Season 1, Episode 4

Bag Bans and Border Wall

In conversation with river-protector Tricia Cortez and Malawian environmental activist Gloria Majiga-Komoto

To truly understand environmental justice, we need to better understand its relationship to social justice and racial justice. As we learned in episode two of our show, decisions are being made about people of color and indigenous communities, with very little understanding about their lived experiences. Challenges with racism, socio-economic struggles and geopolitical realities are at the crux of environmental justice. On “Bag Bans and Border Wall”, we're going to dissect the concept with two incredible women in very different parts of the world who are fighting the plastics industry head on.

First we’ll meet fierce river protector Tricia Cortez, Executive Director of the Rio Grande International Study Center. In addition to leading a decade-long fight against plastic bags in Laredo, Texas, Tricia fought and won a groundbreaking battle against the Trump administration on plans to build a 30-ft steel wall through her hometown. You’ll also hear from the 2021 Goldman Prize Awardee, Gloria Majiga-Komoto. Speaking to us from her home in Malawi, Gloria shares her story of a 4-year battle against the plastic industry in support of a national ban on thin plastics. Her passion and dedication to her community is evident, as she shares her struggle against political corruption, sexism, and industry intimidation.

Tricia and Gloria's courage, organizing power and relentless will to protect their community demonstrates how important it is to define leadership by those who stand the most to lose.

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Resources

It’s Over! The Border Wall in Laredo is Officially Dead: EarthJustice Press Release 

Fund Our Future campaign

2021 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for Africa: Gloria Majiga-Kamoto

Gloria in NPR 

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