Earlier this week, Lisa P. Jackson, the former Chief of Staff for New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine, was sworn in as the first African-American to become head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Buzz is excited about Obama’s pick for a number of reasons.
She’s a Princeton University graduate, like our other favorite African-American woman, First Lady Michelle Obama. Jackson has already had experience with the EPA. She helped the state of New Jersey take steps to clean up many of its polluted areas. And in an interview with Essence.com, Jackson said that she is committed to raising the issue of environmental injustice to try to solve the problem how a lot of African-Americans end up living in heavily polluted and environmentally unsafe areas.
In the interview, Jackson told Essence.com, “For a long time, I think the Black community thought that environmentalism is something that you worry about after some of the more pressing issues that face our community, whether it be racial prejudice or unemployment or housing or other issues that tend to be more urban-focused. But I think there is an increasing realization…that the issues of the urban community include the environment.”
She said that she wants the agency to become more “open to reaching out” to African-Americans in urban areas. Well, she was born in Philly, but raised in New Orleans. So she seems to be a city girl at heart. The Buzz thinks that will come in handy when reaching out to African-Americans living in cities, and pushing the point that the environment should be important to them, too!