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Civil Rights, Environmental Justice and Health Equity Framework PRRAC Handbook Parks & Recreation

The City Project with The Praxis Project and GreenLatinos published the chapter called “A Framework for Civil Rights, Environmental Justice, and Health Equity.” The Framework is in the PRRAC handbook called Strategies for Health Justice: Studies from the Field. The Rose Foundation calls the handbook “inspiring and incredible.” This post is the first in a series exploring the Framework applied in different contexts.

Here’s a summary of the Framework:

  1. Describe what you plan to do.
  2. Include affected communities at every step of the process, including people of color, low income people, and other traditionally marginalized communities.
  3. Analyze benefits and burdens on all people.
  4. Analyze alternatives to what is planned.
  5. Develop an implementation plan and distribute benefits and burdens equitably, avoiding discrimination.

Environmental Justice and Access to Parks, Recreation, Pools, and Beaches have been a Civil Rights concern since the beginning of the modern movement. In the 1950s and ’60s, Civil Rights advocates held “swim-ins” at pools and “wade-ins” at beaches, just as they held sit ins at lunch counters. However, to this day, people who are low-income or of color are frequently left out of the environmental discussion, even though they are the people disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and lack of access to healthy green space. Applying the five-point framework to park access, environmental justice, and health equity helps ensures the voices of frontline communities are heard every step of the way, and environmental benefits and burdens are evenly distributed.

Community victory for environmental justice, health equity, and civil rights, Los Angeles State Historic Park

PRRAC, Stragegies for Health Justice (2018).

The framework chapter is on pages 45 to 57. PRRAC is the Povertry & Race Research Action Council.