental impacts of overburdened communities but also build foundations of collaboration that are integral in maintaining healthy and resilient communities,” said Green Iowa AmeriCorps member, Elizabeth Weems.
“We welcome attendees with all levels of knowledge and understanding on the topics in the series. The locations were chosen to serve the entirety of Linn County,” said Linn County Sustainability Director Tamara Marcus.
These events are free and open to the public. Registration is requested but not required. Please register here.
Please email Linn County Sustainability Director Tamara Marcus.
To receive notification of events hosted by the Linn County Sustainability Department, subscribe under the Calendar section of LinnCountyIowa.gov/NotifyMe.