Intersectional Environmentalism:
Generational Uproot

by Nneka Jones

Boston, USA – July 2021


Finding This Mural

This mural can be found in the school yard on the south side of the Donald McKay School

Donald McKay School, Cottage Street, Boston, MA, USA

Google Map

Story Behind This Mural

Artist Statement

“The protection of people and the preservation of the planet are two topics dealing with social and environmental justice. For many reasons, one often views them independently of each other, ignoring the fact that one directly affects the other. ‘Intersectional Environmentalism: Generational Uproot’ is a 40 ft x 25 ft mural located at the Donald McKay K-8 School in Boston, Massachusetts with thought-provoking symbolism that represents a more inclusive version of environmentalism and activism. Using bold, graphic imagery almost like an oversized stamp—this hand-painted mural serves as a reminder and warning of the extent of damage and potential dangers affecting future generations of marginalized communities.

Viewed from the bottom up, hues of blues encompass large waves that are stacked beyond the windows of the building, giving the impression that water is filling the room. This represents the idea of rising sea levels due to the effects of climate change, a huge problem for Boston today; spilling over into neighborhoods and affecting the futures of black and brown children. The bold portrait of a young girl and her iconic puffs is layered with colors and overlapping circles for a metaphoric play on the idea of intersections but can also be viewed as a split/ divided target symbol, dismantling this cycle of injustice on vulnerable communities. My hope is that viewers can not only appreciate the beauty of the young girl and fall in love with the transparencies and overlapping colors, but also spend enough time observing and analyzing the mural that they can leave with a deeper understanding.”

— Nneka jones

The Focus

Environmental Justice

Action Steps

• Educate yourself about how environmental impacts affect people differently based on their socioeconomic and racial background.
• When thinking about environmental issues, take an intersectional approach.
• Vote for candidates who prioritize environmental justice and climate justice.
• Research what environmental injustices are occurring in your commuinty and volunteer or donate to support advocacy groups.