Two communities in southeastern Michigan had a common opponent – an aluminum smelter that had closed its facility in a predominately black, low-income, urban community and relocated it to a predominately white, middle-class, rural community. Both communities had complaints about pollution and were struggling to gain the attention of local, state and national regulators. Yet, the two communities did not work together in their campaigns. Recognizing the parallel environmental struggles of the communities, this talk will highlight the roles of identity and affiliation in creating barriers to collaboration.
Sarah Lashley is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Human Rights at Colby.