Media Night 9.29.16 – Environmental Justice

Here is the transcript for this chat: 

For our September Media Night, we will be talking about environmental justice as an important area of macro social work practice.

environmentaljustice_imageEnvironmental justice gets at the notion that all people have a right to a clean, safe, environment regardless of their race, ethnicity, SES, gender, and no matter where they live. In this chat, we’ll be discussing lead exposure as an environmental justice issue of particular importance to social workers.

Here is a link the article, Freddie Gray’s life a study on the effects of lead paint on poor blacks by Terrence McCoy of the Washington Post:

samantha-teixeira-513x336Our host will is Dr. Samantha Teixeira from the School of Social Work at Boston College. Samantha Teixeira, PhD, joined the faculty at the School of Social Work in 2015. Her research focuses on how neighborhood environmental conditions affect youth and how youth can be engaged in creating solutions to environmental problems in their communities. In order to better address neighborhood environmental disparities, Dr. Teixeira utilizes a community based participatory research approach to identify community environmental issues and learn how they shape life in disadvantaged neighborhoods, particularly among youth. In her work, she uses innovative, mixed methods approaches including photography, community mapping, in-depth interviews, and spatial analysis to uncover the perspectives of neighborhood residents and intervene in community problems.

She has published on the topics of place-based, comprehensive community interventions that address neighborhood environmental disparities, youth-led participatory research, and environmental justice interventions and education. Samantha’s diverse practice experience includes work in child protective services, community organizing and development, and local government initiatives.

Our #MacroSW Partner facilitating the chat is Laurel Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock).

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. Would you consider lead exposure to be an environmental justice (EJ) issue? Why?
  2. Why is lead exposure an important environmental/contextual consideration when considering the life and death of Freddie Gray?
  3. EJ issues have been called a form of “slow violence” that causes injury more slowly than typical acts of violence. How does slow violence relate to Gray’s Baltimore community?
  4. In the graphic “Baltimore neighborhoods with elevated lead levels” click to see maps illustrating lead levels, vacant property, & child poverty. What do you see here?
  5. This article illustrates many interconnections between micro and macro social work issues. Identify issues at different systems levels and how they interconnect.
  6. The article alludes to the connection between lead exposure and violence. How do you think these issues relate?

About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out:

About #MacroSW Media Nights:

Tune in for our once a month #MacroSW Media Night to talk about different social problems highlighted by the press. We’ll feature a video, podcast, blog post or article that features a hot topic. These chats are ideal for class assignment or extra credit opportunity.  For the chat schedule:


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