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Andrea is a writer and researcher based out of Chicago. Andrea has a Bachelor's degree in environmental science from The Ohio State University and a Master's in Environmental Planning and Management at National Taiwan University, where she specialized in climate adaptation and urbanization. She writes for TaiwaneseAmerican.org, and sends out a biweekly newsletter which includes articles on politics, environment, identity, and intersections of race, class, and gender (http://eepurl.com/bPv-F5).
The first season of The City podcast is all about the story of a dump. Specifically, an illegal dump in the predominately black North Lawndale neighborhood in southwest Chicago.
It doesn't seem exciting at first glance, but this podcast weaves together mystery and narrative in an intriguing thread with environmental racism, city politics and corruption, and community organizing. It's all real, but it flows like a thrilling fiction. This podcast has crooked villains, well-meaning city officials, and everyday citizens just trying to get by, and it illustrates so well how American racism pervades everything in society. In this case, we get a bit of a historical background on the environmental justice movement as well as a very archetypal example of how environmental problems are intensely unequal in one of the nation's most infamously corrupt cities.
Overall, the whole season is well-researched, informative, entertaining, and thoughtful, but also infuriating. After all this time, we still have so far to go. But stories like these give us the context we need to move forward, and hopefully not repeat the mistakes in our past.