Children’s Book: Life Before the GND

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The benefits of the Green New Deal (GND), proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, need to be spread equally, with the most historically marginalized groups being the main beneficiaries. For too long, vulnerable communities have been forced to bear a disproportionate amount of environmental burdens created by society. New and interdisciplinary legislation such as the GND have the potential to help bring justice to these disproportionate groups. Our book will address this in a way that is easy for all ages to understand, though our target reading level is children who are six to ten years of age.The goal of our children’s book is to bring attention to the environmental justice movement and to specifically address the disproportionate impact of climate change burdens on minority and low-income communities. We think the mainstream integration of this book would further the goals of the Green New Deal, particularly by empowering and educating a younger generation to protect the environment from resource exploitation and pollution.This book illustrates a set of environmental factors alongside a set of social factors that accompany the socioeconomic and environmental crises facing the United States in the present. The environmental factors mentioned include sea-level rise, wildfires, flooding, and pollution. The social factors include racism and food security (specifically, access to healthy, nutritious food). Set in the state of California, readers join a Grandmother as she reminisces over her youth, a time before the GND. The granddaughter looks out her window in the far future, thankful she never had to endure such injustice. The granddaughter lives in a clean, green city years after the Green New Deal had been enacted. There is less smog in California in the future, less pollution, and life is generally more conducive to an equitable society.

This product is a learning artifact from the Spring 2021 semester of the Honors and UAP SuperStudio courses (UH-4504, UAP-4914, and UH-4514). Course instructors: Ralph Hall, Nikki Lewis, Amy Showalter, Zack Underwood, Anne-Lise Velez, and Daron Williams



Green New Deal, environmental justice, equity, wildfires, food security, gentrification, sea level rise, flooding, air pollution, disadvantaged communities, climate change