DECEMBER 23, 2011
In the latest federal cash giveaway to help “underserved” communities, a dance theater in Utah is getting thousands from the government to educate low-income youth about the evils of air pollution.
The Repertory Dance Theater in Salt Lake City will use its $25,000 grant to help kids understand the impacts of air pollution on the environment and their health. How, exactly? By conducting elementary-school arts programs with an environmental twist. They will include “innovative lectures, demonstrations and movement classes,” according to this month’s grant announcement.
This particular allocation is just a snippet of the Obama Administration’s multi-million-dollar “environmental justice” initiative, which aims to help low-income populations obtain the same degree of protection from health and environmental hazards as wealthy communities. Three similar grants were also awarded this month, two in Colorado and another in Utah.
So far the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has doled out north of $10 million to leftwing groups—including some dedicated to helping illegal immigrants—that teach black, Latino and indigenous folks how to recycle, reduce carbon emissions through “weatherization” and participate in “green jobs” training. The money will continue flowing in the coming year, according to EPA bulletins “seeking applicants for an additional $1 million in environmental justice small grants” to be awarded in 2012.
“Community-based action and participation in environmental decision-making are critical to building healthy and sustainable communities,” EPA senior environmental justice advisor Lisa Garcia said this month. “By supporting local environmental justice projects in under-served communities, we are expanding the conversation on environmentalism and advancing environmental justice in communities across the nation.”
Let’s take a look at some of the groups that have cashed Uncle Sam’s environmental justice checks in the last year; a New Jersey nonprofit used its government cash to “educate and train” migrant farm workers from Mexico and Guatemala about “pesticide exposure” risks. A migrant farm workers’ group in Missouri spent it on a program to “increase awareness about the dangers of sun and heat exposure” in migrant communities.
Other community groups have used their money to teach residents of public housing about recycling, senior citizens about reducing their “carbon footprint,” inner city residents about “climate-change readiness” and students at a middle school with a “disparate economic and racial/ethnic composition” how to “identify and mitigate air pollution and solid waste disposal issues.” Here’s a detailed list of recipients and their mission.
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