Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Obama Administration Convenes Environmental Leaders at Historic White House Environmental Justice Forum Featuring Five Cabinet Secretaries
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Five Cabinet Secretaries and senior officials from a wide range of Federal agencies and offices participated in the first White House Forum on Environmental Justice Wednesday, December 15, 2010, illustrating the Obama Administration's commitment to ensuring all Americans have strong Federal protection from environmental and health hazards.
More than 100 environmental justice leaders from across the country attended the day-long event, which featured White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
“Low-income and minority communities often shoulder an unacceptable amount of pollution in this country, diminishing their economic potential and threatening the health of millions of American families,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The White House Forum underlines the commitment across the Administration to integrating environmental justice into the missions of Federal agencies, and ensuring this really is a country of equal opportunity for all.”
"This administration has taken unprecedented steps to ensure that environmental protection reaches every community. We want to put an end to the days when public health and economic potential are harmed by disproportionate exposure to pollution,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “Our continued success relies on close collaboration with our federal partners and strong input from the groups and individuals engaged at the community level. This meeting is an important way to advance all of those goals.”
"For decades, our nation's environmental problems and threats have been heaped disproportionately on America's most vulnerable communities. This is unacceptable, and it is unconscionable. But through the aggressive enforcement of federal environmental laws in every community, I believe we can and must change the status quo and ensure environmental justice for all Americans,” said Attorney General Eric Holder."
“The Obama administration is committed to making environmental justice a central part of our everyday decision-making process,” Secretary Salazar said. “Today's forum speaks to our high-level engagement in strengthening communities that are too often left out and left behind.”
“The Administration's focus on environmental justice includes the opening of substantive opportunities to the 21st century green economy for our minority and low-income communities,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Fostering and leveraging the tremendous untapped human resources that exist across the nation is the smart and right thing to do. After all, it is possible to do well while doing good. Together, we can ensure the U.S. economy is both more reflective of our diversity and more robust in the face of global competitiveness.”
“We understand that people's health is determined not just by what happens in their doctor's office but also by their environment -- where you live, work, go to school, and play, what you eat and drink, the air you breathe, and how you get around. We are committed to collaborating across the government to put the environment at the center of our health agenda,” said Secretary Sebelius.
"The Department of Energy is committed to environmental justice and to promoting healthy communities for all Americans," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The Obama Administration is investing in clean energy to not only improve the environment, but to strengthen the economy, save families money and create jobs in all communities."
The Forum highlighted initiatives underway across the Federal Government that affect environmental justice communities. Discussions centered on the Obama Administration's commitment to ensuring that communities overburdened by pollution – particularly minority, low-income and indigenous communities – have the opportunity to enjoy the health and economic benefits of a clean environment. The Forum also provided an opportunity for environmental justice and community leaders and officials from state, local and tribal governments to engage in a conversation with Administration officials about environmental justice. These leaders offered their vision for healthier and more sustainable communities during panel discussions throughout the day.
Panels focused on:
• How investments in the clean energy economy are expanding green job opportunities in environmental justice communities and beyond.
• How existing legal authorities are being used to more fully engage communities that have been left out and left behind.
• How the Federal Government is addressing environmental and health disparities in communities throughout the country.
• How low-income communities can work with Federal, state and local governments to prepare for the environmental and health impacts of climate change.
On September 22, 2010, Administrator Jackson and Chair Sutley reconvened the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice for the first time in more than a decade. At a White House meeting attended by five Cabinet members, the Administration recommitted to advancing the mandate of Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” which states that each agency, with the law as its guide, should make environmental justice part of its mission.