Oxnard and San Fernando, CA
2019: Parent Pioneers meet in Rosa RiVera Furumoto’s home.
Courtesy of Alonso Garcia.
2019: Grandma Say Tang in her kitchen.
Courtesy of Frances Tang.
Mainstream environmentalism has reserved the term “environmentalist” for a narrow group of actors, neglecting the broad scope of issues that affect our environment and possible solutions.
This narrow vision of environmentalism presents immigrants, working class, and communities of color as uninterested or impeding a clean environment. But scholars and activists show that these communities face greater threats from environmental problems such as air pollution, water contamination, and industrial hazards. They are also vulnerable to environmental solutions such as conservation practices that segregate poor communities, recycling centers that pollute ethnic minority neighborhoods, and population control policies that target immigrant women’s reproduction.
Broadening our vision of environmentalism deepens our understanding of the environment and the diversity of people who protect it. Environmentalists like Parent Pioneers—comprising immigrant mothers and grandmothers—seek equity in their neighborhood through everyday practices of care.