When Donald Trump was inaugurated in 2017, environmental activists feared the loss of many important, decades-old environmental protections. From stripping away oil refinery safety measures to lifting pesticide bans, some of the most pessimistic predictions for Trump administration's environmental policy are now currently in development.

Though the detrimental effects of environmental deregulation will eventually impact all Americans, communities of color have historically been the first and most intensely affected populations. Scholars have deemed this occurrence as Environmental Racism: the extraordinary likelihood people of color will be the first to deal with environmental crises.

Often the “environment” in environmental racism is linked to climate change or meteorological events, yet the inconvenient truth is much larger — including man-made and natural environments. The global, universal nature of environmental racism is why its occurrence is so dangerous and important to identify.

Instances of environmental racism are varied and complex, as well as systemic and not a single issue or event. More often, however, environmental racism exists as either chronic exposure to unsafe conditions or compounding legislative apathy surrounding the health and well-being of communities of color.