Environmental Inequality

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  • On a Monday morning, a 10-year-old climbs into his mother’s Mercedes-Benz GLC to commute from their half-a-million dollar home on Vinsetta Boulevard in Royal Oak to Shrine Catholic Grade School
  • His mother guides the family’s luxury SUV through the school caravan, stops in front of the school’s front entrance
  • the boy hops out of the vehicle with a hearty and healthy lunch in hand. Before he closes the car door his mom exclaims, “Hold on sweetie, your phone!”, and hands him his iPhone 6s. He feels healthy, energetic, content, and does not even think to question the quality of the tap water in his Contigo water bottle.
  • Meanwhile, a 10-year-old boy walks 6 blocks from his home on Frank Street in Flint to his school, Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary
  • he worries about his mom becoming increasingly fatigued from working the third shift at the Starlite Coney Island, and caring for his sick grandmother whose illnesses have worsened because of the lead-tainted water. He tries not to think about the rashes from the lead-tainted water which have left scars on his skin. He is always tired, has trouble concentrating in school, and generally feels unwell.
  • He still feels hungry after eating the last, small portion of cereal that was left in his house. He holds onto hope that the school lunch will be enough to hold him over until he microwaves leftovers for him and his grandmother that evening. He refocuses his attention on what’s right in front of him and prays his class still has some of the bottled water that the Woodside Church donated earlier that month.
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