Rev. Vernon K. Walker, Jr. (STH ’16) Featured in Wbur Local Coverage

The following is an excerpt from  “Cambridge nonprofit gives away ACs to help residents beat the heat,” published on in Wbur Local Coverage. The original article can be found here.

Cambridge nonprofit gives away ACs to help residents beat the heat

As summer arrived early in New England over the weekend, a nonprofit in Boston handed out air conditioners and cooling kits packed with water, thermometers and adhesives meant to cool the skin.

Reverend Vernon K. Walker, senior project manager with the group, says the purpose of Sunday’s event was two-fold: Cooling down residents in the short-term, and educating them on the impacts of extreme heat and climate change in the long-term.

“It’s not just about giving those resources out, but we also want to empower people with knowledge so that they will not underestimate the gravity of heat waves in extreme heat,” Vernon said.

Vernon said the group is concerned that communities of color are likely to be disproportionately affected by the impact of climate change. For instance, he noted many urban residents live in “heat islands,” which regularly experience hotter temperatures than those with less asphalt and more trees.

“For us, climate justice is racial justice,” Vernon said. “We can’t separate the two because we know that racial injustice, the people that are disproportionately affected by racial injustice are the same folks that are disproportionately affected by climate injustice.”

Read the full article here.