Linn-Benton NAACP begins collecting data for environmental wellness survey

Riley LeCocq, News Reporter

The Linn-Benton NAACP has launched a survey collecting data on resident environmental health in an attempt to advocate for supportive policies.

The survey, due on April 30, is targeted to assess the environmental wellness of Black, Indigineous and people of color residing in the Linn-Benton Counties area. All residents, however, are welcomed and encouraged to complete the survey to provide the committee with more information. 

“We know that BIPOC communities are disproportionately burdened by environmental harms in the United States and want to know what that looks like here in Benton and Linn Counties,” said students Mariana Cortes, Roman Patchell, Madeline Judokusumo, Halle Fisher and faculty mentor Christy Anderson Brekken. The students are involved in Oregon State University’s Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and the Arts program, which the NAACP chapter partnered with to create the study. 

According to the students in the URSA program, the Linn-Benton NAACP formed the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee last year to identify community needs in this area. 

“Doing a survey in collaboration with the URSA Engage program was a great way for us to get involved, learn from and contribute to the Linn-Benton NAACP branch,” the URSA students said. 

All responses are anonymous and can be provided in both English and Spanish. The five to 10 minute survey includes questions about people’s experience working, living and studying in the mid-Willamette Valley. From these responses the committee hopes to draft plans and advocate for policies that will support residents in the areas of most need. 

According to the URSA students, the data received from the survey will be compared with publicly available data. The environmental justice inventory will examine the intersections of environment and demographics such as race, income and ethnicity, among other factors. 

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