Scholar-Activist Katharine Morris is organizing Seaside Sounds for Environmental Justice
Katharine Morris, a scholar-activist for environmental justice, is organizing the first annual Seaside Sounds for Environmental Justice on July 15, 2022 at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Katharine, who was recently profiled by Yahoo's In The Know, is organizing Seaside Sounds for Environmental Justice in hopes of raising awareness and to inspire action on the environmental issues harming public health and the local ecosystem in Bridgeport while increasing pride in the community by celebrating its beautiful culture and history.
According to Katharine, Seaside Park is a historically significant public greenspace afflicted by 3 major environmental stressors. The Wheelabrator, the largest incinerator in Connecticut, the PSEG fossil fuel power-plant and the water contamination of the Long Island Sound.
“Disproportionate exposure to legacy pollution sources leads to health inequities, like increased rates of asthma, lung cancer, heat stroke, and other respiratory diseases,” Katharine said. “Climate change will exacerbate negative health outcomes.”
Seaside Sounds for Environmental Justice will be a large-scale community event that educates community members and stakeholders on local Environmental Justice issues to facilitate power-building and collective action.
Community-based organizations currently working on environmental justice, climate action, social justice, and community empowerment will table the event, thus educating attendees and recruiting members to get involved in their essential work.
While these organizations present on their own land stewardship and/or environmental and climate justice related action items, local artists and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to share their goods and talent, thus spotlighting the community's culture and capacity to thrive.
“Seaside Sounds will also share the beautiful cultural significance of Bridgeport in the historic arc towards Black Liberation,” Katharine said. “In doing so, it will prevent folks from thinking this is just another bad thing about Bridgeport when in reality, the city has so much to offer.”
Katharine’s dream is for residents of Bridgeport and other Environmental Justice communities in Connecticut to develop a greater appreciation for the City and Seaside Park, inspiring a greater sense of collective responsibility to address these harmful Environmental Justice and climate issues through collaborative action and land stewardship.
An Alumna of the Mentoring and Scholarship programs at Daniel Trust Foundation, Katharine holds a Master of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science and Anthropology from the University of Connecticut.
While a student at the University of Connecticut, Katharine founded UConn Collaborative Organizing (UCCO) to promote solidarity and intersectionality in social and environmental justice movements.
Katharine's TEDxUConn talk, “How to Collaborate for Environmental Justice,” is a call to action discussing environmental racism, health inequities, and how to organize your community using radical love and intersectionality.
In the future, Katharine plans to pursue a PhD in Cognitive Science to strengthen collective efficacy and policy action at the intersections of environmental justice, health equity, and climate action. These days, she organizes grassroots and legislative action and speaks on various panels and podcasts, while serving on the board for CT Equity Now.
For more information about Seaside Sounds for Environmental Justice and to support Katharine’s fundraiser for the event, please click here.
To learn more about Katharine’s work, please visit KatMorris.me.