This lower tax base leaves their communities under-resourced and unable to provide struggling children with the support they need to succeed, and that, in turn, sucks children into the “school-to-prison pipeline,” the most common label for the overly harsh disciplinary policies that push low-income students of color into the juvenile justice system.
We need to view climate change and the environment, Patterson stresses, as civil rights issues that deeply intersect with the various inequalities that characterize our society and economy.
In recent months, Patterson’s program at the NAACP has performed a hard-hitting analysis of one of the consequences of our unjust, undemocratic energy system — the disparate incidence of utility shut-offs on poor people of color and the devastating human impact of these shut-offs on some of our most vulnerable.
The NAACP has also brought much-needed attention to a crisis of lead and other contamination affecting East Chicago, Indiana, a low-income community of color. You can read more about this work and how you can get involved.