The ENRICH Project: Blurring the Borders between Community and the Ivory Tower


  • Ingrid R. G. Waldron Temple University Press



In the spring of 2012, the author agreed to direct a project on environmental racism in Nova Scotia after meeting with Dave Ron, a social and environmental activist who had been involved for some time in the Save Lincolnville Campaign, a community-led initiative for the removal of the landfill near the African Nova Scotian community of Lincolnville. Thirsty for a new challenge that had the potential to effect real change in racially marginalized communities, she understood that the significance of the project lay in its uniqueness: few, if any, studies exist that examine environmental racism in both the Indigenous and Black communities in Canada. Given the dearth of research on environmental racism in Nova Scotia, particularly from the perspectives of these two communities, the project serves as a kind of case study for telling a particular kind of story situated in the Nova Scotian context and, in many cases, in the larger Canadian context.

That project, which was later titled the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health (ENRICH) Project, is a community-based academic study of the socioeconomic and health effects of environmental racism in African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw communities. From its inception, the mission of the ENRICH Project has been to employ an interdisciplinary, multi-methodological approach that bridges the academy and community to support ongoing and new efforts by Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian peoples to address the social, economic, political, and health effects of disproportionate pollution in their communities.