Nashville Environmental Justice Initiative
The Nashville Environmental Justice Initiative (NEJI) works to educate community stakeholders on the tenets of environmental justice and collaborative problem solving that protects and empowers Nashville’s most marginalized communities from environmental hazards. Through a partnership between Urban Green Lab and Tennessee State University, the initiative is designed to grow a culture of systemic learning around environmental justice in the city by exploring the issues facing marginalized communities today, developing impactful educational solutions, and connecting thought leaders to better mobilize their collective impact so Nashville grows responsibly for its people, profit, and the planet.
Examples of Environmental Racism in Nashville
Nashville's Black Bottom neighborhood existed in what is now known as "SoBro" from 1832 up until the Great Depression era. Black Bottom was a culturally rich area and in 1880, Nashville's population was 40% Black.
North Nashville's Fight Over I-40
Though I-40 was originally slated to be built near Vanderbilt University, plans quickly changed to cut right through a cultural epicenter for Nashville's Black community. In the late 1960s, A citizen-led group fought against the location of this construction but ultimately lost after a battle at the US Supreme Court. Within one year of construction, homes in the area had lost 30% of their value and never recovered. Dozens of businesses were closed forever.
- An African American Community's Fight Over Interstate 40, Tennessee 4 Me
- History Repeats Itself in North Nashville, Nashville Scene
James A. Cayce Homes Air Quality Findings
The James A. Cayce Homes public housing community has among the highest rates of asthma is all of Davidson County. Indoor and outdoor pollutants contribute to this human health crisis including highway emissions from I-24 with no protection and prevalent mold in the homes.
- HIDE presents air quality findings at MVA 15-Year Mini-Grant dissemination workshop, Vanderbilt University
- The Promise Podcast Series, WPLN
The Bordeaux community has been a victim of environmental racism repeatedly over the past several decades. Most notably, the Bordeaux Landfill was built inside of one of Nashville's most prominent Black communities. The community continues to battle to create a safe and healthy environment in their neighborhood.
- Environmental Racism?, Nashville Scene
- Bordeaux to receive another waste facility?, Pride Publishing Group
- Bordeaux Residents Continue To Fight Food Waste Facility, News Channel 5 Nashville
- Residents Fight To Stop Liquid Waste Facility From Moving To Their Neighborhood, News Channel 5
- A Tennessee community wonders whose side TDEC is on: theirs, or the local landfill’s, Nashville Scene