How Environmental Racism Pollutes Marginalized Communities

Up until a few years ago Ingrid Waldron was best known in her province for teaching sociology at Dalhousie University and advocating for members of the African Nova Scotian community and Indigenous people. Waldron argued these marginalized people were victims of environmental racism, who for centuries were forced to drink tainted water, breathe polluted air and live next to waste dumps. Now those concerns are reaching national and even global audiences, and change is happening in Nova Scotia. That's because in the last few years Waldron has released a best-selling book, There's Something In the Water, and a widely streamed documentary of the same name, done in collaboration with actor Elliot Page. They've made Waldron one of Canada's best known and most influential environmental activists. She discusses her extraordinary life and work with Let's Talk About Water host Jay Famiglietti in this all-new episode.

Show Transcript

Guest Bio

Dr. Ingrid Waldron is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University, the Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project) and the Flagship Co-Lead of the Improving the Health of People of African Descent. Her research, teaching, and community leadership and advocacy work are examining and addressing the health and mental health impacts of structural inequalities within the environment, public infrastructure, health and mental health care, and child welfare in Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee communities.

As the Director of the ENRICH Project over the last 8 years, Dr. Waldron has been investigating the socio-economic, political, and health effects of environmental racism in Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities. The ENRICH Project formed the basis to Dr. Waldron’s first book There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities, which received the 2020 Society for Socialist Studies Errol Sharpe Book Prize and the 2019 Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing.

The 2020 Netflix documentary There’s Something in the Water is based on Dr. Waldron’s book and was co-produced by Waldron, actor Elliot Page, Ian Daniel, and Julia Sanderson, and co-directed by Page and Daniel.

Dr. Waldron is currently developing the first national anti-environmental racism coalition that will bring together partners from multiple sectors to address and advocate around environmental racism, climate change, health inequities, and other social inequalities in Canada.


ENIRCH Project home page

ENRICH Project - Toxic Facility Siting Map and the 'How To' guide for assistance in manipulating and playing with the map

Waldron’s Book, There's Something in the Water

Elliot Page's documentary, There’s Something in the Water, Toronto International Film Festival (also streaming on Netflix)

Additional & Related Links:

Improving the Health of People of African Descent

Elizabeth Hoover, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Policy Management; follow her on twitter, visit her webpage for more information, publications, and books

Robert Bullard, the Father of Environmental Justice; follow him on twitter, visit his webpage for more information, publications, and books

Dayna Scott, Associate Professor & York Research Chair in Environmental Law & Justice in the Green Economy; visit her webpage for more information, publications, and books


Ingrid on twitter


We Act

Green For All

National Associate for the Advancement of Colored People