Environmental Racism as Usual: Covid-19

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In Los Angeles, the skies may be bluer thanks to the Covid-19 slow-down, but the impact of environmental racism on low income people of color persists. A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that where people have been exposed to even slightly higher levels of air pollution, the Covid-19 death rate is significantly higher. In this episode, Laura speaks with community organizers Cindy Donis and Laura Cortez from East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice in East L.A. They’re on the front line of the struggle to organize their communities in the face of polluting industries and now Covid-19.

“We do not want to go back to normal. That is not the way it should go. It was never OK for us what was normal for other people. We need a different system. One that takes into account race equity and gender equity.”


  • Cindy Donis, Community Organizer, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
  • Laura Cortez, Community Organizer, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

For more transectional perspectives on Covid-19, click here to check out our Forward Thinking on Covid-19 series.