This story was originally published by Undark and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. When Dovie “DJ” Arnold plants trees in Richmond, California, the neighborhood cheers him on. Older residents try to tip him and bring him water. Arnold, who is Black, works with Groundwork Richmond—a local chapter of a national network aiming to improve greenspaces in low-resource communities. He works in many of the same neighborhoods where his grandparents and other families were pushed when they moved to the city following war-effort jobs in the 1940s. The neighborhoods, a result of segregationist policies, have been long passed over for green improvements. “Seeing people happy with the results of what we do,” Arnold said, “it’s really heartwarming.” In the United States, Black and Brown neighborhoods, like those where Arnold works, face higher pollution than their White counterparts. According to new research , the ones that were segregated also have fewer trees. This disparity was made possible by a series of racist policies instituted in both federal and local government agencies that relegated the unsavory parts of cities to Black neighborhoods. One of those policies, which dates to the 1930s, was redlining, in which the federal […]


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