WE ACT visits the MCS Fifth Floor

by Naomi and Zedrek, 7th Grade

On Friday March 1st, 2013 The Manhattan Country School’s Fifth Floor met with Ogannaya Dotson-Newman, a representative from West Harlem Environmental Action, WE ACT. WE ACT is an organization that works with people in low income communities of color that have bad health conditions to advocate for a healthier environment. WE ACT is working and fighting for environmental justice. For example, low income communities of color in Northern Manhattan have higher rates of hospitalization for childhood asthma than wealthier areas, in part because Northern Manhattan has more bus depots, waste treatment facilities, and other toxic hot spots than wealthier neighborhoods. For example, we found out that most bus depots are above 96th Street. This is because the city thinks that these ugly toxic machines don’t fit into the glamour of New York City and instead they should go in low profile neighborhoods so tourists don’t see them. She discussed what WE ACT was doing to change the situation with many poor communities in New York and what we could do if we wanted to change things in our communities as well.

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