NASHVILLE (WSMV) - From health and education disparities to racial injustices, this year, we've been talking a lot about inequality.

Now two groups are coming together saying it's time to talk about the environment. 

In the 1970's, Bordeaux residents, angry about having to be the "Nashville's dumping ground," fought to get rid of a landfill.

Today, it's a wildlife refuge and there are new environmental issues to tackle like asthma at the James A. Cayce Homes. 

"The James Casey homes is the largest public housing project in Nashville and also has the highest asthma rates for children and adults in Nashville, said Patrick King with Urban Green Lab.  

Then there are the trees. 

"A lack of urban tree cover creates something known as heat islands and those result in a lot of unhealthy health outcomes," said King.

Its Nashville's low income and communities of color that suffer the most.

That's why the Urban Green Lab and TSU are now partnering to create the first ever "Nashville Environmental Justice Initiative." 

"We want to make sure everyone understands these issues whether it's a developer, a builder, or a regulator, a school teacher to teach about these issues in the classroom, and of course, the communities themselves, to let them know that they have a voice at the table," said Todd Lawrence, the executive director of Urban Green Lab. 

Lawrence and King said it's important because environmental issues are social justice issues, and they say you should care because, even if these issues don't impact your neighborhood now, they will. 

"Climate change is only going to exacerbate everything that's happening. So it's not just going to be those low income communities that are suffering from heat islands. It's not just going to be those communities of color who are experiencing hotter summers and wetter winters. Its going to be everyone and these issues are only going to expand," said King.  

For more information on the Nashville Environmental Justice Initiative, visit their website.

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