Emma Mullaney is currently a sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She is studying environmental justice geared towards environmental law. These studies incorporate philosophy, ecology, environmental theory, anthropology, and agricultural and development studies. Emma is also the co-chair of Grassroots, the campus environmental justice group, and a founding member of a local food-gathering and progressive foods initiative. At home in Michigan, Emma pursues veterinary studies, trains horses, and roams the countryside. She is also active in Detroit as a member of Energy Action, a youth coalition striving for sustainability and social justice.
Emma Mullaney’s project consists of organizing forums in Hudson River communities in the Bronx, New York in which community members may discuss the local effects of dirty energy practices and human-induced climate change. The goal is to engage a portion of the population which has been consistently left out of such discussions and to work towards solutions to these problems which are relevant to the under-privileged. The Bronx is one of the poorest districts along the Hudson River and, as such, is always hit the hardest by environmental degradation. However, the most vulnerable communities also have the fewest resources with which to incite change and are often excluded from the few environmental efforts taking place to address problems such as global warming.
Initiating a dialogue which will unite this community around this issue is the crucial first step in securing representation and improvements for them. These forums of community members will lead to speakers and conferences in the area and will empower the community to mobilize. Opening the environmental dialogue up to portions of the population which are systematically silenced is critical to the goals of those working to curb global climate change, those worried for the rare ecosystem which is the Hudson River, the people living in close proximity to such pollution, and to the fishing communities in the Bronx which make their living off the river.