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Yellow traffic sign partially submerged in floodwater
Press Statement August 13, 2021

NAACP Releases New Report: Turning the Tide: Advancing Racial Justice in Federal Flood Infrastructure Projects Report

Yellow traffic sign partially submerged in floodwater

BALTIMORE (August 13, 2021) - Today, the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program (ECJP) released Turning the Tide: Advancing Racial Justice in Federal Flood Infrastructure Projects. This report represents a collaborative effort between the NAACP's Environmental and Climate Justice Program and the Columbia University Master of Public Administration–Environmental Science and Policy Program.

The report aims to answer a series of pressing questions: Is the Army Corps of Engineers planning process equitable? Are community interests represented? And most significantly: are Black communities inadequately protected from current flooding, and will they be protected as flooding exacerbates due to climate change?

"It's easy to see that the management on one side of town, in the business areas, is obviously taken care of first."

- Cierra Evans, Research and Report Advisor, Legal Redress Chair, Longview (TX) NAACP

"I'm interested in disaster resilience and the whole concept of natural disaster and us calling it that. I think it removes the human influence in how our current systems set up communities to be vulnerable to these disasters and actually play a role in orchestrating the response and recovery. Just thinking about the human role in creating what we call 'natural disasters' – not so natural."

- Aimee Okotie-Oyekan, Research and Report Advisor Environmental and Climate Justice Coordinator, NAACP Eugene/Springfield (Oregon)

Black communities are far more frequently and severely impacted by flood events than white communities. What's worse, on average, Black households lose money while white households gain wealth from insurance and relief programs following a disaster - furthering the racial wealth gap in the U.S.

This report serves as a tool to empower NAACP units in their advocacy efforts, both concerning the Army Corps and more generally in pursuit of racial justice in disaster preparedness and recovery.

View the report


About the NAACP:

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation's first civil and human rights law organization, and shares our commitment to equal rights.