Equitable Development

Discovering Columbus: Re-Reading the Past

Most of my students have trouble with the idea that a book – especially a textbook – can lie. That's why I start my U.S. history class by stealing a student's purse.

As the year opens, my students may not know when the Civil War was fought or what James Madison or Frederick Douglass did; but they know that a brave fellow named Christopher Columbus discovered America. Indeed, this bit of historical lore may be the only knowledge class members share in common.

Struggles Unite Native Peoples

The following is from an interview with chief Bill Redwing Tayac of the Piscataway people, conducted by Phil Tajitsu Nash. In it, Chief Tayac stresses the unity of native peoples throughout the Americas and outlines some of thei rmany struggles, in particular the fight to maintain their land.

My name is Billy Redwing Tayac. I am the hereditary chief of the Piscataway people, who are indigenous to Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia. Our present ceremonial ground and spiritual and political center is located in what is called Port Tobacco, in Maryland. Over the years, I have worked for the reclamation of Indian people. We have so many people who have lost their way, who don't know anything about their traditions or religion. This work involves "de-Angloization," or bringing our people back to the earth, back to being Indian people. It is hard to be an Indian in any city because we are separated from the earth by concrete. We can'? feel the power of the earth, the wind, the trees.

Metro Rail, Social Justice, and Urban Form

The recent Los Angeles uprising is not the inchoate and criminal cry of a statistically minor underclass that could not climb the ladder of the American dream. It is rather a defining moment in American history, an event which, for those who choose to see, breaks through our denial of the increasing disparity between the haves and the have-nots. "Fixing" the underclass by "rebuilding Los Angeles" misses the point completely. The foundation of any true "rebuilding" of Los Angeles is the economic, social and psychological empowerment of all its people.

Why Migration?

Years of work and arduous debate went into the writing of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, a vast revamping of the law aimed above all at stemming the flow of undocumented immigrants. Yet the flood of unauthorized entries continued to grow unabated. A new law signed in November, 1990 allowed increasing numbers of immigrants with a flexible cap of about 700,000. Yet 1991 entries reached over one million. What is it about immigration policy that makes it so ineffective?

Optimum Human Population Size

Although the tremendous size and rate of growth of the human population now influences virtually every aspect of society, rarely does the public debate, or even consider, the question of what would be an optimum number of human beings to live on Earth at any given time. While there are many possible optima depending on criteria and conditions, there is a solid scientific basis for determining the bounds of possibilities. All optima must lie between the minimum viable population size, MVP (Gilpin and Soule, 1986; Soule, 1987) and the biophysical carrying capacity of the planet (Daily and Ehrlich, 1992). At the lower end, 50 to 100 people in each of several groups, for a total of about 500, would constitute an MVP.

Editors' Notes

No argument is more likely to seriously injure the fragile alliance between environmentalists and communities of color – and the growing environmental justice movement which so many have worked so hard to build – than the debate over U.S. immigration policy. Already on the defensive about the white, upper-class male character of their leadership and their behind-the-scenes role in negotiating policies with which low-income communities must live, environmentalists are now accused of legitimizing a racist anti-immigrant movement. Their response is that people of color and social justice advocates for immigrants' and women's rights do not take seriously the global population explosion and its inevitable damage to the earth and all its inhabitants.

An Indigenous Perspective on Feminism, Militarism, and the Environment

By Winona LaDuke 

Indigenous women understand that our struggle for autonomy is related to the total need for structural change in this society. We realize that indigenous people in industrial society have always been and will always be in a relationship of war, because industrial society has declared war on indigenous peoples, on land based peoples.

To look within a bigger context, when I say indigenous peoples, I'm not only talking about Indians. All people come from land-based cultures. Some have been colonized longer than I have, which means they have got more work to do.

Bringing It All Back Home

By U.S. Representative Ronald V. Dellums

In the summer of 1993, the President and Congress accepted the federal Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) recommendation to close Alameda Naval Air Station and the Alameda Naval Aviation Depot, the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Naval Station Treasure Island and the Oakland Naval Hospital among other major and minor military facilities in the Bay Area. Prior decisions had already closed Hamilton Air Field and Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard.

Community Jobs in the Green Economy

Community Jobs in the Green Economy,  is a reflection of our shared belief in the potential of the “green economy” to generate quality jobs in our nation’s low-income commun%altities and communities of color. We believe that America and the Bay Area can move toward energy independence while simultaneously creating high-skill and high-wage jobs for residents of low-income urban communities – residents who have not historically benefited from economic development strategies. Our goal is to provide a roadmap for

Place and Diverse Communities: The Search for a Perfect Fit

A Sense of Place

0ver the last four years, I've been designing and implementing urban environmental education programs for a New England-based, non-profit, recreation and conservation organization called the Mountain Club (AMC). In the past, we've struggled not only to find the most appropriate participant group for our programs, but more importantly, to find the right setting, or "base," from which to conduct our work. For example, should our programs focus on one particular Boston-area park, or should they incorporate parks across the city? Should we work with one neighborhood in particular, or should we work with community centers city-wide? We've been struggling to define and establish a sense of place for our programs within the culturally diverse urban arena.

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