Not everyone has access to clean water and healthy ecosystems. This is, unfortunately, a legacy of historic injustices in our communities. With Harpeth Conservancy’s mission being to provide such resources to all Tennesseans, it is essential that our work also addresses the environmental disparities that persist among us. These disparities contribute to environmental inequity, or the disproportionate impact of harmful environmental hazards, disasters, and pollution on groups or individuals because of factors such as race, income, or education, among others.
Our goal is “environmental equity” — where no single group or community is disproportionately impacted by harmful environmental hazards, disasters, and pollution. Achieving “environmental equity” requires collective action to dismantle historic legacies of marginalization and to rebuild fairer ones in their place, in other words, to do “environmental justice”. Environmental justice is 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.