All environmental justice Events

This panel brought together frontline communities, including Indigenous elders from the Pacific Northwest and environmental justice advocates from rural Appalachia and the Gulf South. Drawing on intergenerational knowledge and the lived experience of struggle, speakers shined a spotlight on the costs, public health impacts, and environmental damage caused by extractive and fossil fuel-based energy initiatives. They also addressed the power of people around the world to come together around truly clean energy solutions — solutions that contribute to the regeneration of the air, land, and water, and to the flourishing of communities that have been sacrifice zones for decades and longer.

Moderator * Beka Economopoulos, The Natural History Museum, Pacific Northwest


* Rueben George, Sacred Trust Initiative, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

* Yvette Arellano, Fenceline Watch, Texas/Gulf Coast

* Germaine Patterson, Women for a Healthy Environment, Pittsburgh/Mon Valley, PA

* Heaven Sensky, Center for Coalfield Justice, Washington County, PA

* Gillian Graber, Protect PT, Westmoreland/Allegheny County, PA

Roundtable co-organized by @BreatheProject and @The Natural History Museum at @Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Pittsburgh, PA Thursday, September 22, 2022

In July 2021, the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation transported a 25-foot totem pole from Washington State to Washington DC, stopping at sacred and historic places under threat from dams, climate change, and resource extraction. As the pole traveled, it drew lines of connection — honoring, uniting and empowering communities working to protect sacred places. It carried the spirit of the lands it visited and the power and prayers of communities along the way — ultimately delivering these prayers, power and demands to the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress in Washington DC, and culminating in an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

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This video profiles the activist science of the Watershed Institute, produced in the context of the 2018 exhibition Kwel’ Hoy: Many Struggles, One Front.

Developed by The Natural History Museum with the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation, Ramapough Lenape Nation, Watershed Institute, Princeton Environmental Institute and Center for the Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center, the exhibition connected the Watershed Institute’s efforts to protect the local watershed from the proposed PennEast Pipeline to the nearby Ramapough Lenape Nation’s struggle to stop the Pilgrim Pipeline, and the Lummi’s struggles to protect the waters of the Pacific Northwest from oil tankers and pipelines.

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As part of The Natural History Museum’s exhibition Mining the HMNS, on display at Project Row Houses in 2016, the NHM developed a series of pepper’s ghost hologram dioramas, featuring a docent tour of the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences (HMNS) and a toxic tour with communities living along the fenceline of Houston’s fossil fuel infrastructure.

This mini-diorama depicts a hologram of two members of the local environmental justice group TEJAS giving one of their “toxic tours” of East Houston’s Manchester neighborhood. The installation was part of The Natural History Museum’s exhibition “Mining the HMNS”, on display at Project Row Houses in 2016.

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Is the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences a museum, or a PR front for the fossil fuel industry? This was the central question of “Mining the HMNS”, a 2016 exhibition by The Natural History Museum that interrogates the symbiotic relationship between the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences and its corporate sponsors.

In this video, NHM’s Beka Economopoulos offers a guided tour of this exhibition, which excavated key narratives and displays in the Houston museum, and highlighted the voices and stories that are excluded–those of the low-income predominantly Latino and African-American fence-line communities along the Houston Ship Channel.

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