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About This Issue

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As the new editor, I am pleased to add another volume to the nation’s only journal dedicated to the intersection of Race, Poverty, and the Environment. This issue, we seek to knit together an analysis of transportation equity that can help build the movement for civil rights and environmental justice. Featuring contributions from leading practitioners in the field and a cross-section of voices from the grassroots, it paints a picture of a transportation and land use system that harms urban quality of life; damages the planetary environment; promotes wars for resource domination; and supports racism and class-based segregation. Our current transportation system puts poor people, people of color, and the public at large at the receiving end of damaging resource extraction, pollution, and slow, dangerous transit.

The New Face of Agriculture

Alternative models to corporate agribusiness

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For thousands of years, small family farmers across the globe have grown food for their local communities, planting diverse crops in healthy soil, recycling organic matter, following nature’s rainfall patterns, and maintaining our rich biodiversity. Today, this agricultural system—which was built on knowledge accumulated and passed on from one farming generation to the next—faces both an environmental and moral crisis.

What’s called “modern industrial agriculture” is replacing family farms with corporate farms, and biodiversity with monocultures. This agricultural model is trading local food security for global commerce.

Engendering Global Justice: A Different Vision

What can ensure that globalization is a truly progressive force that allows us all to live in a world where, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, the winds of the world blow freely all about us, but we are not blown off our feet?

My answer is simple: women.

In my years of working at the Global Fund for Women, the largest grantmaking foundation in the world that focuses exclusively on advancing women’s rights internationally, I have had the privilege of hearing from thousands of women’s groups.   These groups work on such issues as the environment, health, education, water rights, inheritance rights, trafficking and early marriage. In their work they are fired by a very different imagination—a vision of a world that is not defined by brute force or military power. They are able to envision a world where conflicts are resolved using words instead of weapons. They are able to conceive of a world where a truly “free market” will decide that the value of a teacher or child care worker is reflected in a salary that shows how much society truly values children, education and community over profit margins. 

Engendering Global Justice: Women First

A tool for prioritizing women in trade deals

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In the village of San Ignacio, Mexico, Felicitas Villalobos weaves baskets. For Felicitas and many of the Tarahumara Indians living in a poverty-stricken region, creating baskets is one of the only ways to earn an income.  At 28, she is a mother of two small children and the sole wage earner for her family.  Her baskets can sell for nearly $100 a week on the export market where she can earn up to three times as much as a factory worker.  Still, because of taxes imposed on exports since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), her earnings do not meet Mexico’s official living wage of $445 per month, which includes the average cost of food, clothing and housing for a family of four.  However, if the taxes were removed, Felicitas's earnings would increase by $66 per month, bringing her income to just above the living wage and providing a more stable life for her family.

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