Environmental Justice: Rooting for Change is a multimedia exhibition by 6 to 14-year-old artists exploring environmental injustices worldwide, from deforestation and contaminated soil to noise pollution and hazardous air quality. The artwork was created in eight KIPP Chicago schools’ visual arts, music, dance, and science classes.
In 1982, an environmental protest in Warren County, North Carolina, sparked the national Environmental Justice movement after the state decided to dispose of toxic soil in a small community with mostly Black residents. Residents and Civil Rights activists quickly called this out as Environmental Racism, citing that while the state population is 20% Black, 75% of the state’s toxic waste sites are located in Black communities. The movement for Environmental Justice was born in the United States with this protest.
While the issues explored in Environmental Justice: Rooting for Change affect us all, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and those with low incomes are disproportionately affected by the impacts of environmental hazards. As environmental policy decisions are made by those in power, the people most affected should be included and centered in the discussions. Environmental Justice is realized when every person, regardless of race or income, lives in a healthy environment.
As students explored Environmental Justice issues from around the world, they simultaneously studied the activist movements happening to fiercely combat the harmful effects of these injustices. The work you see in this exhibition is ultimately a celebration of the people who are using their voices, asserting their power, and organizing to create meaningful change.
Admission is free for all ages. Donations are gladly accepted.
Monday – Friday | 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday | By appointment only
Every second Friday of the month
6:00 to 10:00 PM
Located in the Pilsen Neighborhood on the southern border of the historic Chicago Arts District.
A one-hour tour includes a conversation around each art exhibit, a short video, and an activist button-making activity. We are a small, one-room museum inside the KIPP Chicago regional office, so we can only accommodate groups of 25 people or fewer. Students in grades K-12 are welcome! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a tour.