Press Release | April 22, 2021

New Season of Broken Ground Podcast Focuses on Women in the South Fighting for Environmental Justice

Conversation series uncovers what drives these leaders to tackle environmental problems

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — In celebration of Earth Day, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)  launched its latest season of Broken Ground, talking with women in the South who are on the frontlines of the fight for environmental justice. The latest conversation series aims to highlight some of the women who are changing the environmental landscape with their leadership.

Everyone deserves the basic right to clean air, safe drinking water and to live in an environment free from harmful pollution. Yet far too often, communities of color and people with limited financial means bear the brunt of environmental degradation. Over the course of four episodes, listeners will hear directly from women who have been trailblazing leaders in confronting these injustices and why they are driven to provide a healthy environment for all.

“We have to grapple with the exclusionary aspects of a certain type of environmentalism. It’s not going to be just conservationists who turn the tide on global climate change,” said Chandra Taylor, Leader of SELC’s Environmental Justice Initiative and featured in an upcoming episode. “It’s going to take more people. It’s going to take the everyday environmentalist.”

Taylor is just one of the many voices featured on this season of Broken Ground. Other featured guests include Catherine Coleman Flowers, known for exposing the widespread lack of basic sanitation in the rural South, and Heather McTeer Toney, Climate Justice Liaison at the Environmental Defense Fund and Senior Advisor to Moms Clean Air Force, who believes that Southern Black women have long been environmental activists, in part because so many lived in polluted communities and are impacted by toxic chemicals every day.

“This series of Broken Ground allows us to hear directly from some incredible women who are on the frontlines, working with communities across the South that are experiencing the burden and inequalities of environmental degradation,” said Erin Malec, SELC’s Director of Communications. “Environmental justice is paramount in the South, given its long history of racial injustice and inequity. We’ve seen time and again that women in the South are often the first to step forward when they see harm happening in their communities. This season lets our listeners hear from some of those women as they share their inspiring perspectives on fighting for environmental justice.”

Broken Ground is focused on environmental stories and voices in the South that don’t always get the attention they deserve. The podcast’s previous season explores how Southerners living along the coast are navigating sea level rise and ever-higher tides, providing a powerful look at the ways climate impacts collide with underlying inequities.

Broken Ground can be found on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever listeners get their podcasts.

Broken Ground was nominated for a 2021 iHeart Radio Award for Best Green podcast. The New York Times recently featured the podcast in its Earth Day 2021 roundup of climate podcasts, calling it “an environmental ‘This American Life’ for the South.” Last year, Apple featured Broken Ground as one of the “Making Earth Whole” podcasts for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.


Southern Environmental Law Center

For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With more than 80 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region.

Broken Ground

Broken Ground is a podcast by the Southern Environmental Law Center digging up environmental stories in the South that don’t always get the attention they deserve, and giving a voice to the people bringing those stories to light.

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Scott Smallwood

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Phone: 404-521-9900
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