Jessica: Tell me about your work with Beyond Toxics. Allison: My work with Beyond Toxics, in collaboration with Centro Latino Americano, involves environmental justice work in the industrial corridor area in West Eugene. I started a couple of years ago with canvassing activities; we would knock on doors and determine how residents felt about their air, because a lot of those communities are being disproportionately exposed to chemicals such as formaldehyde. They face daily exposure to chemicals, and we found this out by asking them whether they had respiratory cardiovascular problems, whether they detected air pollution and when. Many of them detected a lot of odor in that area. Thatâ€™s how I got involved in environmental justice issues in Eugene.
A: I began my research in International Studies and MultiEthnic Studies. In that process, I learned about Latino issues and ended up getting my MA with a focus on human rights and social justice. I learned about Indigenous rights and that was my first in-depth look at the environment and environmental justice through Indigenous communities in Central and South America. I did my research on extractive industries and how they affect communities overseas. I was in Guatemala for my main case study. So before I came to Eugene and worked on environmental justice at a local level, I was not only involved in environmental and social work at an international level, but also at an institutional level. The presence of these extractive industries has affected the way in which people perceive the environment to the extent that when weâ€™re working with them in Peru and South Africa we only try to develop some kind of
J: Can you tell me more about how you got involved with this environmental work?
The journal of the University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program